Compensation for Flight Delays?

by Justin on July 21, 2017

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There is nothing worse than arriving at a busy airport, taking almost two hours to make your way through all the checkpoints, then getting to your gate right as your flight is delayed or cancelled. Sometimes the delay is obvious because of bad weather. Other times trying to get details on why your flight is cancelled is like pulling teeth.

The airport attendants sometimes display the attitude that we are inconveniencing them when we ask follow-up questions about when our flight will be rescheduled. I question why they were hired because their people skills are horrible. The only people that sound sorry is when the pilots make their announcement on the plane that there is a delay. They try to make you feel a bit better by saying they can try to make up some of it in the air. I always wonder how that happens. Do they just go ahead and fly faster than normal?

This is a frustrating situation to be in. You feel absolutely powerless in this circumstance. However, you are not powerless. Many don’t realize that you can be compensated when a flight is delayed or cancelled. There are obvious reasons why the airline does not want to broadcast this information. They will be losing money, and they should! Only the cable man can get away with giving us an eight-hour window of when they might be arriving to hook up our cable and internet! Anyone else has to pay.

If your flight is through a European airline or it departs from Europe, you may be compensated under European Union law if it is delayed or cancelled. Maybe you have not heard this before? They want to keep it on the down low! It will hold them accountable when flights don’t happen on time.

If your flight is delayed for less than two hours, you will probably be out of luck for any sort of compensation. The airline looks at anything less than two hours as being practically on time. You might miss an important meeting or arrive late to Thanksgiving dinner, but no big deal.

If your flight is delayed for more than two hours, the airline has to provide you with food and drink. You probably don’t want to give a cheerful scream once you reach over the two-hour mark, but at least they will give you a bite to eat. If you are delayed overnight, they must provide reasonable compensation for a ride to a hotel and a night’s stay.

The airline can also offer a monetary compensation for your delayed or cancelled flight on top of this. As bad as it sounds, the more you are delayed and the further you have to travel, the greater remuneration you are entitled to. There is a silver lining for every dark, stormy cloud.

If the delay is more than five hours, you no longer have to take your flight and can cancel it for a full refund. However, if you are stuck in an airport for more than five hours waiting on a plane, you might not want to cancel your flight altogether. You probably still have to get somewhere.

These things will probably not be offered to you with a “Hear ye, Hear ye,” announcement. They might try to skate around the issue. Approach an attendant and explain the situation and ask to be compensated. If they do not compensate you there at that moment, then contact the airline through email or a phone call as soon as possible. Sometimes you can find a company that helps you get you fair compensation for your flight delays. If the airline still is not playing nice, then report them to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA should assist you in your claims.

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