Flight delays compensation — payback for tardy tourists
Flight Delays Compensation
Compensation is available in all walks of life, even for a delayed or cancelled flight. It is one of the main things people worry about when embarking on a business trip or a holiday, looking at the flight schedule screen and seeing ‘flight delayed’. Compensation can be claimed for by any individual that is subject to a delay in their flight which is over 3 hours. Delays in a flight can be detrimental to businesses by making individuals miss essential business meetings and can ruin holiday plans, it is only right that should this occur the individual who suffers is able to claim compensation for it.
Flight delay compensation
There have been various different opinions on the level of compensation for the delay of flights over the years with airlines in particular aiming to make such provisions less detrimental to them. However a final decision was made by the European Court of Justice which gave a ruling on the following levels of compensation:
- For an individual that suffers a delay of more than 3 hours on a short haul flight which is less than 1500km in distance, they are entitled to £220 compensation.
- For an individual who is delayed for more than 3 hours on a medium haul flight between 1500km and 3500km, they are entitled to £350 compensation.
- For an individual that is on a long haul flight which is of a distance over 3500km and the delay is more than 3 hours they are entitled to £270 compensation, if the flight is delayed over 4 hours they are entitled to £530 compensation.
Flight delay provision
If a flight is delayed the airport is meant to comply with certain flight delay compensation regulations. This regulation states that the airport should:
- Provide any meals and refreshments that would reasonably required for the level of flight time delay.
- Provide any hotel accommodation required where the individuals delay has caused them to stay overnight at a hotel nearby.
- Provide transport between the hotel and airport that was required as a result of the delayed flight.
- Provide the resources to make at least two phone calls, faxes of emails so they can contact family members or business contacts to let them know the situation.
How to make flight delay compensation claims
If an individual experiences a flight delay of over 3 hours they are entitled to make a claim. To do so they will need to take one of more of the following actions:
Writing to the airline: The first step to take is to write to the airline, stating the details of the day and flight that you were expected to be on and how long it was delayed. The intention to claim for compensation should also be stated which is well within your rights due to the European Commission Regulation 261/2004. If the airline refuse the claim due to so called ‘extraordinary circumstances’ then the following step is required.
Referral to the enforcement body: If a claim is refused by the airline an individual should then refer the case to the relevant enforcement body, which in this case is the Civil Aviation Authority. From here the issue will be dealt with by the Air Transport User Council which will look in to the claim and contact the airline if it believes the claim is reasonable.
County court: If after the relevant enforcement body has got in contact with the airline and they still refuse the last resort is to take the airline to the county court. Due to the fact that the majority of claims made against an airline will be small, the county court will usually hear claims via the small claims track.
Airlines count on the fact that because the amount of compensation is small and the process to make the claim could be long and costly that the individuals will not bother to carry it through. This should not be so, if you believe you are entitled to compensation then you should follow all the relevant processes until you receive a sufficient compensation package.