EU compensation for flight delays and cancellations

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
times for airlines to pay up rather than fly away from responsibilities

time for airlines to pay up rather than fly away from responsibilities

EC Regulation 261/2004 – the rule that currently allows all European travellers to claim compensation against airlines in the event of cancellations, delays and denied boarding  – still applies even after the Brexit vote.

The reason I mention this is because, assuming the worst case scenario of it not being incorporated into whatever new legal situations are set up, you have a little over two years to claim. After the UK leaves, it could be that UK domiciled passengers would have recourse only in the country in which the airline is registered. That might deter many people so claim now.

Just before the Brexit vote, the EU came out with a clarification of the rules, many of which will be familiar to readers.

  • Compensation for a delay: the right to compensation after a delay of three hours at the final destination.
  • Compensation for a missed connecting flight: the right to compensation in case of a long delay on arrival due to missed connecting flights.
  • Extraordinary circumstances: various situations such as technical defects linked tothe premature malfunction of certain components of an aircraft or aircraft collisions with other aircraft/devices whereby airlines cannot be exempted from the payment of compensation in case of a cancellation and delay.
  • Measures to be taken in extraordinary circumstances: the right to assistance and care during exceptional events such as the ash cloud in 2010.

We estimate that over €300 million is due to UK and Irish passengers under this legislation for airline issues dating back over the last six years. Some airlines and tour operators with airline divisions have been adroit in paying up.; others have been unbelievably slow putting impediment after impediment in the way despite the EU legislation making it pretty easy to launch and pursue a claim.

A concern we have here at Just about Travel is that those dilettante companies may use the Brexit vote as a way of delaying payment until the UK leaves the UK due to the possibility that the UK parliament will not absorb this regulation into future UK law.

If you believe that you are entitled to compensation, then start the ball rolling now. Look out those old ticket stubs, boarding passes, electronic files on your computer and check. If you don’t want to download the form and set the claim in action yourself there are many claims agents which will do the work for you although you might have to pay up to 30% of the compensation you receive for the work that they will do.

For a summary of your rights, click here or go to http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm

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