Whether you are traveling for business purposes or having fun, a disrupted flight can ruin your plans and dampen your mood for a long time. If you experience flight disruptions such as delayed flights, denied boarding, or missed connections, you might be entitled to compensation under European Union law.
This article provides a detailed overview of how to get flight compensation, and what to do if an air carrier denies your claim. Thus, you will be able to avoid unfair treatment by airlines and get what you deserve.
Getting What You Deserve
In case of a disrupted flight, an air carrier is obligated to provide you with compensation under European Union Regulation EC 261/2004. This regulation sets out the rules and compensation amounts for passengers who have experienced flight disruptions. Under this regulation, you may be entitled to compensation of up to €600.
Here is a short summary of the basic rights to which you are entitled in the event of flight disruptions:
- If your flight is delayed by more than two hours, an air carrier must provide you with food and refreshments, access to communications, and if necessary, accommodation;
- If your flight is canceled, an airline must offer you a choice between a full refund or an alternate flight;
- If you are denied boarding because of overbooking, the airline must reimburse you;
- If your luggage is lost or delayed, you are entitled to compensation;
- In case of missed connections due to an airline’s fault or if your flight is canceled or delayed by more than three hours, you may be entitled to compensation under EU law.
To start the flight delay compensation process and file a claim, you will need to gather evidence to support it. Here are some steps you can take to collect evidence:
- Keep all documents about the flight: your boarding pass, airline ticket, and any other documents related to the flight. These documents will help you prove you were on the flight.
- Take pictures. If your flight was delayed or canceled, take pictures of the departure board or any notices from the airline.
- Keep receipts. If you incurred expenses as a result of a flight delay, such as hotel or food, keep receipts.
- Ask for written confirmation. Ask an airline for written confirmation of the flight disruption, including the reason for the delay or cancellation.
- Check flight status. Use online resources such as flight-tracking sites or apps to check the status of your flight. This will help you provide accurate information to the airline and claims provider.
Filing a Claim
After gathering all the necessary evidence, you can proceed with filing a claim. You can file it directly with an airline or use a third-party service provider to assist you in getting your flight compensation. If you decide to file a claim on your own, make sure to include all the relevant information, such as your flight number, the date of the flight, and the reason for the disruption.
Dealing with Airline Denials
If an airline denies your claim, don’t give up. Many air carriers will try to deny claims, even if they are valid. You can first try to resolve the issue directly with an airline: ask for a detailed explanation of why they are denying your claim.
If their response didn’t meet your expectations, you can escalate your claim to the relevant national enforcement body in the country where the disruption occurred. The body is responsible for enforcing the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, and can provide guidance and support in pursuing your claim.
Escalating the Claim
If you are not satisfied with the air carrier’s response or the decision of the national enforcement body, you can escalate your claim to the European Small Claims Court. The court is designed to handle claims up to €5,000 and can be an effective way to win your case. Bear in mind that you will need to provide evidence to support your case. After that, the court will make a final decision.
If you have encountered a flight delay or missed connection due to an airline’s fault, don’t hesitate to get your compensation. You will need to collect all the necessary evidence, file a claim with an airline, and escalate it if necessary. Follow these steps, and you can increase your chances of receiving compensation for your disrupted flight.
Have you filed a claim in case of flight delays or cancellations? Share your experiences in the comments section.