We’ve all been there: sitting at the airport, excited for our trip, only to hear that our flight is delayed, sometimes, it’s delayed for hours. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and often results in missed connections or precious vacation time lost. I have had this experience severally and I can’t count the opportunities I have lost to flight delays.
How to get Compensation for a Delayed Flight
If you have had this experience, do you know that you might be entitled to compensation for your delayed flight? That’s right, there are ways you can get compensated if your flight gets delayed at the airport, this guide will reveal that to you.
According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, if your flight is delayed for more than three hours due to reasons within the airline’s control, you may be eligible for compensation. These reasons could include overbooking, technical issues, or staff strikes.
If your flight gets delayed for any of these reasons, follow the steps below to get compensated.
You need proof
To make a compensation claim, you need proof of what happened – the cause of the delay, you need to document everything related to your delayed flight. This includes your boarding pass, tickets, receipts, and any communication with the airline staff.
Note down the flight number, departure time, and the reason given for the delay. The more detailed your documentation, the stronger your case becomes.
Know the compensation you’re entitled to
The compensation amount varies based on the distance of your flight and the length of the delay. For short-haul flights (up to 1500 km), you can claim up to €250 for a delay of more than three hours. For medium-haul flights (1500 km to 3500 km), the compensation can go up to €400. Long-haul flights (over 3500 km) delayed by more than four hours can yield compensation of up to €600.
Contact the airline
Once you’re back from your trip, contact the airline directly, you can send a mail or contact them by phone. Explain the situation and your rights under EU Regulation 261/2004. Include all the documents you’ve gathered. Airlines often have specific procedures for compensation claims, so make sure you follow their instructions carefully.
Escalate the issue if needed
Truth is, the airline won’t want the issue to get to the public but they will leave you no choice if they fail to do the right thing. If the airline denies your claim or doesn’t respond within a reasonable timeframe, don’t be disheartened.
You have the option to escalate the matter. National enforcement bodies exist in most EU countries that can assist you in this process. Additionally, there are various online platforms and legal services that specialize in helping travelers secure their compensation.
Another way to get compensated for flight delays is through insurance. If you have a travel insurance plan that covers airline delays, you can get compensated when you get delayed at the airport.
Using travel insurance for compensation
In addition to claiming compensation directly from the airline, your travel insurance policy can often cover delayed flights.
When you witness a flight delay at the airport, here are the steps to follow:
- Check your policy: You need to review your travel insurance policy to see if flight delays are covered. Most comprehensive travel insurance policies include coverage for delays. If yours’ doesn’t cover it, you can’t get compensated for flight delays but if it does, you are in luck.
- Gather documents: Similar to claiming from the airline, you need to gather all relevant document – boarding pass, tickets, and receipts. Your insurance company will need this information to process your claim.
- Contact your insurance provider: Reach out to your insurance provider as soon as possible after the delayed flight. Inform them about the situation and provide all the necessary documents. They will guide you through the claim process.
- Be prompt and accurate: Fill out all the required forms accurately and promptly. Any delay or inaccuracies in your claim could slow down the process.
Kindly note that because you can get compensated for flight delays, it shouldn’t be an avenue for extortion, you should not for any reason lodge a delayed flight complaint if you didn’t witness any delay. It is not done that way.
If you are a frequent traveler, you will know that flight delays occur as often as the air we breathe and it can be a frustrating experience. If you meet the requirement (if you are from a country covered by the EU Regulation 261/2004 or you have an insurance plan that covers flight delays), you can get compensated for flight delays if you follow the steps in this guide.