For the holidaymaker trying to reach their destination, flight delays are a hassle that most have considered to simply be the price of travel. From time to time, your flight may be delayed due to issues that are beyond the airport and airline’s control, requiring that extraordinary measures be taken. In the past, the “extraordinary measures” clause was used to keep holidaymakers and other travelers from claiming the compensation that they were entitled to. Now the script is changing, but in a good way: companies are realizing that it’s in their best interests to comply. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that EU laws are changing to clarify a few things. At the time of this writing, EU law indicates that the airlines must compensate travelers for flights that are delayed three hours or more. That compensation can really become more than you might expect.
Currently, the compensation is as follows: 250 euros for flights within the EU of 930 miles or less, 400 euros for the flights that are under 1860 miles but over 930 miles and 600 euros for anything longer than this. Itís very important that you realize that in order to claim the flight has to be departing from an airport in the EU, or coming into the EU from an airline headquartered within the EU.
If you’re going to start a claim, it’s equally important that you know where the rules come from. The ruling in question is Regulation (EC) 261/2004. It covers all of the flights that are within the EU or leaving from an airport in the EU, or even the ones that are run by EU-based airlines. The Swiss region is also covered in this ruling.
But getting covered is still a difficult journey, with many airlines shirking their duties even with the ruling in place. The law indicates that the airlines have a responsibility to you: they need to make sure that you are taken care of if you get stranded. Although many cancellations are deemed to be out of the airline’s control, that doesn’t mean that you should be left to your own devices. You need to make sure that if you’re ever in this situation that you keep good records and hold onto all of your receipts. You can’t claim what you can’t verify, and your receipt is a valid verification of a transaction. If you have to go out of your own pocket to fix the cancellation problem, then you could be compensated for this.
Yet with most compensation schemes, you have to make sure that you’re getting your complaint in on time. If you want to get compensation, you must make sure that you file in court within six years of the incident. If you don’t bring court proceedings forward, your claim can be tossed out because it fails the Limitation Act guidelines.
It’s a complicated tangle, but it’s not one that you have to take on alone. If you seek out a solicitor, they will explain to you what you could be entitled to, and how you could go about it.
For now, make sure that you keep detailed records, hold onto all of those receipts (scanning them into your computer is a great idea), and don’t forget the travel insurance. Many policies cover this very scenario for a reason, but this new regulation is good for people that neglect to pick up solid travel coverage.