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A Quick Guide to the European Flight Delay Compensation Regulation!

In this quick guide, you will get to know:

  • The responsibilities of the airline, both before and after the disruption
  • The rights of passengers, both before and after the disruption
  • European flight delay compensation: the latest updates

The airline:

Before the disruption

According to the Regulation EC 261/2004 that governs all things pertaining to the rights of passengers and the responsibilities of airlines, there are a number of things that the airline will have to do, whether or not there is a disruption.The regulation makes it clear that all passengers have a right to any kind of information that pertains to delays and other disruptions of service. Check in counters should have this put up as a notice.

After the disruption

If the flight gets delayed, cancelled or moved, the airline should:

  • Be proactive in providing information to the passengers and keep them informed of their options.
  • Care during the disruption, food, water, accommodations if necessary, and transportation to and from the rooms. Access to phones, email or other ways to contact their families.
  • Accept claims from passengers, unless the delays were caused by extraordinary circumstances.

The passengers:

Before the disruption

As a passenger, you will have to make sure you request the airline and get the information if you need it. Be aware of your rights, read up on them and do not take any delays for granted.

After the disruption

The regulation covers delays, cancellations and overbooking, so if you face any of these, you are well within you rights to claim:

  • Alternative transportation or refund
    You can choose to have your flight rescheduled or claim a full refund for your ticket. If you choose EU flight delay refunds, you will not get any other travel related assistance.
  • Food and accommodation
    In case of long delays, the airline must offer food and refreshments to you. If the delay extends overnight, they should provide lodging for the night.
  • Filing European flight delay compensation claims
    If you have faced delays, you can claim EU flight delay refunds, as well as delay compensations, the time and amount depend on how long the journey is for and how long the delay lasted.

European flight delay compensation regulation: The latest updates

The EC 261/2004 is now over ten years old and over the years has seen a number of clarifications and updates that make it simpler for passengers to get past most of the legal jargon.

As of now:

  • Technical problems will not be accepted as an extraordinary circumstance (Jet2 v Huzar)
  • It is the duty of the airline to provide the reasons and prove that it took every reasonable step towards avoiding such delays, even in the event of a delay caused by extraordinary circumstances.
  • Passengers have six years to claim EU flight delay refunds from the date of travel.

The mentioned points are taken from several CAA reports.

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