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Delayed Flight or Denied Boarding? Know Your Rights as an Air Passenger

Did you know that you could get compensated up to €600 if your flight is delayed or if you’re denied boarding? The EU regulation 261/2004 helps protect the rights of air passengers in cases of severe flight disruptions. This includes flight delays and cancellations, denied boarding, overbooking, missed connections, and flight re-booking. If it causes a great inconvenience to you as a passenger, then you should be compensated. However, not everyone is aware of this regulation nor do they know their rights as air passengers.

What Are Your Rights as an Air Passenger?

Passenger rights tend to vary based on your location or the airline you booked. However, you should still have rights as an air passenger regardless of where you are. EU member states are guided by the EU Regulation Nr. 261/2004, where passengers are entitled to as much as €600 in compensation. Your rights under this law are based on whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria.

You are entitled to compensation if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a valid ticket and booking confirmation.
  • Your trip starts from an EU airport or lands in one, with the airline headquartered in the EU.
  • The reason for the flight disruption was completely within the airline’s control.

You are not eligible if:

  • You are travelling on a free or discounted ticket that is unavailable to the public.
  • You did not check in on time, which should be at least 45 minutes before the departure time. This only applies to flight delays.

You get compensated in the following cases:

  • Delays: your fight arrived at its destination at least 3 hours late.
  • Cancellations: you were informed of the cancellation not less than 14 days before the initial departure date.
  • Denied boarding/Overbooking: you were unable to board the flight as a result of overbooking on the airline’s part.
  • Missed connecting flight: you arrived at your final destination at least 3 hours late due to a missed connecting flight, whether or not it was the same airline.

What Are You Entitled to Under the EC 261 Law?

The EC regulation 261/2004 supports you as an air passenger who has to deal with a flight disruption causing a great inconvenience. You may be entitled to compensation of between €250 and €600 per person. This is often dependent on the fight distance, ranging from short to medium and long-distance flight, where you get €250, €400, and €600 respectively. You also get to access basic services such as a pass to the airport lounge which gives you access to free internet, telephone, complimentary food and drinks, and a comfortable place to sit out a flight delay.

In addition, you have the right to request a seat on another flight or withdraw from the scheduled flight. This applies if the flight has been delayed for over 5 hours or eventually cancelled.

Bottom Line

EU regulations on delayed flights have helped several air passengers over the years get compensated for severe flight disruptions. You also should take advantage of this while you can. Contact your travel agency or hire a lawyer to see you through the process.

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