Right to care for cancelled and delayed flight

Anna and Leo went for a honeymoon to the Canary Islands in 2010. After two weeks they were unable to return home because the air space was closed due to volcanic ash cloud. They had to wait for a week to get seats on the plane. They flew with budget airlines and on the scheduled departure day the company offered them reimbursement of the price they paid for their tickets. Luckily, they did not accept the reimbursement as that way they would have lost the right to recover expenses they incurred during their seven days' stay in a hotel, taxi to and from the airport and catering. What is more, they would have had to pay for return tickets which would have been much more expensive.

Although it is the duty of any airline to provide accommodation and meals until an alternative flight for the passengers is found since the original flight was cancelled, Anna and Leo had to find a hotel, pay for it and take care of food and refreshments on their own. The additional week on the Canary Islands strained their budget. We lodged a complaint on their behalf to the airline which agreed to reimburse Anna and Leo 80% of all the expenses incurred during the unplanned additional week of holidays.

Airlines have the right to reduce reimbursement of the accommodation expenses incurred by passengers to an equivalent of the price of an average-standard hotel. In all cases, when a flight does not take place due to extraordinary circumstances, including strike, adverse weather conditions, political unrest, threat to safety, decisions of the management of the airport and unexpected technical problems affecting safety, the airline is still obligedo provide passengers with accommodation, meals and transport as well as two telephone calls.

Although Anna and Leo experienced the problems with their flight over three years ago, their rights under the EC Regulation 261/2004 did not expire. They had six years to lodge the complaint. . Obviously we encourage you to file claims immediately after the occurrence of the event when the memory is fresh and the documents available.

Right for compensation of 250-600 EUR for even a 3-hour flight delay

Ellie and Tom came to us with a case that had happened during their last summer holidays. Flying to Rhodes they waited 18 hours at the airport due to a flight delay. Only passengers with small children were provided accommodation by the airline. Ellie and Tom filed a complaint to the travel agency as they had lost part of their vacation. In addition to reimbursement of the lost holiday from the travel agent, Ellie and Tom are also entitled to compansation in the sum of 250 EUR each from the airline. As they were not offered meals and accommodation while waiting for the plane, they also have the right to reimbursement of the expenses.

The right to get reimbursement of the expenses for meals, incurred while awaiting a delayed flight is applicable even when a delay is only two hours long. The right for compensation of 250 – 600 EUR per passenger provided by the EC Regulation 261/2004 is applicable when there was a three hour delay in reaching the final destination as well as in the case of flight cancellation or denied boarding.

The right to compensation for a cancelled flight

Johan came to us in May 2014 with a claim which he handled personally for a couple of years. . At first the airline ignored his letters, then it replied by rejecting his claim for compensation relying on technical problems which were outside the airlines control. We recovered the compensation for Johan and his family on the basis of the decisions, which state that only technical problems not resulting from regular operations of an aircraft may constitute a basis to reject compensation. The technical problem that occurred at that time was related to electric fault on the plane which was not immediate and therefore and therefore should have been noticed during a standard technical check-up.

The value of Johan's compensation amounted to 600 EUR for each passenger, a total of 2400 EUR, as the flight distance from London to Chicago exceeded 3500 km. Depending on the distance of the flight passengers are entitled to compensation of 250 EUR, 400 EUR or 600 EUR. On a route up to 1500 km it is 250 EUR; between 1501 and 3500 km it equals 400 EUR; above 3500 km the compensation amounts to 600 EUR.

Project co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Regional Operational Programme and from the state budget funds under the Operational Programme Innovative Economy.