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Air Passenger Rights Introduction: Compensation and beyond

In 2012, a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice declared that passengers were, with certain conditions, entitled to compensation for long delays.

Following the Court’s ruling, a pathway opened for flight delay and cancellation compensations to be made by passengers against the airlines.

We at Inspecto work tirelessly to ensure you get the compensation that’s rightfully yours.

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What Is Missed Connection Flight Compensation?

Some trips require taking connecting flights. This means that the passenger needs to board at least two airplanes in order to get to the final flight destination.
For instance, you can travel from Berlin to London, and then from London to New York.
However, flights can be canceled without warning. Passenger may also miss the connecting flight due to the first flight being late or due to being denied boarding into the second airplane.
Did you now that you might be entitled for a compensation according to the European Law EC 261, if they are responsible for you missing your connecting flight.
If you qualify under EC 261, an airline is obligated to pay you a compensation for the missed connecting flight of up to €600.

What are the Requirements for Compensation?

It has to be the airline’s fault.

Under EC 261, passengers are eligible to claim compensation in case of the following three flight disruptions:

-A 3-hour (or more) delayed flight at your final destination.

-A cancellation.

-Denied boarding.

Any of these instances can give you ground for missed connection compensation.

Remember that in relation to the 3-hour (or more) delay principle, it is immaterial how long the delay is that caused the missed connection. The relevant time of delay is the time of delay to your final destination.

Do I Qualify Under For Missed Connection Claim Under EC 261?

For you to be entitled to claim cash compensation under EC 261, your flight must be either:
-Taking off from an EU airport and operated by any airline.
Or
-Arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline (airline HQ in a European country).

Missed Connection Compensation – When Are You Not Eligible?

You are not entitled to a compensation if the reason for a missed connection is due to ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’. This means circumstances that are outside the airline’s control.

Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances such as severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest…

The bottom line is, the airlines are only held responsible for things that they control.

Airline Strikes Are Not Within Extraordinary Circumstances

Under a recent ruling by the ECJ, internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute as ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.
Therefore, airlines must now compensate air passengers for flight delays and cancellations, when an airline strike is to blame.

What If You Have A Multiple Flight Trip?

If you have a trip consisting of multiple trips, it is possible that only a part of it will be factored into the compensation.

-All flights must be under one booking and not purchased individually.

-The disruption must be eligible under EC 261, meaning:

(i) The disruption was not caused by ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.
(ii) The disruption is covered by EC 261.

-The missed connection must be caused by a delay (of any length) and the total time of delay upon arriving to the final destination must total at least three hours. The missed connection must be caused either by a cancellation or a denied boarding and in these two instances, the total delay to final destination could be of any length.
When a flight disruption happens that meets the criteria above, the airline operating the flight is responsible for compensating you.

If one airline causes an issue, it will usually be responsible for all of its own flights, even if they came before the disruption, as well as any later flights that are affected as the result of their disruption, even if they are with an entirely different airline.

If You Miss Your Connection, What Are You Entitled To According To The EC 261?

If you missed your flight connection because of a delay, you are entitled to missed connection compensation of up to €600 per passenger, providing you arrive at least three hours late to your final destination. This applies even if the connection flight is operated by another airline, as long as the ticket is valid for both flights.

After the airline has delayed for two hours or more, the airline must provide snacks and refreshments for the passengers, according to the EC 261.
Remember that it doesn’t matter whether the airline has provided you with snacks or travel vouchers or coupons, you’re still entitled to the compensation (as long as you haven’t signed your rights away in exchange for travel points or similar).

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To For Missed Connection?

To qualify for missed connection compensation, you must satisfy the following criteria:

-You bought your tickets on the same reservation.

-Your flight falls under the European Law EC 261.

-The airline is responsible for the missed connection.

Once you satisfy this, you are entitled to compensation even if you accept a replacement flight your destination or a flight back to your point of departure.

How Is The Amount Calculated?

For trips with several flights, what counts is the total delay time to the final destination point. In case of cancelation (or delay for less than 4 hours and +3500 km flights) your compensation amount may be halved, depending on the overall amount of time you would be delayed in arriving at your final destination on an alternate flight. This is in comparison to the original arrival time had you arrived with your originally booked flight.

Summary:

(i) For flights less than 1500 km; €250.
(ii) For flights between 1500 km and 3500 km; €400.
(iii) For flights longer than 3500 km; €600.

When it comes to claiming compensation, the relevant factor is the distance from the destination of the canceled first flight and the arrival time for the taken alternative flight to the final destination.

What Does Inspecto Charge To Claim Flight Delay?

Inspecto will get no fee unless you get compensated. All of our services are completely free of charge, if we are unsuccessful in getting you your claim. For the processing of claims, we used fixed fees that depend on the type of case. The fixed fee frequently corresponds to around 25% of the potential compensation.

What Should I Do If I Miss My Connection?

If you missed your flight due to ordinary circumstances (e.g. circumstances within the airline’s control), you are entitled to:

Get Rebooked

Head to the airline and speak to their representative. This may be straining but stay calm and positive.

If there is a long queue, as time is a factor, you can try skipping the line by calling the airline.

This is the quicker way of finding an alternative flight.

If the airline doesn’t find you an alternative flight, we suggest you book one yourself. If you do, please keep the receipt for later compensation procedures.

Opt For A Refund And A Flight Back To The Airport You Departed From

After missing your flight connection, if the airline doesn’t offer an alternative flight at all, or the airline offers an alternative flight that does not satisfy the passenger’s needs with regards to the time of arrival:

You are within your rights in choosing an alternative flight to the final destination yourself, or you may take a flight back to your origin point.

The airline is obligated to cover the costs for your alternative flight.

Has Your Flight Been Delayed For More Than Two Hours? Know Your Rights

When you miss your connecting flight, if the wait until your next flight (re-routing back to where you came from or to your final destination) stretches more than two hours, the airline is obliged to provide you with food, refreshment, a phone call and free access to the internet.

If the airline has still not managed to rebook you to another flight, hasn’t found a seat on a night flight or for the next day, the airline must arrange your hotel accommodation.

The airline must also ensure you are able to transport yourself from the airport to the hotel and vice versa.

What Type Of Traveler Do I Need To Be To Claim Compensation?

The following types of travelers or ticket types are all eligible to missed connection compensation providing the criteria laid out in EC 261 are satisfied:

-Package holiday deals

-Children on paid tickets

-Business travelers

-Low-cost airlines

Remember that although most travelers are entitled to claim compensation, there are a few exceptions.
Namely, passengers traveling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public (i.e. the airline staff).

Is there a Time Limit to Making a Flight Compensation Claim?

Your right for compensation under EC 261 does eventually expire, so it’s important to know the Statute of Limitations for your claim.

This varies from one country to the next and is determined by where the headquarters of the airline is or what court has jurisdiction in cases concerning the airline.
In general, the time limit is three years but in certain countries it may be even more.

What Happens if You Miss Your Connecting Flight Due to Personal Reasons?

While you may be fully prepared to travel, sometimes life gives us obstacles for the initial travel plans to take place.
Mishaps like a family emergency, or a serious illness can make you a no-show on your flight.
If this happens, it is the best to do as follows.

Contact The Airline

Your first point of call is to try to salvage some of the money you invested in your ticket.

Assuming you have missed your flight (or are about to) and you are not at the airport, contact your airline through their local number. The number should be available in the emails you’ve received from the airline and on the website of the local airport.

If you want to book a new ticket, the airline will likely request a fee. If the fare has gone up since the last time you bought your ticket – you will need to pay the difference in price.

Despite these extra charges, if you call ahead, it is better to pay more than to lose your ticket completely.

If you are at the airport, proceed to the ticketing counter or gate agent. Explain your situation and ask for the options available to you.

Let Anyone Waiting For You To Know About The Disruption

In case you missed your connecting flight, and are in the process of getting an alternative flight or other means of transportation, it is important to let anyone who is waiting for your arrival to know this.

Disclosing this at the earliest possible convenience allows them to make adjustments to your shared arrangements. It will also help them not to worry and focus on making your situation as convenient as possible.

Keep Calm

We understand that air travel disruptions might cause feelings of stress and anxiety. However, by keeping your cool and focusing on solving the issue with the airline and any other parties will help you to get to your destination or to your origin point with ease.

You’ve Arrived the Airport of the Connecting Flight but Missed the Connection, now what?

When this happens, it’s important that you contact the airline or the airport’s baggage claim. This is so they can keep your checked bags safe and on the ground until you’re available to collect them.

In case of missing the connecting flight, a lot of the airlines will make you a standby for the next similar flights.

Is a One-Way Ticket Your Best Option?

It’s understandable that the prospect of having to contact the airline and be put through your paces is not appealing. But does this mean that you should scrap your original ticket and buy a new one?

This is a possibility, if the change fee is sky-high and buying a new ticket is cheaper. For instance, if you missed your outbound flight and you’ve found a cheaper one-way alternative, then go for it.

However, when making the decision, be aware that buying a new one-way ticket makes your existing itinerary null and void. So unless you are absolutely sure you want to cancel your trip completely, avoid doing this.

Inform Your Hotel

Contact your hotel as soon as it is clear you will not be able to make your hotel reservation. The goal for you here is to avoid any extra charges. Hotel number is usually found on their website and in the documents you’ve received from them.

What are the Best Ways to Avoid Missing Your Connecting Flight?

To ensure you don’t miss your connecting flight, you need to give yourself enough time between flights. That sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Sadly, the problem often is with the airlines thinning the window of opportunity between connecting flights.

To avoid missing your connecting flight, the secret is to be alert when booking your ticket. How long is the layover time in between? It would be best to have at least one hour in between of domestic flights and two hours in between of international flights.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering if the flight’s layover time is sufficient:

Do you have to go through customs?
Do you need to change terminals?
What transport do you need to take to change terminals?
Is your connecting flight the last flight of the day for the airport?
Is your next flight on a different airline?
Also, bear in mind that if your layover time is between thirty to forty-five minutes, this is not actually a lot of time. So avoid doing time-waster activities like window shopping or making lengthy phone calls.

What Happens if You Miss a Connecting Flight On Purpose?

As can be expected, if you are responsible for missing your connecting flight, the airline is under no obligation to pay you anything for your missed connection.

If you ask the airline to assist you with your re-booking, they may oblige. However, this isn’t their Inspectotory obligation.

When you have a journey that requires connecting flights or you are flying into a popular airport, ensure you have plenty of time between flights.

When it comes to air travel, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

What Happens if You Miss a Connecting Flight?

Your right to missed connection compensation depends on whether:

-Your tickets are purchased on the same reservation as opposed to separately.

-Your disruption must be covered by EC 261.

-The airline is responsible for the missed connection.

Providing you satisfy all this criteria, you qualify for compensation whether you accept a substitute flight to your destination or a refund of the ticket price and a flight back to your point of departure.

If you missed your connection due to the fault of the airline (e.g. a delayed flight caused by non-extraordinary events or mechanical problems), the airline should re-book you on the net available flight. The amount you are entitled to depends on the length, type and duration of your flight disruption.

When you’ve missed the connecting flight, please speak to the airline representative as soon as possible to mitigate the negative effects you might suffer due to missing the flight.

You will understandably be stressed but showing this will not make your situation any more solvable, so please remember to remain calm through the ordeal.

Should the airline not be able to find you a substitute flight, you can book one yourself. If you choose this option, keep the receipt. The airline is obligated to offer you a full refund or the difference between the price of the original and the new ticket, if the latter is more expensive.

You can also opt for a refund and a flight back to the airport you departed from.

The airline is obligated to do this for free.

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Boarding Denied On EU Flights

1) Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for anything.

If you do, you could be waiving your right to any additional compensation. Of course, if the airline makes a compelling enough offer, you may prefer to take it. The decision is yours to make.

2) Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents. The more documents you have, the better.

If you don’t have your boarding pass, feel free to use any other document showing your booking number. This number is assigned to you by the airline, is six figures long and may include both letters and numbers.

3) Ask them to give you a reason for being denied boarding.

The most common reason is being ‘’bumped’’ due to an overbooked flight, but there are other reasons you may be denied boarding, as well. This information is crucial for you if you wish to claim for compensation later on.

4) Request an alternate flight to your destination.

Or, if you prefer, you can request a flight back to your original destination (full compensation) or an alternative flight to your original destination (half the compensation).

5) Request compensation for your boarding denial.

Provided you’re eligible, the airline should pay you immediately once you’ve been denied boarding for your flight. That’s in addition to offering you the re-routing or refund mentioned above.

6) Ask the airline to cover your meals and refreshments.

If you’re forced to wait at the airport longer than planned, the airline is supposed to provide food and drinks to keep you comfortable. It’s not just good hospitality, in some cases it’s a requirement.

7) Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

In case of an overnight stay, the European Law EC 261 also requires that the airline provide you with an accommodation and a transport from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport.

8) Keep your receipts if your boarding denial ends up costing you extra money.

Whether it’s missing out on a pre-paid reservation, hotel, rental car, or other unexpected costs, passengers on international flights, or within EU flights, may be able to recover expenses caused by travel disruptions.

9) See if your boarding denial is eligible for compensation.

Boarding Denied On US Flights

If travelers on US domestic flights are ‘’bumped’’ due to an overbooked flight, they may be entitled to compensation. Here’s what to do if it happens to you:

1) Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for anything.

If you do, you could be waiving your right to any additional compensation. Of course, if the airline makes a compelling enough offer, you may prefer to take it. The decision is yours to make.

2) Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents.

If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

3) Ask why you’re being denied boarding.

The most common reason is being ‘’bumped’’ due to an overbooked flight, which the airline should compensate you for. But there are other reasons you may be denied boarding which is not covered.

4) Request an alternate flight to your destination.

If you prefer, you can request a flight back to your original destination (full compensation) or an alternative flight to your original destination (half the compensation).

5) Request compensation for your boarding denial.

Provided you’re eligible, the airline should pay you, in addition to offering you re-routing on an alternate flight.

Denied Boarding On International Flights

1) Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange.

If you do, you could be waiving your right to any additional compensation. Of course, if the airline makes a compelling enough offer, you may prefer to take it. The decision is yours to make.

2) Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents.

If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

3) Ask why you’re being denied boarding.

The most common reason is being ‘’bumped’’ due to an overbooked flight, but there are other reasons you may be denied boarding, as well. This information is important down the line if you decide to file a claim.

4) Request an alternate flight to your destination.

If you prefer, you can request a flight back to your original destination (full compensation) or an alternative flight to your original destination (half the compensation).

5) Keep your receipts if your boarding denial ends up costing you extra money.

Whether it’s missing out on a pre-paid reservation, accommodation or other unexpected costs, you may be able to recover expenses caused by your flight disruption. That paper trail will help lead you to your compensation.

What To Do If Your Flight Has Been Overbooked?

-Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for non-monetary compensation.

If you do, you might be giving up your right to a compensation. Many airlines make it Inspectotory to sign away rights in exchange for perks.

-Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents.

If you don’t have your boarding pass, feel free to use any other document showing your booking number. This number is assigned to you by the airline, is six figures long and may include both letters and numbers.

-Ask why you’re being denied boarding.

The most common reason is being ‘’bumped’’ due to an overbooked flight, but there are other reasons you may be denied boarding, as well. The reason for being denied boarding is important for claiming compensation down the line.

-Request a seat on another flight to your destination.

Or, if you prefer, you can request a flight back to your original destination (full compensation) or an alternative flight to your original destination (half the compensation).

-Request compensation for your boarding denial.

Provided you’re eligible, the airline should pay you immediately once you’ve been denied boarding. This is in addition to offering you the re-routing or refund mentioned above.

-Ask the airline to cover your food and refreshments.

If you are forced to wait at the airport longer than planned, the airline is obliged to provide food and drinks to keep you comfortable. It’s not just good hospitality, in some cases it’s Inspectotory.

-Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

In case of an overnight stay, the European Law EC 261 also requires that the airline provide you with an accommodation and a transport from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport.

-Keep your receipts if your boarding denial ends up costing you extra money.

Whether it’s missing out on a pre-paid reservation, hotel, rental car, or other unexpected costs, passengers on international flights and even within the EU are able to collect reimbursement for the costs transpiring due the a flight disruption.

See if your boarding denial is eligible for compensation.

How Much Am I Entitled To For Boarding Denial?

Provided your flight is eligible, the compensation amount depends on the length, duration and whether it happened within EU region or on a flight to the EU (by an EU airline) or on a flight from the EU (all airlines).

What Information Should I Collect To Support My Claim?

Your compensation for being denied boarding is due immediately, so you ideally wouldn’t have to go through the claim process. If you’re going to file a compensation claim under EC 261, expect resistance from the airline in question. Just because they need to comply with the European Law doesn’t mean they won’t try to get out of the responsibility to pay you the compensation. If you’re traveling to or from the European Union, here’s what to do when you experience a flight disruption:

-Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents. The more document you save the better!

-Ask from the staff what was the reason for being denied boarding.

-Gather proof of denied boarding (for example photos of the departure board or communications from the airline confirming the disruption).

-Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.

-Don’t sign anything that causes you to waive your rights for compensation.

-Wait the incident out or call the flight off if your delay is more than five hours.

-If needed, get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

-Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.

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Flight Cancellation & Compensation

An airline can cancel a flight for a number of reasons. Sometimes, problems like extreme weather or safety risks can create circumstances that lead to the airline pulling the plug on a flight.

Did you know that when an airline cancels your flight, you may be eligible to receive flight cancellation compensation? EU regulation, EC 261, gives passengers the right to be reimbursed for flight cancellation providing certain criteria are met.
If you qualify under the European Law EC 261, the airline is obligated to pay you a flight cancellation compensation of up to €600.

What Counts as a Flight Cancellation?

Interestingly, the EC261 originally considered only cancelled and overbooked flights eligible for compensation. Later, however, the European Court of Justice ruled that significant flight delays cause as much harm to the passengers as cancellations do and flight delays became eligible for compensation as well.

A flight cancellation involves two parties, (i) the airline and (ii) the passenger. The airline considers a flight as canceled if the plane never left the tarmac. The EC 261 defines a canceled flight as;

‘’The non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved.’’

As a passenger, You or someone on your behalf must have purchased a ticket for the flight in question.

Remember that a flight that takes off late, i.e. a delayed flight, is not a canceled flight. However, if certain criteria are met, the delayed flights are also viable for compensation up to €600. Lean more about compensation on flight delays

Did You Have a Flight Cancellation Recently?

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Flight Canceled - Can I Get Compensation?

Under European Law EC 261, you are entitled to a monetary compensation for your canceled flight if:

The canceled flight should have been set to depart from the EU or, in case of EU-carriers; the canceled flight should have been either set to depart or to land to EU.

You need to have a confirmed reservation shown by a booking reservation (with information like the flight number, name of passenger etc.) of the flight. The idea is to tie together your identity and the identity of the flight in a verifiable manner.

The airline notifies you of the cancellation less than 14 days before the flight is set to depart.

Your flight is canceled by ordinary circumstances like ‘’technical difficulties’’ or ‘‘operational circumstances’’. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has multiple times stated that those don’t qualify as ‘‘extraordinary circumstances’’, which means the airline must still obey the EC 261 obligations and pay you your compensation.

-Under a recent ruling by the ECJ, internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute as ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.

Reimbursement, Re-routing & Compensation

According to European Law EC 261, when a flight is canceled, you should be offered the choice between:

1) Reimbursement within seven days of the full cost of the ticket at the same price it was originally bought and -if relevant in your case- a return flight to the first point of departure.

Or

2) Re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destination at the earliest opportunity.

3) Re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destination at a later date.

Reimbursement and re-routing are separate issues from compensation.

Time Sensitivity
If the airline notifies you of the cancellation less than 14 days departure, you can be entitled to the EC 261 compensation.

Free Perks
When you’re stuck waiting for the airline to get you back on track, you’re entitled to a number of free perks, depending on your flight details.

The carrier must provide you with:
1) meals,
2) refreshments during the delay as well as access to
3) communications, including two telephone calls, telefax or fax messages, and emails.

Stranded Overnight?
If you are stuck at the point of departure between 2200 and 0600 hours (10 PM to 6 AM), you are also entitled to overnight accommodation (e.g. a hotel room), the airline must provide you with means of transportation (e.g. a taxi) to the hotel and with means of transportation back to the airport.
Should the airline fail to provide you these remedies, you can claim these expenses from the airline. Keep in mind you need to against saved

Upgrading and downgrading

If you’re offered an alternative flight and along the way upgraded to better conditions, the airline does not have the right to charge extra from you for upgrading your conditions.
On the other hand, if you’re downgraded, you’re entitled to additional reimbursement of 30 – 75% of the price that you paid for the ticket initially.

Cancellation Compensation Under Different Conditions

Your right to be compensated under EC261 varies depending on the conditions under which the cancellation happened.

We’ve listed multiple scenarios below that are based on EC261 and respective court rulings. You’ll find that not all circumstances are equal.

Notice of cancellation given 14 or more days in advance

Providing the airline informed passengers of the flight cancellation 14 days or more in advance. In this case there are no grounds for the EC 261 compensation.

Extraordinary circumstances

An airline can avoid liability if the flight disruption is caused by ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.

The regulations in EC 261 state that in case of ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ affecting the delay, the airline is freed from all responsibility regarding EC 261 compensation.

The European Court of Justice has defined extraordinary circumstances as something that is completely beyond control of the airline: circumstances that could have not been avoided even if all reasonable actions were taken.

Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances such as severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, volcano eruptions, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, airport employee strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest…

Snow – not necessarily

Snow doesn’t necessarily count as extraordinary circumstances. It depends on both how normal it is to have snowy conditions at the airport as well as whether the airline could’ve prevented it or not.
Whether other flights were able to depart around the same time, can also be used in evaluating how extraordinary the snowing was: If other flights were able to take off, then chances are your flight could also have taken off.

Airline’s strike

Under a recent ruling by the ECJ, internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute as ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.

Therefore, airlines must now compensate air passengers for flight delays and cancellations, when an airline strike is to blame.

Flying free of charge?

Passengers traveling free of charge (e.g. air hostess) or with a ticket at a reduced fare that is not directly or indirectly available to the public are not eligible to flight cancellation compensation.

Note: This doesn’t mean that a person traveling with a ticket purchased by someone else (a corporation or a public institute) is not eligible for compensation!

Only people who do not have to pay for the traveling fee at all by anyone are outside the compensation legislation.

What to Do When a Flight is Canceled

If you’re going to file a compensation claim under EC 261, expect resistance from the airline in question. Just because they need to comply with the European Law doesn’t mean they won’t try to get out of their responsibility to pay you the compensation.
If you’re traveling to or from the European Union, here’s what to do when you experience a flight disruption:

When your flight is canceled, remember to:

Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents. The more document you save the better!

Ask from the staff why the flight was delayed.

Gather proof of delay (for example photos of the departure board or communications from the airline confirming the disruption).

Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.

Don’t sign anything that causes you to waive your rights for compensation.

Wait the incident out or call the flight off if your delay is more than five hours.

If needed, get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.

When Are Passengers Not Eligible For EC 261 Flight Cancellation Compensation?

In some cases of flight cancellation, the passengers are not entitled to the compensation decreed by EC 261.

Advance Warning

Providing the airline informed passengers of the flight cancellation 14 days or more in advance. In this case there are no grounds for the EC 261 compensation.

Extraordinary Circumstances

An airline can avoid liability if the delay is caused by ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.

The regulations in EC 261 state that in case of ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ affecting the delay, the airline is freed from all responsibility regarding EC 261 compensation.

Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances such as severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest…

Free of Charge

Passengers traveling free of charge (e.g. air hostess) or at a reduced fare not available directly, or indirectly to the public are not eligible to flight cancellation compensation.

However! This doesn’t mean that a person traveling with a ticket purchased by someone else (a corporation or a public institute) is not eligible for compensation! Only people who do not have to pay for the traveling fee at all by anyone are outside the compensation legislation.

Some circumstances aren’t as straightforward, such as..

Snowing At The Airport

It depends on whether the airline could’ve prevented it or not. A good heuristic is to observe the other flights leaving around the same time. If they were able to take off, then chances are the airline could’ve done something to guarantee a timely departure.

Airline Strikes Do Not Fall Under Extraordinary Circumstances

Under a recent ruling by the ECJ, internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute as ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’.

Therefore, airlines must now compensate air passengers for flight delays and cancellations, when an airline strike is to blame.

Was Your Flight Canceled Recently?

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How to File a Flight Compensation Claim For Flight Cancellation?

Are you entitled to a claim?

Let Inspecto enforce your rights.

We can verify quickly whether you’re eligible for compensation or not.
We will handle the whole legal process with the airline and update you every step of the way.

There’s no risk. Our fee is 100% success-based. It will only be applied if we are successful in the claiming process and you get paid.

After a successful claim we will send you money to the bank account of your choosing.

How Is Flight Cancellation Compensation Calculated?

The amount of compensation you would receive under the EC 261 depends on three factors:

1) Travel distance.

2) Whether or not your flight was within the EU.

3) The length of the delay if you accept re-routing on another flight.

I Have a Connecting Flight – is the Whole Journey Eligible?

If you have just one flight, travel distance and whether the flight is inside the EU or with EU and outside country, are factors when determining how much money you are eligible for. In case of a multi-flight trip, it’s possible that only part of it will be calculated into your compensation.

For full compensation, your journey must meet a couple of conditions:

-The flights must’ve been purchased as one single trip from origin to destination.

-Your flight disruption must be under the EC 261.

If one airline causes an issue, it will usually be responsible for all of its own flights, even if they came before the disruption, as well as any later flights that are affected as the result of their disruption, even if they are with an entirely different airline.

The quickest way to check your eligibility is by pressing below:

Was Your Flight Canceled Recently?

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Flight Canceled, Now What?

-Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents. The more document you save the better!

-Ask from the staff why the flight was delayed.

-Gather proof of delay (for example photos of the departure board or communications from the airline confirming the disruption).

-Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.

-Don’t sign anything that causes you to waive your rights for compensation.

-Wait the incident out or call the flight off if your delay is more than five hours.

-If needed, get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

-Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.

Can You Get Money Back From Canceling A Flight?

When you decide not to board a flight you’ve booked, the terms and conditions of the airline decide what you may be entitled to.

In some instances, when you cancel your flight you may be entitled to a full refund. In other instances, you are entitled to the fees and taxes alone. Each airline has its own procedures for this.

Is There a Time Limit to File My Claim?

Your right to compensation under EC 261 does eventually expire, so it’s important to know the Statue of Limitations for your claim.

This varies between different countries and is determined by where the HQ of the airline is or what court has jurisdiction in cases concerning the airline.

In general, the time limit is three years but in certain countries it may be even more.

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Can I Get Compensation for a Flight Delay?

The EC 261 counts you as entitled to a compensation of up to €600 in cash, provided that following conditions are present:

Your flight arrived to your destination more than three hours later than was proclaimed.

The origin of the flight was within the borders of EU (all flights apply) or the destination of the said flight was in the EU are (all airlines with an HQ in the EU area apply).

You conducted check-in to your flight on time (check-in occurred 45 or more before take-off).

The flight delay occurred no more than three years before filing the compensation claim.

The airline is the one responsible for the flight delay (this means that the reason for delay doesn’t fall under the ‘’extraordinary circumstances, meaning circumstances outside the airline control, like wars, revolutions, bad weather conditions, etc.)

It doesn’t matter whether the airline has previously provided you food, refreshment, blankets or travel vouchers of any kind.

For claim eligibility, it doesn’t matter that the airline has previously provided you with food, refreshment, blanket, travel vouchers of any kind (as long as you haven’t signed away your rights for compensation in exchange for flight points, etc.)

How Much Compensation Can I Get For a Flight Delay?

Under EC 261, all flights delayed more than three hours give grounds for the compensation claim.
The amount of compensation you’re entitled to depends on the origin, the destination, the hourly amount of delay and the length of the flight (in miles/kilometers).
The reason for the delay must also be within ‘’ordinary circumstances’’, meaning something the airline should’ve been able to stop from happening with reasonable precautions (i.e. airline staff strike, technical problem, etc.).

The European EC261 obligates airlines to pay up to €600 per passenger, per incident. Use our form to check whether the airlines owe you money!

What Can Inspecto Do for Me?

We can verify quickly whether you’re eligible for the monetary compensation or not.

We will handle the whole legal process with the airline. All you need to do, is relax and wait for the process to unfold!

There’s no risk involved for you. We will only charge a fee, if we are successful in the claiming process. No success, no fee!

After a successful claim we will send you the money to the banking institution of your choosing.

My Flight Is Delayed - What Should I Do?

When your flight is delayed, remember to:

Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents. The more document you save the better!

Ask from the staff why the flight was delayed.

Gather proof of delay (for example photos of the departure board or communications from the airline confirming the disruption).

Write down the final arrival time to your destination.

Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.

Don’t sign anything that causes you to waive your rights for compensation.

Wait the incident out or call the flight off if your delay is more than five hours.

If needed, get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.

What Documents Should I Save?

The more documents you save from the flight disruption, the better. The minimum requirement is something that ties your identity to the identity of the flight at certain time and place. This could be a boarding pass or a travel document, which both connect your name with the flight ID on a certain date. Often times, an ID with a picture is also required by the airlines to verify the person’s identity.

Flight Delay or Disruption During Business Trip

A usual misconception about the EC 261 is that the compensation amount belongs to the party that paid for the flight tickets, such as a corporation or a public institution.
This is false. In reality, the right to be compensated belongs to the person inconvenienced by the flight disruption.
This means business travelers and public officials are eligible for compensation as much as any other traveler.

Right To Care - Food, Drinks and Communication

When you’re stuck at the airport due to a delayed flight, the “Right To Care” Article 9 of EC261/2004 orders the airlines to provide you with meals and refreshments during the delay as well as access to varying forms of communication, including two telephone calls, telefax or fax messages and emails.
If the airline does not provide you these remedies, you may claim these expenses against receipts.

I Am Stranded At The Airport Overnight - What Are My Rights?

The Article 9, governing a passengers right to care provides help in case of overnight stays.
If the delay forces you to remain overnight at the airport, the article 9 of  EC 261 also requires the airline provide you with an accommodation (e.g. a hotel room) and a transport (e.g. a taxi) from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport.
Be sure to demand that the airline pays up for these remedies if your flight disruption lasts overnight.
Its good to know also, that if you ended up paying for these expenses yourself  because the airline declined to, you are entitled to claim the (reasonable) costs against saved receipts.

My Flight Is Delayed, Can I Cancel My Journey?

In case the delay goes longer than 5 hours, you are within your rights to abandon the journey altogether. In this case the airline must also provide you with a partial (in case you traveler a portion of the journey) or full refund of the original ticket and a return trip to the original point of departure, if needed.

Flight Re-Routing - Upgrade and Downgrade

If you’re offered an alternative flight and along the way upgraded to better conditions, the airline does not have the right to charge extra from you for upgrading your conditions.
If you’re downgraded, you’re entitled to an additional reimbursement of 30 – 75% of the price that you initially paid for the ticket

The Compensation Is Not Enough For Me

It is very important to be aware that even if you’re viable for compensation under the European Law EC 261, it doesn’t make you ineligible to request further compensation.
This rule doesn’t apply in cases of passengers voluntarily giving up their reservations. Remember, the amount you’re entitled under EC 261 might be deducted from any additional compensation you might receive.

Does The Airline Have To Tell Me About My Rights?

According to the European Law EC 261, the airlines are obliged to inform the passengers of their rights for compensation and place the information to a place near their check-in counters.
Sadly, often times this is done with the minimum effort demanded by the law, which means the documents are kept almost out of sight or in the midst of other documents and information.

Should I Accept The Airline's Offer?

In case your flight is delayed, the airline might attempt to attempt to avoid giving you the monetary compensation by offering you some form of flight vouchers or coupons.
We understand that in a situation where one is frustrated, tired or feeling distress, it might be difficult to turn down such an offer.

However, you should verify from the airline staff and from the documents needed to sign the vouchers over that by accepting the vouchers or coupons you are not waving your right to a monetary compensation for the flight delay. If you accept such an offer, you lose the right to a monetary compensation as detailed in the European law EC 261.

The European law states that the you always have the right to receive euros in your preferred manner: cash, electronic transfer or checks. Only if you accept vouchers, can you lose your right to monetary compensation.

What Flights Are Covered By EC 261?

In practice, almost all routes within Europe are covered by EC 261. This includes the EU airspace, but also (through multiple treaties) Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the so-called ‘’outermost-regions’’: French Guiana and Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion, Saint-Martin, Madeira, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

It’s a fairly common misconception that the European Law EC 261 only applies to flights within Europe, but that is fortunately not the case.
If your flight departs from any airport in the EU, it’s covered.
You are also covered if your flight departs from outside the EU but is with and EU airline As a good rule of thumb, all EU airlines have their HQ within the EU.

How the Flight Delay Is Calculated?

Flight delay is calculated based on your time of arrival at the final flight destination. It’s important to highlight the fact that even if your flight takes off late, it might still catch up in time while in the air.

But how exactly, is your ‘’arrival time’’ defined by the courts?

In September 2014, the European Court of Justice (case C-425/13) defined ‘’arrival time’’ to be the moment at which the flight has reached its final destination and at least one of its doors has been opened.

This was based on the assumption that after opening the door, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft and head for the exit. This can sometimes make a difference between getting compensation and not getting a compensation so it is important to be precise on the time of arrival.

The Airline Says The Delay Was Not Their Fault

The regulations in EC 261 state that only in case of ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ affecting the delay, the airline is freed from all responsibility regarding EC 261 compensation.

What are ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ ?
Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances where the delay could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable actions were taken. These situations are typically severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest…

Flight Delay Caused By Snow

Snow Doesn’t Necessarily Count As Extraordinary Circumstances.
This depends on whether the airline could’ve prevented it or not. A good heuristic is to observe the other flights leaving around the same time. If they were able to take off, then chances are the airline could’ve done something to guarantee a timely departure.

Flight Delay Caused By A Strike

In April 2018, the European Court of Justice made a ruling stating that internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute extraordinary circumstances. This means the airlines are subjected to compensations for flight delays and cancellations caused by airline staff strikes, as ending the strike is something that is within the airline’s powers.

Missed Connecting Flights Caused by Flight Delays

It’s not unusual for a flight to have more than one stop. If any of the connecting flights are delayed then your ability to get to the connecting flight on time might be compromised. In cases such as these it is the responsibility of the airline to get you on an alternative flight so you’ll reach your final destination on time.

In addition, you can be entitled to a compensation of up to €600, if your flight arrives to your final destination more than three hours late.

In cases like these, it is important that you booked all the flights in one package. If you purchased the flights separately, they’re no longer necessarily bound by a European Law EC 261. For example, you could take a flight from EU to Hong Kong via connecting flight from Turkey. In this scenario, you’d only be eligible for compensation if the flights were booked as one. If you booked the EU – Turkey, Turkey – Hong Kong as separate flights, the Turkey – Hong Kong is no longer bound by the EC 261 as Turkey is not a member state of the EU.

Missed Connecting Flights Caused by Flight Delays

It’s not unusual for a flight to have more than one stop. If any of the connecting flights are delayed then your ability to get to the connecting flight on time might be compromised. In cases such as these it is the responsibility of the airline to get you on an alternative flight so you’ll reach your final destination on time.

In addition, you can be entitled to a compensation of up to €600, if your flight arrives to your final destination more than three hours late.

In cases like these, it is important that you booked all the flights in one package. If you purchased the flights separately, they’re no longer necessarily bound by a European Law EC 261. For example, you could take a flight from EU to Hong Kong via connecting flight from Turkey. In this scenario, you’d only be eligible for compensation if the flights were booked as one. If you booked the EU – Turkey, Turkey – Hong Kong as separate flights, the Turkey – Hong Kong is no longer bound by the EC 261 as Turkey is not a member state of the EU.

What Can Inspecto Do for Me?

We can verify quickly whether you’re eligible for the monetary compensation or not.

We will handle the whole legal process with the airline. All you need to do, is relax and wait for the process to unfold!

There’s no risk involved for you. We will only charge a fee, if we are successful in the claiming process. No success, no fee!

After a successful claim we will send you money to the banking institution of your choosing.

Find out if you're owed by airline companies

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What Are Air Passenger Rights?

Air passenger rights are rules, laws and regulations made with the intent of supporting a traveler and advocating for compensation when airlines cause disruptions with the flight.

These rights are typically both domestic and international and apply to almost any air-traveller around the globe. Generally the differences between the legislations boil down to how widely you are covered. For example, the European EC261 is generally considered the most generous for the traveller.

Air Passenger Rights and Regulations You Should Know

While there are domestic laws, there are some strong and well-defined international rights such as the EU Passenger Rights Legislation EC261, various US laws, the Montreal Convention, numerous regional laws and regulations elsewhere.
There is great variety among the laws and regulations. Some are better defined and more extensive and thus offer a wider cover of rights for the passenger.
Knowing the status of these rights in your region can mean a difference of hundreds of euros for you.

Europe Air Passenger Rights: Regulation EC 261 / 2004

One of the most well-defined passenger rights regulations is the EC 261/2004 in EU law.
The law makes out clear guidelines which define the amount of compensation based on a few variables. This regulation is one of the most important legislations concerning travelers rights world-wide.
If you are inconvenienced by a delayed or a cancelled flight, and that inconvenience was caused by the airline, the EU law holds the airlines accountable. Understanding the passenger rights regulation can make a difference between receiving no compensation at all to receiving anything between €250 to €600 euros of compensation.

The legislation EC 261 orders the airlines to compensate the passengers in case of:

-Flight delay of +3 hours
-Flight cancellation
-Denied boarding

The availability of compensation depends on few factors:

First, the incident must be something that was possible to avoid by the airline and as such doesn’t fall into the category of “extraordinary circumstances.”
Second, the flight must’ve been on a European Union certified carrier or from an EU airport to outside EU. If the compensation is available, then the amount of compensation will be according to the length of delay, the length of the flight in kilometers, the origin and destination of the flight.

US Air Passenger Rights

The US laws on passenger rights are unfortunately not as extensive as European or international laws. However, the US laws are beneficial for an individual that has been denied boarding, passengers experiencing lengthy tarmac delays or travelers experiencing problems with their luggage.

The US tarmac delay regulations apply to any plane flying within the US, departing from the US or departing to the US. The US laws regarding luggage issues deal with domestic US flights, while the international flights fall under the Montreal Convention.

International Air Passenger Rights: Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention is a multilateral treaty adopted by members of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). The Montreal Convention covers passengers on international flights. These passengers then have a certain set of rights, which makes them viable for compensation under the covered situations.
The 2003 Montreal Convention sets out rights for several different flight disruptions: Delays, flight cancellations or boarding denials.

If you miss a reservation you paid for before, if you pay for additional nights at hotels, if buy vital foods or beverages due to an air travel problem, you have the right to be reimbursed. In these cases, it is important to provide as specific documentation of the purchases as possible, so holding onto all the receipts is advised.
All in all, the Montreal Convention is one of the most globally implemented passenger rights regulations. Knowing the passenger rights under the treaty is important for any world traveler. It is our opinion that the whole treaty is worth a reading, for people interested in international legislation.

Different Interpretations of the Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention uses the word ‘’damages’’ to talk about passenger entitlements. However, the interpretation varies according to the regional location of the air travel problem. In many countries, like the US for example, the ‘’damages’’ are limited to monetary losses and do not include additional compensation for psychiatric distress (unless clearly caused by a physical injury).

In other parts of the world, like the EU, a more relaxed, more passenger-friendly interpretation is followed. It is also possible under certain conditions to successfully claim for psychiatric distress.

Luggage Issues under Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention also provides protection for the passengers in the event of luggage issues, whether the bags are delayed, damaged or lost altogether. Please be aware, that there are strict time limits for these laws. In order to claim successfully, you must deposit your claim with a time window. Claims of damaged baggage must be submitted within 7 days, delayed baggage within 21 days, for lost baggage (bags that are lost more than 21 days) your time for claim is two years.

Which Regions are Covered by the Montreal Convention?

The Montreal Convention applies to all international flights that occur between the +120 countries that have signed the treaty. This list includes the US and the EU. Most of the busiest airports in the world globally belong to countries that have signed the Montreal Convention treaty, with few notable exceptions (e. g. Sri Lanka, Vietnam). As the treaty is open for new countries to join, the list will be subjected to change towards the future.

Non-international Flights in Montreal Convention

Concerning internal flights within a certain country, it is important to note that the treaty only covers international flights. Hence, a flight within one country that doesn’t make stops outside the country is not covered in the Montreal Convention treaty. However, a flight that makes at least one stop outside the country, while still having the origin and the destination within the country, is covered in the Montreal Convention treaty. Bottom line is, for the flights to fall within the Montreal Convention, the flight must have at least one international stop on its route.

Not Covered in the Montreal Convention Treaty: Extraordinary Circumstances

Not all disruptions of flights fall under the Montreal Convention. In general, any reason for disruption deemed force majeure (legal term for ‘’superior force’’, something that is beyond taking reasonable precautions on the airline’s part and cannot be stopped from happening with powers within the airline’s control), like wars, revolutions, political crises, strikes initiated by airport employees or air traffic control, or extreme weather conditions, are not covered in the Montreal Convention.

Inspecto’s Role in Passenger Rights

Going through legal documents, regulations, treaties or even bureaucratic corporation processes can be extremely stressful, tiring, frustrating and time-consuming. Often the documents and processes are made with the precise intent of making them unreadable or unpleasant. This is done by the corporations and other large entities to mitigate the possibility of consumers holding them accountable.

Thus, the company Inspecto was created with the goal of making those unpleasant processes more reliable, more transparent, less time-consuming and less frustrating. It is our mission to do the legal work for you and get the money from the corporation’s pocket into your pocket. Often in the past, law has been used as a weapon only by those with the money and the expertise to implement it. With our no-success-no-fee automatized model, we want to make law serve you as well.

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