Thanks to a ruling by the European Court of Justice in October 2012, consumers experiencing disturbance and inconvenience due to flights that are within the EU and have been delayed for more than three hours due to the fault of the airline are entitled to compensation. This is excellent news – not just because the victims of the delay can somehow be rewarded for the trouble that was caused, but also because this forces the airlines to owe up to their mistakes and become more wary and competitive. Airlines need to step up. Ever wonder what that annoying flight delay that you experienced would be worth in money value? Here’s your guide to flight delay compensation: the amounts you can receive.
The length of the delay matters
A delay of a quarter of an hour is not long enough to warrant the seeking of compensation – the delay needs to be significant and cause damage. Furthermore, the delay is measured at arrival, meaning that if your plane departs two hours late but still arrives on time, there, technically speaking, was no delay. Here are some of the amounts of compensation that can be expected based on the length of the delay:
- More than three hours: anywhere between £210 and £340
- Between three and four hours: £260
- More than four hours: £510
Yes, distance matters too
The distance that is traveled during the flight matters too. For example, if your delay was more than three hours and you traveled a distance of fewer than 1500 kilometers, you could expect compensation amounting to £210 – but had you traveled more than 1500 kilometers, you could receive £340.
What about costs?
There are very few circumstances in which the airline would not have to compensate you for your costs, as well – such as food, drinks, snacks, accommodation, and so on.
Yes; if your flight was delayed for more than five hours and you decided not to travel anymore, you are entitled to a full refund of your flight.
And regarding delayed flight compensation, here are some other useful pieces of information. The airline may offer you compensation in vouchers; you have no obligation to accept this and may insist on cash. For claiming costs, keep your receipts. Remember that food and accommodation are included in the costs. It’s unlikely that you’ll receive a refund and compensation, so aim for the highest. During the delay, it’s smart to establish your case immediately by taking down other passenger names and contact information, and to establish documentation in the form of receipts, the booking sheet, tickets, boarding passes, and so on. It doesn’t take long to do this and could very well be worth your while.