Delayed or cancelled flight?
--- EU AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS ---
If you travel often, you have probably experienced it too. Flight delays and cancellations just happen. It sucks especially if you miss connecting flight or an important event in your life.
It happened to us too when we traveled to Peru with American Airlines in 2014. The story started with 3 hours delay, 6 hours waiting in a broken plane, emergency landing and cancelled flight. We got free transport to a hotel, free room, two meals and an advice that we should rebook the flight on phone. We spent that night on the phone with an airline booking agent. It took 3 hours to wait in the queue and book another flight for the next day. Unfortunately the agent on the phone booked us wrong a flight so we missed another flight. In total - 24 hour delay, full of stress and running at the airports. When we came back from the holiday, we applied for refund and got a compansation €600.
Maybe you are not sure if EU air passenger rights apply to you or you didn’t know that you can get both the compensation
and the assistance in form of free accommodation and food. That’s why we have decided to pick the most important
information from EU air passenger rights in this article:
EU air passenger rights* apply to you if:
- your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
- your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
- your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline
* EU means 28 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
INCLUDING: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland
EXCLUDING: the Faeroe Islands, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
Assistance and Reimbursement
If your flight is delayed at departure, you have the right to assistance, to reimbursement and a return flight, depending on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight
- accommodation (if you are rebooked to travel the next day)
- transport to your accommodation and return to the airport
- 2 telephone calls or emails
Reimbursement and a return flight
- the reimbursement of your ticket and, if you have a connecting flight, a return flight to the airport of departure at the earliest opportunity
- re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity
- re-routing at a later date at your convenience under comparable transport conditions, subject to the availability of seats
If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation, unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances (air traffic management decisions, political instability, adverse weather conditions and security risks).
!!! Most technical problems are not considered as extraordinary circumstances.
- €250 - 1500km or less
- €400 - more than 1 500 km within the EU (other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 km)
- €600 - more than 3 500 km
If the air carrier has offered you re-routing and you reach your final destination with a delay of 2, 3 or 4 hours the compensation may be reduced by 50%.
When you are sure about your rights and compansation, download the EU-wide air passenger rights complaint form, fill it and send it to the airline.