Many of you are tried and tested travellers. You’ve taken trips here, there and everywhere and as such, you’re familiar with the public address that informs you your flight is delayed. Or the frantic turnaround on the motorway when you realise, Whoops, I’ve forgotten my passport! But the most annoying thing, short of missing your flight, is when you fall foul of a problem that isn’t your fault and yet, you’re the one asked to pay for it.
Delays and failures by your carrier can cause no end of grief. Recompense can often be too little, too late, especially if your journey is time sensitive. Sadly, money is all that can ever be offered…but how to claim it?
Up until very recently, passengers flying on any and all carriers were subject to very few rights. But now, thanks to the SUPREME Court, all that has changed.
If your flight is delayed 2 hours or more, here’s what you are entitled to;
food and drinks, access to phone calls and email and possibly even accommodation in a hotel. The airline will, more often than not, provide vouchers, unless of course you are still sitting on the airplane (sorry), in which case the airhosts should be handing out the goodies toot sweet.
If you are travelling within the EU and your flight is delayed 3 hours or more;
you are entitled to claim between £250 and £600 depending on the distance of the flight.
As comforting as this may seem, it is often likely that the Claims Department of your carrier will site: ‘Extraordinary Circumstance’ as a reason to deny your claim. This can be anything from high winds, to blizzards, bird strikes or people on-strike (slightly different). Be warned, be aware, don’t be surprised and don’t be fooled – they used to claim that for everything – persist.
If your flight is delayed over 5 hours, that’s when the big bucks are supposed to start rolling-in.
A full refund is due, but again, it’s a small print, ‘Extraordinary Circumstance’ issue.
Now, this remuneration, if you receive it, does little for you at the time, but it should be of some small comfort that you can at least claim when you return from your trip. Who knows, it might mean you come back from your holiday a little better-off?
Best to take the Zen route to these things, we feel. Mistakes happen, accept it, move on and don’t let it spoil your holiday.
If you have any travel stories to share; they don’t have to be horror stories, let us know, we’d love to write a post about you and your holiday. Apply through your airline’s specific claims page/form, but if you feel you’re getting the ring-around, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), they should be able to help.
Below are a couple of links to consumer-friendly sites that will spell-out whether you are entitled and likely to be successful in your claim.
If you have found yourself claiming compensation, please let us know your story.
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