Are you arriving at the airport, your flight is delayed or even canceled? Compensation for flight delays is an important topic that travelers should be aware of, especially when it comes to business travel. Whether it’s due to bad weather conditions like snow, a security alert or a strike, the reasons for flight delays and cancellations are manifold. But whatever the reason, it means you have to involuntarily stay longer at the airport before you can make it to your destination or return home. In addition, you may be entitled to flight delay compensation or a refund. Here are some important rules to help you stay on track and make the most of the extra time you gain unintentionally.
1. Know your rights
From getting reimbursed for all your food and drink expenses to getting a hotel or other transportation, you need to know what you’re entitled to. Thus, if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are protected by the regulation on denied boarding (EU rule 261/2004 and repealing regulation (EEC) n ° 295/91). Unless “ extraordinary circumstances ” apply, you can claim financial compensation for flight delay for canceled or severely delayed flights totaling:
€ 250 (£ 210) for inter-EU flights of 930 miles or less
€ 400 (£ 330) for flights between 930 and 1,860 miles
€ 600 (£ 500) for other journeys (long-haul flights)
It applies to EU flights, which includes all flights departing or arriving at an EU airport with an EU based airline. In addition, your compensation may be reduced by 50% depending on the distance of the flight and the final arrival time. This means that the reduced compensation applies to short-haul flights within two hours, medium-haul flights within three hours and long-haul flights within four hours. But remember, flight delay compensation is only applicable if it is the fault of the airline (i.e. no force majeure event applies, such as disasters natural, including earthquakes, volcanoes or inclement weather or political unrest). To claim compensation for flight delay, simply write to your airline stating the flight number, date, duration of the delay and the reason for the claim. Sometimes airlines try to offer you vouchers as flight delay compensation, but you don’t have to accept them and can request a cash refund instead. If your airline refuses to compensate you, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for help and advice. Please note that technical faults, unless they result from events which, by their nature or origin, are not part of the airline’s normal exercise, are not considered to be extraordinary circumstances.
Your right to reimbursement comes into play if the delay is at least five hours. You should get a refund within seven days, for the cost of the plane ticket, the part of the trip not traveled and the parts already traveled, provided they are then unnecessary. Where applicable, you may even be entitled to the earliest possible return flight to your departure destination or re-routing with a refund.
During the travel disruption, you should receive assistance from your airline, including food, beverages, two free phone calls, faxes or emails, as well as accommodation and transportation transfers to and from. the hotel – if applicable. This regardless of the reason for the delay / cancellation.
Making new friends is always good, so why not use downtime to expand your network. Try to see the benefits of managing flight delays. From a practical point of view, you may be able to share the costs, for example for a taxi into town. Being friendly to airport staff can also help. Especially in these kinds of situations, they encounter a lot of stressed and unfriendly customers, although the delay / cancellation is not their personal fault. If you are sympathetic, they are much more likely to help you out, maybe even give you additional advice.
3. Crush the door to the airport lounges
Those of you who are traveling in business class or who are members of airline loyalty programs or frequent flyers will already be in the VIP lounge for drinks and peanuts. It is a much calmer and more relaxed environment. This may be the best option when you have to wait for a delayed flight. But if you are not in Business Class or a member of a loyalty program, please be aware that in some cases these lounges are not exclusive and you may be able to access them for a fee of around £ 20. It could be a lot cheaper than having your food and drinks at an airport bar.
Additionally, desk agents at these lounges are often allowed to make last minute booking changes quickly and there are usually far fewer people in front of you in the queue. At least you can enjoy the Wi-Fi and free snacks (or alcohol!) While you have to wait. In the event of a flight cancellation or major delay, and you are at the airport, immediately contact the airline you are traveling with. To change tickets and get advice on the options available, it’s best to get to your airline’s ticket office as soon as possible. Your business travel management company should continually provide proactive phone support throughout, as Flightline Travel does.
What are your top tips for dealing with flight delays and cancellations?
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