5 Things to do After a Delayed or Cancelled Flight
What happens when you suddenly find out that a journey you’ve been looking forward to has been altered due to a flight delay or cancellation? This experience is not pretty for anyone, especially if you already have your itinerary perfectly planned. However, flight delays and cancellations happen and passengers end up being affected. Agencies like Flightright are taking this up and helping passengers exercise their rights under the law. This way, airlines can pay for any inconvenience caused. This article highlights what you need to do if you find out your flight has been delayed or cancelled.
1. Check for Flight Notifications
Airlines are expected to notify passengers of any changes in their flight. Check your email or SMS notifications for any prompt from the airline or your travel agency that suggests that the flight has been cancelled or will be delayed. Whether or not you got notified and also the timing of the notification will be useful to you in the long run.
2. Find Out the Cause for the Delay or Cancellation
There are several reasons why your flight could be delayed or cancelled. Common reasons include air traffic control restrictions, strikes, bad weather conditions, and lack of flight space or aircraft, among others. Contact the airline to request the cause of the flight disruption and if it was within the airline’s control, you may be eligible for some form of compensation from the airline.
3. Find Out if You Are Eligible for any Compensation
The EU Regulation 261/2004, also known as the flight compensation regulation, applies to any flight passenger starting their trip at an EU airport, or landing in an EU airport, with the airline headquartered in the EU. Other things to consider for the eligibility criteria include having a valid booking ticket, being informed of the cancellation less than 14 days to the departure date, and arriving at the airport at least 45 minutes before the departure time (doesn’t apply if you were already notified for the cancellation before the scheduled date).
4. Understand Your Rights
Your rights under the EU Regulation 261/2004 are what will guide you to get compensated properly. You are entitled to monetary compensation between €250 and €600 for a delayed or cancelled flight, which is calculated based on the flight distance. If your flight is delayed for more than 2 hours, you are entitled to the right to care, which includes free meals and refreshments and a hotel booking if the delay lasts the night. You may also be entitled to a full or partial refund of your original flight ticket if the flight was cancelled or the delay was longer than 5 hours.
5. Take Action
If you meet the eligibility criteria for the flight compensation regulation, take the necessary steps to ensure you get compensated. You can contact the airline directly or reach out to a lawyer or an agency like Flightright to make the process seamless for you. Gather all your documents and kickstart the process.
While you work towards getting compensated, ensure you maintain a positive attitude towards the customer service personnel. Also, read every document before you sign, to avoid accidentally waiving any of your rights.