Do you know that if you are flying within the EU or on a European airline you are entitled to compensation when your flight is delayed or
When we think of travel we think about the glamour shots, the beaches, the excitement, the adventure. BUT we all know that travel isn’t always as glamorous as our Instagram stories show. Sometimes, it sucks and you’re waiting, dealing with things completely out of your control. Instead of getting angrier and angrier, know your rights and what you can do to help yourself when in this situation.
Read on for my tips on what to do when you’re stuck at the airport due to a delay or cancellation.
Delays less than 3 hours
Nothing you can do here unfortunately but wait. Go grab yourself a coffee and a good book, make a phone call or find the nearest lounge and check-in. Stay close to your gate because typically with the shorter delays you just have no idea when you’re going to leave, you want to make sure you’re also paying attention to the departure screens in the event of an update. Just don’t miss your flight hanging out in the lounge.
Despite not actually being entitled to any financial reimbursement, on occasion they will provide it to calm angry people. It never hurts to ask.
Have a connecting flight?
- If the delay on your initial flight will cause you to miss your connecting flight let the gate agents know. This is their job and they will book you on an alternate flight. It may be with a different airline though.
- If your connection isn’t available the same day be sure to inquire about accommodation for the night. They will handle this as it is their fault. Don’t just book your own when you’re entitled to free accommodation.
Note: you’re only eligible for this if your journey is booked as one trip. If you book to one destination and then book again to another it doesn’t count. It needs to be
Delays over 3 Hours / Cancellations
When this happens they will often provide refreshments / food vouchers and if your delay is overnight accommodation is given AND transportation to and from the airport. You need to make sure you inquire, as they don’t just announce that. Don’t let yourself get too worked up or angry that you just leave on your own to wait for your flight. When this occurs you’re typically entitled to some form of compensation in the EU.
If your flight is cancelled, the airline will typically do everything they can to book you on another flight – if that flight is not the same day they will usually offer you a hotel voucher. In many cases you’ll also receive a refund or airline voucher.
This is very important and you should ALWAYS have travel insurance. Travel is amazing, but it’s still life and things can go wrong in a million ways.
Typically you can file a claim for food and lodging if you’ve been delayed for more than 4 hours. This varies by insurance but your pockets will thank you when you get money back for all those coffees (and food …) you’ve downed while waiting. This will help with
Are you eligible for flight compensation?
In accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004 a passenger is entitled to 250-600 Euros of compensation in case of:
- Flight delay more than 3 hours
- Flight cancellation
- Denied boarding due to overbooking
- Missed connection due to a delay of the first segment (you arrived at your destination more than 3 hours later than planned)
The only requirement is that your disrupted flight needed to have happened up to 6 years back (depending on the Country of departure)
– within the EU (on any airline)
– leaving the EU (on any airline)
– or arriving into EU (on EU airline)
Do you have any advice or experience to share with delayed or
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