Flight Delay Compensation

No one likes delays, and especially not while taking a long trip. Waiting around an airport isn’t the easiest or most entertaining activity in the world. The problem is compounded if you have to change your business plans or accommodation arrangements as a result of a postponed flight.

Sometimes your trip is canceled on very short notice. This usually leads to disrupted schedules and last minute changes, and even then, there’s no guarantee that things could be brought back on track.

That’s why the EU issued regulation 261/2004 giving inconvenienced passengers the right to claim compensation between 200-600 Euros for flights delayed by three hours or more. A lot of considerations are covered in that lengthy document for consumer protection.

Many passengers who went through the unsavoury experience of a delayed or canceled flight, were actually able to receive compensation from the airlines. We’re talking about transactions involving thousands of passengers and many millions of pounds!

A Few Technicalities

As with any regulation or law, there are a few technicalities written in the fine print. These are the ones you should be familiar with, and not just in matters related to flight compensation, but as a general rule of thumb with any agreement, contract or official document.

Which Airport?

Any airport from inside the EU has to comply fully with the EU regulations.

Airports outside the EU are only covered if the airline arriving or departing is an EU airline.

Which Airline?

EU based airlines are accountable regardless of where they depart from, or where their destination is.

If the airline is not EU based, you can only file a claim if it departs from an EU airport. Otherwise, you’d not have any grounds for compensation.

Departure Time or Arrival Time?

The three-hour delay time is actually tallied upon arrival, not departure.

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, it’s the moment when the aircraft doors are opened. It’s not touchdown time, arrival at the terminal time, or any other point in the flight we think of as significant. That’s another feature of rules and regulations; they’re very precise.

Here’s an interesting story: A flight is delayed by three hours. The passengers are hugely inconvenienced, and many of them are forced to reschedule business plans, change hotel arrangements, and deal with the ensuing consequences.

Their only consolation during the long flight is that the reckless airline would have to compensate them for the bothersome incident.

The pilot is quite adept and knows the regulations well. He uses the weather conditions to maximum advantage and speeds up a bit here and there to make up for the lost time. The astute pilot opens the plane doors at a modest delay of only 2 hours 55 minutes.

In that case, the passengers can only remember their flight as a funny anecdote. It’d be a complete waste of time to seek compensation based on the initial delay in departure.

What About the Rights of Airlines?

Fairness in business dealings is an ideal we all aspire to see. In the real world, every party tries to receive maximum gains, with little regard to other parties involved, and that’s why laws were created.

Equal rights for airlines and passengers mean that the airline should only be penalised for errors and misconduct within its control. ‘Force Majeure’ is the term normally used by businesses when they fail to provide a good service as a result of extraneous circumstances.

In the case of airliners, it’s usually about extreme weather conditions or unanticipated technical defects. Since 2004, the regulations went deeper in detailing the weather conditions that merit such exceptions.

The technical issues are a bit more debatable though. They’re harder to confirm or deny, and that’s not just in aircraft, but rather any conflict involving machines is subject to much deliberation and speculation when things don’t work as intended.

This is why many claims are refuted at the outset, or buried under heaps of red tape and endless investigation.

How Does a Passenger Get Compensated?

It’s complicated. That’s why there are companies who specialise in flight delay compensation and we are one of those. We take on such claims, make an initial assessment of the situation, and if we do find a basis for proceeding, we do so on behalf of you, the passenger.

Most of these companies work on a ‘no win no fee’ principle, as do we. If we don’t get the desired outcome, the affected passenger (our clients) usually doesn’t have to go through any further trouble, financial or otherwise.

We start by sending a letter to the airline and if they cooperate, then it’s a straight forward exchange. If further negotiation is required, we handle it on your behalf, all the way to a court of law if the need arises.

We are working on an online assessment form wherein when a potential client enters their details of the incident, our system will automatically cross-reference that information with the flight company’s database and produce an initial verdict, of whether or not there’s a valid case, and an approximate value of the expected compensation.

We also issue a formal letter to be presented to the airline by the passenger. This is in case the passenger wants to try out a resolution on his own.

If the airline approaches the client with an offer to encourage him to drop his claim, the company takes the offer and examines its merits. Their legal department then offers their best advice as to whether or not it should be considered.

If all goes well, the case’s validity is demonstrated, and the airline cooperates, then the mediating company transfers the sum to the passenger’s bank account, and retains a flat fee or percentage in return for their efforts and administrative expenses.

This procedure is quite effective, as thousands of people have received millions of pounds in compensation.

Some Parting Thoughts

A flight delay compensation might not always be a fair exchange for lost time, missed opportunities, or any other damages. I do believe, however, that holding people responsible and accountable is always good. It’s also a good motive for them to improve the services offered in that important mode of transportation.

Flight Delay Claim

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  • If Your Flight was Delayed by MORE THAN 3 Hours or was Cancelled please fill out our form to claim.
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