How can I check if I am eligible for delayed flight compensation in the UK?
Airlines face ever-tightening profit margins. However, increased security, traffic control issues and pressure on admin teams are leading to growing numbers of flight delays. The result of this combination for the traveller is that compensation may not always be paid automatically, and you may have to “fight” for your rights.
So how do you know what you are entitled to, in terms of delayed flight compensation in the UK, and how to you make sure you get what is due to you?
Real time compensation for delayed flights
If your flight is delayed for two hours or more, and you were travelling under 932 miles in the EU, you have a legal right to services to compensate you at the airport. This includes refreshments, phone calls, emails and if necessary accommodation. If your flight is over 932 miles but within the EU, the trigger point is a three-hour delay.
For airlines outside the EU or to worldwide destinations, the services you receive at the airport will depend on the airline’s terms and conditions (see below).
Financial compensation for delayed flights
The financial compensation you are entitled to is on a sliding scale, depending on the airline, how long your delay was and the distance you were travelling. It starts to come into effect if your flight is delayed for three or more hours.
This compensation is also affected by whether you were travelling within or outside the European Union, or with an airline registered in the EU.
EU Consumer Legislation
Of course, the situation may change due to BREXIT but for now, UK-based travellers can benefit from EU laws on compensation rights.
Under EU Regulation 261/2004, if your flight is at least three hours late from its published departure or it is cancelled, you can claim compensation between £110 and £520. This right to financial compensation may also apply if your flight is over three hours late in arriving at its destination.
What about compensation for non-EU flights?
When it comes to delayed or cancelled flights from airlines and destinations not covered by EU law, compensation claims are at the mercy of individual booking terms and conditions. However, most airlines base their “small print” on the terms and conditions recommended by the International Air Transport Association.
Check your travel documents and the airline’s website for details.
What’s covered by delayed flight compensation?
Your right to financial compensation is activated if the delay is the responsibility of the airline. This could be a technical issue with the aircraft or boarding procedure for example. Sometimes flights are delayed because of over-booking, or get cancelled due to lack of bookings. Both situations trigger your legal right to financial compensation for a delay in taking off or finding you a seat on another flight.
There are ways in which a flight is delayed that void your right to compensation, though. This is when circumstances beyond the control of the airline result in a delayed flight. This could be bad weather or a strike by ground staff, for example.
What should I do to progress my delayed flight compensation claim in the UK?
Every airline has different procedures and rules for dealing with the issue of delayed flight compensation in the UK. You will need to check with your individual airline, and the starting point is often their website.
It is important to note that your compensation for flight delay is not dependent on it being a recent event. You may be entitled to money for flight delays that occurred some time ago. In some cases, a claim can be made for a flight in past years.
As indicated, how much compensation you are entitled to depends on several factors, not just how long you spent in the airport or the time you landed.
If you have any reason to believe you are entitled to payment, then the best advice is to seek professional help in pursuing your claim, from someone who knows how to ensure you get your maximum entitlement. Contact our team today.