He are some words of wisdom, originally written as I waited for a later flight to Dublin casued by my first flights aircraft going unserviceable as a result of the cargo door handle falling off !
Delay and cancellations are part of air travel, but due to some EU legislation (EU Regulation 261/2004) you should be able to make your journey more bearable..
Now the airlines will not go out of their way to make some of this information available to you, but hey this is the Internet..
Is you flight between EU States or is it operated my an airline based in the EU?
In my case, London to Dublin this is clearly the case, but a flight from London to San Francisco on British Airways or Virgin Atlantic would also count..
Now what has caused the delay or cancellation, the legislation covers all delays which are within the control of the airline, obvious ones are overbooking or technical issues with the aircraft/crew. There is now case law supporting this second point, as initially airlines tried to claim that an aircraft becoming unserviceable sometimes was unavoidable… well no argued the courts that’s why you do regular maintenance.
In my case the handle falling of the cargo door making the aircraft unserviceable is covered by the legislation.
Assuming your flight is covered then the amount and type of help/compensation varies depending upon the distance of the flight and the type of delay.
For flights up to 1500 Km (e.g. London to most destinations within Europe)
Delay more than 2 hours, Meal vouchers if the delay is more than 3 hours vouchers plus €250 compensation
For flights up to 3.500 km (e.g London to Athens)
Delay more than 3 hours meal vouchers and €400 compensation
For flights more than 3,500km (e.g London to New York)
Delay more than 3 hours €300 compensation, more than 4 hours meal vouchers and €600 compensation
And if the delay is more than 5 hours you are legally entitled to a full refund of your fare.
In addition if your flight is delayed or cancelled requiring an overnight stay accommodation must be provided for you.
So in my case a delay of just over two hours resulted in some meal vouchers!
Previously a cancelled flight back from Athens cost British Airways a nights hotel accommodation, meals and €400.
To claim you need to chase the staff at the gate for vouchers and then after the event fill in details on the airlines website to claim your compensation. Again for some reason the airlines do no make these obvious so here is a useful list..
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
- Virgin Atlantic require you to email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ryanair, well good luck 🙂 Ryanair in breach of the legislation requires you to call a premium rate telephone number to process your claim !
Written and submitted from home (51.425N, 0.331W)