Flight cancellation happens more often than you think, especially for frequent travellers. If you have ever had to deal with a cancelled flight, you would understand how frustrating it can be. However, beyond the disappointment, you can get great benefits by claiming compensation.
Step 1 – Understand What the Compensation Entails
The compensation for cancelled flights is covered under the EU Regulation 261/2004, ensuring that every affected passenger gets a form of relief for having their flight disrupted. This regulation entails:
- A refund ticket or a replacement flight.
- A compensation amount between €250 and €600, based on the distance covered.
- Food and drinks provided by the airline after at least 2 hours of delay, before cancellation.
Step 2 – Know the Eligibility Criteria
To apply for this compensation and get access to every benefit offered, you must meet the eligibility criteria, which includes:
- The reason for the flight cancellation was within the airline’s control and not due to any extraordinary circumstances.
- The airline informed you about the cancellation at short notice, which is less than 14 days before departure or arrival.
- Your flight was due to depart within the EU or land in the EU, with its headquarters in the EU.
- You checked in for your flight on time, which is generally no less than 45 minutes before departure.
- This problem was encountered on a flight operated in the last 6 six years
Step 3 – Know Why the Flight was Cancelled
The reason behind your cancelled flight can determine whether or not you can get compensated. Common reasons include bad weather, air traffic control restrictions, crew availability, strikes, security issues, government regulations, and mechanical issues.
Reach out to the airline to find out the reason, and you can do this by walking up to their help desk, calling their telephone number, or sending an email. You are well within your rights to know why the flight was cancelled.
If the reason was well within the airline’s control, then you will be compensated. However, in some cases, flights can be cancelled for reasons beyond the airline’s control, such as adverse weather effects or government regulations, which they could do nothing about. In this case, the airline isn’t obligated to compensate you.
Step 4 – Gather Your Documents
By now, you must have ascertained your eligibility. You can then go ahead and get all your documents together, including flight tickets, ID, and receipts for hotel reservations or any other costs you’ve procured due to the flight disruption.
There is a better time to discard your receipts out of frustration, as these documents can determine whether or not you get compensated.
Step 5 – Apply for Compensation
You can apply to the airline directly for compensation. Among your rights is your right to know about this regulation, which means there should be details about this EU 261 law everywhere for you to access.
Check the airline’s website for a flight compensation form you can fill out and provide all the necessary details. You can also call them or reach out to an agency like Flightright to help make the process seamless.
You don’t have to travel out of frustration due to the incompetence of any airline, This article strongly highlights the key steps to follow to claim a refund if your flight ever gets cancelled.