The EU regulations on delayed flights and other forms of flight disruptions have been found helpful over the years to air passengers. Flight disruptions are almost 100% inevitable but they should, however, not be at the expense of the passenger. This regulation ensures that every affected passenger gets duly compensated.
What Should I Know About the EU Regulation 261/2004?
The EU regulation 261/2004 protects air passengers when they have to deal with severe flight disruptions. This includes long flight delays, flight cancellations, missed connecting flights, and denied boarding. As long as the airline’s decision caused great inconvenience to the air passenger, this regulation protects them.
The EC 261 law on flights can be summarized into the following:
- Monetary compensation is between €250 and €600 based on the flight distance.
- Access to basic services such as free internet, snacks and drinks, and hotel booking.
- Right to request a seat on another flight or cancel the scheduled flight if the delay is longer than 5 hours or if the flight is cancelled.
- Airlines are required to inform air passengers of any possible disruption ahead of time and also of their rights under the law.
When Does the EU Regulation 261/2004 Apply to Me?
The EU regulation has, no doubt, provided a form of ease to air passengers who are aware of their rights. However, it doesn’t apply to everyone.
The EC 261 law applies to you only in the following situations:
- Your flight took off from an EU member state or landed in one but the airline headquarter is located in the EU.
- You arrived at your destination three or more hours later due to a delay.
- You were informed of the flight cancellation less than 14 days before the departure date.
- You missed your connecting flight as a result of a delay, making you arrive at your final destination more than three hours later.
- You were denied boarding despite having all your documents and abiding by the rules of the airline.
- You have a valid ticket and booking information.
- You are not on a free or discounted ticket that is unavailable to the public.
- The reason for the flight disruption was within the airline’s control and not due to extraordinary circumstances.
- You have checked in on time, which is at least 45 minutes before departure time.
What Should I Do Next?
If your flight has been disrupted, the first thing you want to find out is the reason for the disruption. Preferably, get the airline to put it into writing. You can also check the eligibility criteria to be sure you fit into them.
Then, you can contact the airline on how to get compensation. In some cases, the compensation form would be made available on their website or you can request it from them directly.
The EC regulation 261/2004 was passed to save air passengers the inconvenience caused by airlines. Should you ever be faced with such a situation, exercise your rights under the law and be properly compensated.