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If you are ever faced with a flight cancellation and don’t know what to do, you’re at the right place! The EU Regulation Nr. 261/2004 protects the rights of air passengers and offers a form of compensation for any flight disruption. This is to ensure that passengers are treated fairly. However, despite this law being in place, many travellers are not aware of what it is or how it works.
What Do I Need to Know About the Flight Compensation Regulation?
The flight compensation regulation is also known as the EU 261/2004 law, where air passengers are entitled to up to €250 – €600 in compensation, based on the flight distance as calculated below:
- Short distance – below 1500km – €250
- Medium distance – between 1500km and 3500km – €400
- Long distance – above 3500km – €600
Other things you are entitled to include:
- Complimentary food and drinks after a two-hour delay
- Access to telephone and the internet
- Hotel accommodation to spend the night
- Rights to a full refund or a flight rescheduling option
These benefits only apply to you if you meet the following criteria:
- You are taking off from the UK or a European country or landing in the UK/EU airport with an airline headquartered in any of those regions.
- You were only notified of the flight changes less than 14 days from the departure date, or you weren’t notified at all.
- You checked in early for your flight, which is 45 minutes before departure, provided you weren’t notified of the cancellation beforehand.
- This is for a flight operated in the last six years.
- The reason for the cancellation was within the airline’s control and not due to extraordinary circumstances.
Common reasons behind flight cancellations include bad weather conditions, airline traffic control restrictions, mechanical issues, security issues, tight flight schedules, lack of pilots or staff, and more.
What Can I Do After a Cancelled Flight?
Now that your flight has been cancelled, what next? You need to kickstart the process of getting compensated as soon as possible. Follow these simple steps to get started:
Step 1: Go through the eligibility criteria to confirm that you are qualified for compensation. This includes contacting the airline to find out the reason for the cancellation, if they are yet to inform you.
Step 2: Gather your documents, including your booking information and ticket, receipts, vouchers, boarding pass, and any other relevant ones.
Step 3: Go through the airline’s website to access their flight compensation form or contact them directly to request information on the process.
Step 4: Request the help of an attorney or an established firm to make the process less strenuous for you. You can also contact your travel agency or an advisor to put you through.
Dealing with flight cancellation isn’t the prettiest sight and in most cases, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to save the day. However, following the EU 261 regulation on flights, you can make the airline pay by claiming your rights on flight compensation.