Flight delays and cancellations can be very frustrating when you’re on a tight schedule. When these issues occur, there are steps that you can take to obtain compensation for the ordeal, which may help to ease your frustrations. Before you go on your next flight, you should know more about the basic attributes involving any claim for flight delay cancellation.

Understanding EU Legislation 261

Obtaining compensation for flight delays and similar problems is made possible by EU legislation 261. If you’re traveling to the EU, from the EU, or within the EU, this legislation has established certain guidelines pertaining to compensation for anyone who experiences various travel issues. These passenger rights will apply to almost every flight that takes place within the EU.

However, you won’t be covered by this legislation if your flight originated from a place outside of the EU and is completely operated by an airline that’s not a part of the EU. You also won’t be able to obtain compensation if you already received benefits for your flight-related issues from a country that isn’t a part of the EU. With these guidelines in mind, you should be able to determine if your flight problems would be covered by EU legislation 261.

Compensation for Denied Boarding Issues

If you have been denied boarding onto a flight for reasons like operational problems or overbooking, you will likely be given the chance to give up your seat voluntarily or to not grant this request. If you don’t give up your seat, you will be able to obtain a certain amount of compensation as well as additional benefits like assistance and a choice between booking another flight, rerouting the flight or obtaining reimbursement for the flight that you already paid for.

The compensation amounts that you will receive depend on the length of the flight in question. If the flight is lower than 1,500 kilometers in distance, you will receive 250 euros. Compensation for flights that are over 1,500 kilometers but under 3,000 kilometers will be 400 euros. Any flight that’s more than 3,000 kilometers will allow for 600 euros in compensation. Keep in mind that the total compensation you receive for this issue can be halved if you are rerouted and arrive at the intended destination within a period of 2-4 hours from your initial arrival.

The assistance that you can be provided with when you’ve been denied boarding includes food and refreshments, transportation to and from your hotel or other accommodation, two free phone calls, and accommodation if the boarding problem requires you to stay overnight while waiting for another flight. If you happen to pay for any of these expenses, you can be reimbursed later on by making a request with the airline.

Compensation for Delayed or Canceled Flights

If ever your flight is canceled or delayed, you will be able to obtain a certain amount of compensation. The flight delay compensation available to you includes the assistance mentioned previously and the ability to book another flight, reroute your current flight, or obtain reimbursement for the initial flight costs. These benefits are available to you if your flight delay causes you to arrive at the intended destination at least three hours after the main arrival time.

As for canceled flights, you will be able to obtain the same three benefits that you would receive if you were denied boarding, which include assistance, compensation, and a choice between booking another flight, rerouting, or being reimbursed. This compensation is available to you if your flight was canceled within two weeks of the departure date. However, these benefits aren’t provided if certain extraordinary circumstances like bad weather were the cause of the cancellation. It’s also possible that you won’t receive compensation if your flight was rerouted and you were able to depart and arrive close to the initial departure and arrival times that you were given.

Compensation for Delayed or Damaged Luggage

You may also obtain some compensation if your luggage has been damaged, delayed, or lost. In the event that any of these three issues occur, you could receive as much as 1,200 euros in compensation. This compensation won’t be provided to you if the damage was caused by a defective item in your luggage. Keep in mind that this compensation extends to any damage that occurs with your carry-on luggage. If your luggage was damaged, you will need to file a claim with the airline within seven days after the flight. This time limit extends to three weeks in the event that your luggage and items were delayed in being returned to you.

Now that you have an understanding of what’s needed to claim compensation for a flight delay and similar issues, you should be prepared for any eventuality with future trips that you take in the EU.