How much am I entitled to in compensation?

Winston, Patricia and their three children were delayed for a day and a half from Malta due to a flight cancellation. They were reimbursed for extra accommodation, food and drinks along with their compensation for the flight delay.

If you have experienced flight delay, a cancelled flight, strike, have been bumped from an overbooked flight or have missed your connecting flight, you may be eligible for compensation. In 2004, the EU adopted Regulation 261/2004 which guarantees air passengers the right to compensation and assistance for the above events.

How much can I get in compensation?

If you have been subject to flight delays, cancelled flights or other travel disruptions, you may be entitled to between 250 and 600 euros per passenger. The amount is determined by the length of your flight and the length of your delay. You may be entitled to:

  • 250 Euro - If you are more than 3 hours delayed on a flight of up to 1,500 km
  • 400 Euro - If you are more than 3 hours delayed on a flight of 1,500 km inside the EU or on a non-internal EU flight of 1,500-3,500 km
  • 600 Euro - If you are more than 4 hours delayed on a flight of 3,500 or more travelling to or from the EU

Please note that airlines have the right to halve your compensation under certain circumstances. This applies to cases where the airline offers you a rescheduled flight with arrival to your final destination within the following time frames:

  • No more than 2 hours later than planned for flights below 1,500 km
  • No more than 3 hours later than planned for flights in the EU of more than 1,500 km and non-internal EU flights of 1,500-3,500 km
  • No more than 4 hours later than planned for flights over 3,500 km outside the EU

Do I have to pay for meals and accommodation myself during the delay?

In addition to the above compensation amounts, airline passengers are entitled to meals and two free telephone calls or emails after the two first hours of a delay. This applies no what what the cause of the delay is. If your delay extends into the night, the airline is obligated to offer you accommodation during the wait and pay for your transportation to and from the airport.

Airlines do not always inform you that you have the above-mentioned rights. In some cases, the airline might give you vouchers for food and help you book and pay for a hotel room if you need it, while in other cases you will have to handle and pay for this yourself. In the latter cases, make sure to keep all receipts for any additional costs you might incur while you wait for your flight. As part of our service, can help you get your additional expenses reimbursed – at no extra cost, of course.

What should I do if my airline offers me vouchers instead of money?

Under the EU regulation, airlines have the right to offer passengers travel vouchers or other services instead of cash payment of the compensation amount for a flight delay. Such airline offers may in some cases have a higher value than your cash compensation and can therefore be a benefit to you if you plan to travel with the same airline again in the future. However, please note that you are not required to accept the airline’s offer and always have the right to refuse this and ask for cash payment of your compensation. As your legal partner, we will pass on any offers from the airline to you so you can make the choice between cash payment or gift voucher.

What should I do if the airline refuses to pay compensation due to extraordinary circumstances?

Several passengers experience that the airline refuses to pay compensation with reference to extraordinary circumstances . It is true that the EU regulation exempts airlines from liability if a flight delay or flight cancellation is a direct consequence of extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather, security threats and strike.

But should you just accept that the flight delay or cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances as the airline claims? No, you should not. We sometimes find that the airlines use extraordinary circumstances as the reason for a flight delay, even though the flight delay is in fact caused by other circumstances. In cases like these, we have the means to investigate the real cause of the flight delay or flight cancellation and contact the airline for compensation, or – if necessary – take the case to a relevant national enforcement body or court for a final decision. This is part of our service and therefore does not incur any additional costs for you.

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