DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Flightright, but the content and opinions expressed are my own.
EU Compensation for Delayed & Cancelled Flights
Did you know that the EU has very strict laws regarding flight delays and compensation? Under (EC) Regulation 261/2004 air passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a flight cancellation, delay or overbooking.
While most of my readers are based in the U.S., these laws apply to any flight that touches EU soil including ones from the United States. (When flying on an EU based carrier.) To put it simply, if you have a delay or other problem with your flight, then you may be entitled to compensation.
To be honest I knew about this law, but didn’t really take the time to look into it. While normal delays aren’t generally covered, any severe delay (over 3 hours) could mean a decent amount of money, no matter how much was paid for the ticket. (Awards too!)
In order to obtain compensation, you can file a complaint form with the EU and follow up through the process or use a company like Flightright to handle the process for you. Flightright has a built in search function that checks historical data to see if your flight qualifies. They also handle hundreds of these cases and have built a streamlined process.
To see how the system worked, I recently went on their site and searched for my Alitalia flight from last November. After inputting the basic information about my flight from JFK-MXP, the system came back and told me I was not eligible for compensation. Oh well, at least now I know.
If you have experienced denied boarding, severe delays or flight cancellations when flying into, out of or within the EU during the past six years, then it is probably worth taking a second to look to see if you are eligible for compensation. Now that I know the laws a little better, I’ll make sure to stay on top of things for future flights, although I really do hate delays and hope I don’t need to worry about it.