Q&A: My flight was cancelled. Can I get a refund for my flight and claim for compensation?

by ontravelx

The disruption caused by a flight’s cancellation or delay is immeasurable. Knowing your legal protections is crucial.

Flight cancellations and delays can completely throw a traveler’s schedule off. Because of this, it is crucial that you be aware of your legal protections. The following information is applicable to flights entering or leaving a country in the UK or EU, which are governed by their respective aviation authorities. Also included are the Scandinavian countries and Liechtenstein.

Flight delay compensation law – the low down.

A young man with a disappointed expression checking his smartwatch due to a canceled flight.

Frustration and Disappointment: Canceled Flight WoesImage source: Alina Rosanova/Shutterstock.com

If your flight is delayed by more than three hours, or canceled, you may be eligible for compensation of up to €600/£520 under EU Regulation 261/2004.

Smart airlines, though, found ways to get out of paying claims almost immediately. The European Court of Justice issued a precedent-setting judgment in October 2012, making it clear that passengers were entitled to compensation for lengthy delays, provided they met certain requirements.

But airlines were still allowed to avoid paying for claims that were over two years old or that were caused by technical difficulties that couldn’t have been foreseen. The courts saved the day in 2014 and 2015 when they issued judgments favoring flyers.

My flight was canceled.

An airport screen displaying canceled flights due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Flight Cancellations Amidst the Coronavirus PandemicImage source: William Barton/Shutterstock.com

Take a look at this list:

  • You found out less than two weeks before departure.
  • Your flight has been successfully booked.
  • The problem happened in the last three years.
  • It was the airline’s responsibility for the delay.
  • There was a major time difference between your original flight’s arrival and the new one if you had to take a replacement flight.

You could be entitled to compensation if you can affirmatively respond to these points.

How much can I expect to receive in compensation?

A businessman in a suit standing outdoors lost in thought"

Reflective Businessman Contemplating OutdoorsImage source: Ranta Images/Shutterstock.com

In exchange for traveling a certain distance, you will get a certain amount of money.

€250/£220 For trips under 1,500 kilometers (932 miles), the fare is €400/£350, while for trips between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometers (2174 miles), the fare is €350/£400.
If the trip exceeds 3,500 kilometers, you will be charged €600 or £520.

My flight was delayed. Can I get compensation?

Waiting for Takeoff: African-American Businessman at the AirportImage source: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

You can if:

  • There was a delay of almost three hours in your arrival at your destination.
  • Both the departure and arrival airports were located inside the European Union (EU).
  • Your flight check-in is on time (generally no less than 45 minutes before departure).
  • These issues were experienced on a flight that occurred a little more than three years ago.
  • This holdup is all the airline’s fault (operational circumstances and technical difficulties).

Stuck at the airport.

Waiting for Departure: Tired Traveler at the AirportImage source:Grusho Anna/Shutterstock.com

At the very least, you deserve to be kept in the loop. To find out more, they could look at the airline’s official social media accounts or website. Furthermore, they may have emailed you.

You can expect to get vouchers for food and drink (but not alcoholic beverages) if your flight is delayed for more than two hours on a short-haul flight, three hours on a medium route like London to Spain, or four hours on a long-haul flight.
In the event that your flight is canceled, you will have to wait for an alternate flight, regardless of the cause of the delay.

Even if the airline doesn’t provide this, you can still purchase your own and get your money back if you have a valid receipt. It’s imperative that you maintain your receipts in this instance.

The airline is obligated to cover the cost of your hotel and travel to and from it if you have an overnight delay. If not, save your receipts and ask for a refund.

Search the website of your airline to see if they provide any details on what services are included.

The delay was too long and you no longer wish to travel.

Isolation and Uncertainty: Man in Mask at Empty AirportImage source: Eva March/Shutterstock.com

After five hours of waiting, you are entitled to a full refund of your outbound and return tickets if you decide you no longer want to go. If you choose this option, the airline is no longer responsible for your well-being; instead, you will be compensated based on when you finally reach your destination.

I am worried about getting it wrong. Should I get an expert to do it?

Even though it may seem intimidating, you can get started by writing to the airline and then to the appropriate regulator or ADR (alternative dispute resolution) program. You might also try the airline’s website; many of them have pages devoted just to filing claims. Among these airlines are British Airways and EasyJet, both of which operate a disruption help hub.
You might also hire Air Help to accomplish this for you, but keep in mind that they will deduct a charge from your final payout.

Final tip – Travel insurance is essential.

Travel Insurance: Protection and Peace of MindImage source: smolaw/Shutterstock.com

Get yourself some solid travel insurance. It’s a nice convenience to have if your airline is unresponsive or if you end up flying with a company that isn’t subject to EU regulations. In addition, double-check the validity of any complimentary travel insurance offered by your bank. The expiration of the service has taken many people by surprise.

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