Have you ever heard of the EU regulation 261/2004 that protects the rights of passengers? If you have ever had to deal with any flight disruption, this must be good news for you. This covers flight delays and cancellations, denied boardings, and missed connecting flights. If you have ever fallen victim to any of these, this article is for you.
What Does the EC 261 Regulation Entail?
Flight disruptions often tend to affect the passengers involved. Your perfectly planned itinerary can be ruined simply because of a slight change in your flight. However, you shouldn’t have to pay the cost as a passenger. This was what brought about the EC regulation 261/2004. This law ensures that you as an air passenger are protected against severe flight disruptions. It also pushes airlines to maintain a more punctual and effective operation.
Under this regulation, you are entitled to some form of compensation, which would depend on the kind of flight disruption faced. You may be entitled to a claim for compensation of between €250 and €600 for long flight delays and cancellations. You could also be entitled to basic services such as free internet connection, complimentary food and drinks, and a hotel booking if your flight has been delayed.
In addition, there are circumstances where you can request to reschedule your flight or even request a partial or full refund at no extra cost. Or you could request a seat on another flight, provided it’s on the same airline.
The law also obliges airlines to inform passengers of their rights and ensure it is visible. This may include putting it on their website, in their offices, and in visible areas within the plane.
Who is the Regulation For?
The EC 261 regulation applies to flights departing from or arriving at an EU member state. You will only be entitled to compensation if your flight falls under that category.
In addition, the reason for the flight disruption must be within the airline’s control. Common reasons include but are not limited to bad weather conditions, bird strikes, pilots unfit to fly, mechanical issues, and security threats.
In the case of a flight delay, you are expected to have checked in at least 45 minutes before the departure time. Also, if the flight informed you of the disruption ahead of time, it must have been less than 14 days, which is the timeline given for late announcements in flight changes.
Ensure you have a valid booking ticket and not a discounted one unavailable to the public. Then, you can go ahead and make a claim.
EU regulations on delayed flights, cancelled flights, missed connecting flights, or denied boarding have kept the airline industry under control over the years. While there are still many flight disruptions recorded, airlines are constantly working to ensure that they don’t have to pay enormous fees as compensation to passengers. This is also why it is encouraged to know your rights and don’t get cheated. Be careful not to take vouchers or sign any form that would make you accidentally waive your rights.