Flight Delay

Compensation and Refunds

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Anyone who travels a lot on business knows that business trips can be exhausting. Especially when your flight is delayed or even cancelled. The good news is that you will usually be entitled to compensation if your flight is delayed. We tell you everything you need to be aware of in the event of a delay.

Delayed flight: compensation

According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, you are entitled to compensation for flight delays exceeding three hours. The amount of compensation depends solely on the route and can be up to 600 euros. It’s important to know that the compensation must be paid out, which means that vouchers etc. from the airline are not permitted. Tables listing flight delay compensation amounts can be found online. The basic prerequisite for a compensation claim is that you have a confirmed booking and check in on time.

Delayed flight: compensation for your employer

Flight delays that occur during your business trip are not only frustrating for you as a traveller, but may also have consequences for your employer, for example if the delay prevents the signing of a contract and thus leads to financial losses. Although in the event of a flight delay the compensation is usually paid to the traveller, some companies claim the compensation for themselves. If that is the case, it must be specified in an appropriate document, for example in the employment contract or in the business travel application.

According to Montreal Convention, the employer can claim compensation from the airline, for example the cost of lost working hours or lost turnover. Unlike compensation for flight delays, there are no fixed amounts for such claims. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult a lawyer.

Flight cancellation: compensation

Even more frustrating than a delayed flight is a cancelled flight. However, you are also entitled to compensation in the event of cancellation. If your flight is cancelled, you can either get a full refund or take another flight. If you choose the second option, it is advisable to contact your airline. They will not only book the ticket for you, but will also be obliged to pay any costs you incur during your waiting period, such as meals or one night's accommodation. You may also be entitled to an additional compensation payment – depending on the cancellation period: if you receive notice of the cancellation of your flight 14 days or less before departure, you may be entitled to a compensation payment in addition to the refund of the ticket price.

Flight delay compensation: how to act correctly

If you intend to claim compensation for a flight delay, it is important to consider certain steps. You should be able to recall the entire process of the flight delay later on.
  1. Have your delay confirmed by the airline at the respective counter at the airport.
  2. Hold on to your flight ticket and boarding pass and keep all invoices for costs incurred due to your delay, such as food and drinks. If necessary, you can have these reimbursed.
  3. If necessary, exchange contact details with other passengers. If you have any problems with the refund or if legal action is necessary, you can exchange information with each other.
  4. Document the course of the flight delay. Pay particular attention to the exact time of the flight: How long was the delay? When were you informed? When exactly did you reach your destination?

EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation: when does it (not) apply?

Although the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation normally applies to flights that take off and land in the EU and are operated by EU airlines, the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation often also applies in other cases. As long as the booking is a single booking, the Regulation also protects you in the event of a stopover in a country outside the EU or if you take off or land in such a country.

Please note, however, that the EU Passenger Rights Regulation does not oblige airlines to pay compensation for every flight delay. You are not entitled to compensation for flight delays caused by unusual circumstances, such as work strikes or natural disasters.
Published by Megali on 08/11/2018 Photo credit: © NicoElNino

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