Getting the news that your flight has been cancelled can be devastating, especially if you were looking forward to a perfectly planned trip. However, it’s not news and it happens in the UK more often than you think. The good news is that you can get compensated if you are ever faced with unjustifiable flight disruption. There are now agencies like Flightright working hard to ensure that every affected passenger gets their due compensation for the great inconvenience caused by the airline.
What is the Flight Compensation Regulation?
The flight compensation regulation is also referred to as the EU 261/2004 regulation. This law was passed in 2004 to protect the rights of air passengers against severe flight disruptions such as flight delays, flight cancellations, and denied bookings. Under this regulation, you may be entitled to compensation of up to €250 – €600.
To be eligible for this compensation, you have to check the following list:
- Your flight departed from the UK or an EU member state or arrived in one, provided the airline is headquartered in the UK or EU.
- You have a valid ticket and booking information. This doesn’t include a free or discounted ticket unavailable to the public.
- The reason for the flight cancellation was within the airline’s control.
- You were informed of the cancellation 14 days or less before the departure date.
- You checked in at least 45 minutes to the time of departure, provided the flight had not been cancelled at the time.
What Are You Entitled to?
Following the EU 261/2004 regulation, you are entitled to monetary compensation between €250 and €600, which depends on the flight distance and not your ticket price. A short distance flight less than 1500km attracts €250; a medium distance flight between 1500km and 3500km attracts €450; a long distance flight greater than 3500km attracts the highest fee of €600.
However, it doesn’t stop at monetary compensation. You also have the right to care if you were already at the airport when it got cancelled. This includes access to free food and drinks and hotel accommodation to spend the night if it calls for it. You are also entitled to a ticket refund or a flight reschedule, at no extra cost to you.
How to Claim Compensation
It is one thing to know your rights and another to exercise them. To claim your rights, you need to gather all relevant documents that will help you win the case. This includes your booking information, proof of payments, receipts for expenses made (including extra expenses incurred as a result of the disruption), and written proof from the airline on the reason behind the flight disruption.
Many affected passengers don’t bother going through this process, as they assume that it is tedious and perhaps impossible. But it shouldn’t be that way. To make the process seamless for you, it’s best to go through an attorney or contact a reliable agency like Flightright to walk you through the process.