Flight disruptions happen all the time and it gets frustrating, especially if you’ve had to deal with it more than once or never got compensated. A recent scientific report shows the statistical characterization of airplane delays in the UK between 2018 and 2020. To favor passengers in situations where they feel helpless and have to deal with flight disruptions, the EU Regulation was introduced.
What is the EU Regulation?
The EC Regulation 261/2004 is the flight compensation regulation in European Union law that favors the passenger. The law establishes rules on compensation and assistance to passengers who have to deal with flight delays or cancellations. Compared to other laws on passenger rights, the EC 261 is the most comprehensive and it helps advocate for air travelers. In many instances, airlines are responsible for flight disruptions, not passengers. This is why this law is in place to help every passenger get compensated.
The law states that you may be entitled to compensation of €250 to €600, depending on the flight distance. This covers flight cancellations, being denied boarding from overbooking, or being delayed for more than two hours.
The flight distance is calculated as follows:
- Short distances up to 1500km, e.g. London – Edinburgh: €250 compensation
- Medium distances up to 3500km, e.g. London – Athens: €400 compensation
- Long distances more than 3500km, e.g. London – Tokyo: €600 compensation
Are You Eligible?
While the idea of getting compensated sounds great, it is also not for everyone. Eligibility criteria have been put in place and you will only get compensated if you meet them.
The EC Regulation 261/2004 applies to you if you:
- Have a valid ticket and booking confirmation.
- Departed from an EU/EEA member state or travelling to one, provided that the airline is headquartered in the EU.
The EC Regulation 261/2004 does not apply to you if:
- You are travelling on a discounted ticket that is not available to the public.
- You did not check in on time, which should be at least 45 minutes before departure time if the flight is not cancelled.
What are Your Other Rights Under EC 261?
The compensation for delays and cancellation of flights is monetary but apart from that, you also have other rights under the same EC 261 regulation. This includes:
Right to be Informed of Your Rights
Every airline is required to display information about the EC 261/2004 regulation where passengers can see it.
Rights to Reimbursement
Apart from getting your cash compensation, you can also get a partial or full refund of your ticket if your flight is delayed for more than 5 hours or cancelled.
Right to Care
If your flight is delayed, you are entitled to some care. This includes access to a telephone, meals and refreshments, and a hotel booking if it lasts the night.
Knowing your passenger rights is the first step to getting compensated. Understand your rights today, so that whenever you face a flight disruption, you immediately know the next steps to take.