We’ll have to endure the extra-long hours of waiting for departure at the airport. However, it is much more pleasant to wait, knowing that they will pay for it because the rights of passengers guarantee payments of up to 600 euros in case of delay and cancellation of the flight. About what the compensation laid passengers by law and how to get them, we will explain in this article.
EU Regulation no. 261 gives the right to passengers whose flight is canceled to receive compensation. In addition, as a result of the amendments to the regulations adopted in 2012, passengers whose flights were delayed by more than 3 hours are eligible for payments from € 125 to 600. And even if the flight was late by less than 3 hours, but at the destination, connection with transfers, you were later than the scheduled time for more than 3 hours, you are entitled to receive compensation.
This law is valid only on the territory of the EU, but citizens of any country who fly from the European Union or on European air carriers (except for flights completely outside the EU) can take advantage of cash payments.
Compensation is not paid if you are warned about changes earlier than 14 days before departure. Also, airlines often refer to extraordinary circumstances: in case of a strike, martial law, or bad weather (if no flights departed from the airport at that time), the money is not paid.
If the problem was a technical malfunction or delayed a connecting flight, you are entitled to compensation. But even in an emergency, airlines are obliged to provide support to passengers until the situation is completely corrected. Re-booking a flight or a full refund for an unused ticket is a common practice.
If the flight is delayed for less than three hours, you cannot claim compensation, but you are entitled to receive refreshments. If you have to sit at the airport for more than three hours, while waiting for a flight less than 1500 kilometers you can get € 250; from 1,500 to 3,500 km – € 400; over 3500 km – € 300 (in case of a delay of more than 4 hours – € 600).
If the flight was canceled within three hours after the scheduled departure, you are entitled to receive back the full cost of the ticket and compensation from € 125 to € 300. If you waited 3 or 4 hours before you learned about the cancellation, the compensation will be € 250 euros per flight for a distance less than 1500 km, € 200 for a distance from 1500 to 3500 km and € 300 for a long distance from 3500 km. If you have been waiting for more than four hours, you can receive € 250, € 400 and € 600 respectively.
When overbooking, there is an occasional oversupply of passengers on board. If you have nowhere to sit in the cabin, then you have the right to return the full cost of the ticket and payment: up to 1,500 km – € 250, from 1,500 to 3,500 km – € 400, more than 3,500 km – € 600. If you choose a transfer to the next flight, then you also have the right to compensation and support while waiting: food, hotel (if the next flight is scheduled for tomorrow) and communication.
If the flights were connecting and changes occurred at the connection stage, then the time of arrival at the final destination will determine whether you are entitled to compensation or not. It is calculated in the same way: by the time delay and distance.
How to get
You have the right to personally apply for compensation directly to the airline. You can use the services of agencies seeking compensation payments, such as airhelp.com, compensair.com, and others. They take a commission for the work but usually achieve a result. By the way, compensation can be obtained for flights made in the past six years. Do not throw out checks for food and any purchases at the airport that you made while waiting and try to photograph all the changes on the board: all this will help in establishing your rights to pay. However, you should not present a bill for a dinner with champagne in the most expensive room at the airport – the airline will force you to confirm the need for such expenses and you are unlikely to succeed. But an adequate and benevolent behavior will help get what is due to the law.