Each of us realizes that the rules should be for the people. Most of us do not know complicated legal catches established by the European Union. At least half of us had ever chance that the flight, which eagerly we waited, was delayed. What if we hurry to the house on the other end of Europe or we have to do a very important business matter and our aircraft in the world simply refused to obey? Explore the law to which each of us is entitled no matter in what place the European Union you are.
The European Court of Justice issued in 2009 a ruling on delayed flights. Since then, anyone waiting for a plane more than three hours, may apply for compensation. This law only applies to airports of countries belonging to the European Union or flights operated by airlines registered in the EU Member States. But remember that one in a hundred cases operator is not responsible for the situation, but random events.
How long you can apply for compensation?
It all depends on the laws of the countries of the European Union. The regulation issued by the European Court of Justice does not set any specific deadline. Most often they are three years, though, if the flight was to take place, eg. from the United Kingdom it is until six years after the occurrence of this event.
Compensation is not all that the passenger can apply in the event of a late flight. The regulation issued by the European Court of Justice also points out about the obligation to assist passengers. In case of delays more than two hours (it all depends de facto on the length of the flight), passengers have the right to:
- free meals
- free drinks
- two free telephone / fax transmissions / e-mails.
What’s more, if the delay will extend for one or more nights, the carrier is obliged to organize the passenger accommodation in a hotel, as well as transport between the airport and the place of accommodation.
Airlines have no right to conceal from passengers their duties resulting from the delay of the flight. In point of passengers service at each airport there should be information saying that if our flight was delayed for at least two hours, was canceled or we did not enter the board for any other reason, we have the right to ask the service at the check-in or at the point of admission of passengers boarding gate for the text containing the legal rights, the possibility of obtaining compensation and assistance. Moreover, airlines are required to provide passenger information about compensation. In the case of the blind, visually impaired, etc. employees should use appropriate means of communication.
What if the delay is more than five hours?
In this case, the passenger may seek a refund of his/her ticket or may decide to a return flight to the first point of departure at the earliest time that is possible. In big cities there are more than two airports. In this case, the airlines offer passenger flight in such a place and cover the cost of his/her transportation.
|No||flight distance||time delay||entitlement to compensation|
|1||to 1500km||more than 3h||250€|
|2||from 1500km to 3500km||more than 3h||400€|
|1||more than 3500km||between 3 and 4 hours||300€|
|4||more than 3500km||more than 4h||600€|
For practical reasons and to do not have too much stress I suggest you ask the company specialized in handling cases against airlines. Currently on the market there are a lot of law firms that help to regain compensation for delayed or canceled flight.