Flight delay compensation

Thousands of holidaymakers will benefit from additional flight delay compensation assistance.  This summer two new services have been set up to resolve flight delay compensation complaints with airlines.

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The Airline Dispute Resolution Service and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) can order participating airlines to pay compensation for a flight delay. 

In the past, many claims for compensation for flight delays were put on hold, or progressed to Court.  However, the new resolution schemes claim they will speed up the process and offer assistance before the matter has to go to Court.

The schemes are voluntary and airlines will choose which one, if either, to sign up to, so not all airlines will cooperate and the matter may still have to go to Court, but this is a step in the right direction.

Under EU rules airlines must provide passengers with “welfare” assistance such as refreshments and accommodation if a delay lasts more than two hours. For delays of more than three hours customers can claim flight delay compensation.  Passengers must be travelling from a European airport or with an EU airline for these rules to apply.  It also must be noted that compensation cannot be claimed when there are “extraordinary circumstances”.

A European Court of Justice ruling in September last year confirmed that technical faults with an aircraft didn’t count as extraordinary circumstances (with the exception of unusual events such as a manufacturer revealing a defect).  Even if the flight delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances and passengers are not entitled to claim compensation, airlines must look after customers and offer a welfare package.  The packages should include food, drinks, two phone calls and, if you are delayed overnight, accommodation plus transport to and from where you are staying.  If the airline doesn’t provide a welfare package, you should speak to an airline representative to find out what it considers “reasonable costs”, which you can reclaim later.  Try to get this in writing and then arrange your own accommodation and meals. Keep all your receipts to make reclaiming the costs as easy as possible.

Flight delay compensation can be up to €600 (£464) under the “EU261” rules, this is for flights that departed from an EU country or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, or if they were flying with an EU airline. 

The amount passengers are entitled to depends on the distance of the flight and length of the delay and it is based on the time your flight arrives at the destination.  See more in our all you need to know about flight delay compensation section.

If you have experienced a flight delay contact us today to take the hassle out of your flight delay claim on a no win no fee basis.  Each airline has a different process for making claims. In England and Wales claims must be made within six years of travelling, while in Scotland the deadline is five years.

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