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Your Final Information (Flight Delays and many others.)

Embarking on a journey by air at all times holds the promise of latest adventures and unforgettable experiences! And but… amidst the thrill of journey, sudden disruptions reminiscent of flight delays and cancellations can shortly dampen our spirits. However enter Regulation 261/2004, generally generally known as EU261 — a beacon of safety for vacationers inside the European Union! (EU261 Compensation)

If that is your first encounter with this legislation, contemplate your self lucky. Shockingly, practically 90% of air vacationers stay unaware of this regulation, lacking out on the chance to say compensation for flight delays or cancellations in Europe. Which is a disgrace as a result of it’s SO straightforward and quick to file for an EU261 compensation.

⚠️ It helps to notice that an EU261 compensation is separate from the compensation you might obtain from your personal journey insurance coverage for a flight delay or cancellation. So think about getting DOUBLE the compensation from your personal journey insurance coverage AND from the airline due to the EU261 legislation — wonderful, proper?

So with out additional ado, I’ll delve into the intricacies of EU261 on this article, shedding gentle on the rights and perks you can declare do you have to encounter an issue along with your flight whereas within the EU zone!

» Fast Journey Planning

What’s EU261?

EU261, formally generally known as Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 or EC261, is a European Union legislation established in 2004 to guard the rights of air passengers of ALL nationalities.

In contrast to some areas the place airways decide their very own insurance policies for dealing with flight delays and cancellations, EU261 ensures that ALL passengers are entitled to sure protections and compensation. This legislation mandates that airways should present help and compensation to passengers going through any of the next:

  • Flight delays
  • Flight cancellations
  • Denied boarding
  • Missed connecting flights

Due to EU261, air vacationers flying inside Europe get pleasure from enhanced rights and protections in comparison with different elements of the world.

– – –

What Flights Fall Beneath EU261?

As a common rule, in case your flight departs from or arrives at an airport inside the European Union (EU) and experiences a delay or cancellation, you’re eligible to file a EU261 compensation declare.

Moreover, the legislation extends protection to flights departing from or arriving at airports in Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and 9 particular territories related to EU member states. These territories, additionally known as the outermost areas, embrace French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, La Réunion, Saint Martin, Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

Flying from the UK? Regardless of the UK’s departure from the European Union in early 2020 following Brexit, it has carried out a legislation, UK261, which intently mirrors the EU261 laws.

Maybe you’re questioning: does EU261 nonetheless apply if I’m flying with a non-EU airline? The reply is sure! To make clear when the legislation applies and when it doesn’t, discuss with the desk under.

Flight Itinerary EU Airline Non-EU Airline
EU airport → EU airport
EU airport → non-EU airport
Non-EU airport → EU airport X*
Non-EU airport → non-EU airport X

*In sure cases, you should still be eligible for compensation underneath EU261, so it’s price trying to file a declare with the airline.

– – –

What Flights are NOT Lined?

The airline reserves the best to withhold EU261 compensation if the delay, cancellation, or denied boarding was on account of ‘extraordinary circumstances,’ together with…

  • Dangerous climate (i.e.: snowstorms, windstorms, low visibility)
  • Strikes of the airport personnel, visitors management, or staff
  • Air visitors management restrictions (together with runway closures)
  • Political and civil unrest
  • Terrorism

Nevertheless, regardless of some airways itemizing technical points as grounds for withholding compensation, such issues are NOT thought-about extraordinary circumstances as a result of the upkeep of the plane is the airline’s accountability. Subsequently, if a mechanical difficulty causes a flight delay or cancellation, the airline should still be liable to pay you compensation.

NOTE: Flights which can be FREE or on lowered fares (normally not accessible on to the general public) don’t apply for the EU261 legislation.

– – –

What are Different Eligibility Necessities?

For so long as you’ve gotten a confirmed flight reservation on the flight involved, and one of many following situations apply to you, EU261 applies:

  • You arrived for check-in on the designated time specified upfront by means of written communication by the airline, tour operator, or approved journey agent (or, if unspecified, no later than 45 minutes earlier than the scheduled departure time).
  • You have been transferred by an airline or tour operator from the flight for which they held a reservation to a different flight, whatever the cause

• • •

Your EU261 Rights

Flight Delays

…then you may declare EU261 compensation for the flight delay which may vary between €250 to €600 per passenger relying on the gap of your journey. There’s actually no want for a flight delay compensation calculator, as a result of the allocation is simple to see as seen within the desk under:

Flight Delay to Your Remaining Vacation spot Flights Much less Than 1,500km Flights Between 1,500km to three,000km Flights Extra Than 3,500km
Lower than 3 hours No compensation No compensation No compensation
3 hours or extra (by no means arrived) €250 €400 €600

Within the occasion of prolonged flight delays exceeding 5 hours, you’ve gotten the best to get reimbursement inside seven days, masking the complete value of the ticket for any unused parts of the journey or for elements that now not serve the passenger’s authentic journey plan. Moreover, if relevant, a return flight to the preliminary departure level must be organized on the earliest alternative.

Along with this financial compensation, underneath EU261, passengers are entitled to have the “proper to care” from the airline. This consists of the next provisions:

  • The correct to learn on why the flight is delayed and if you end up anticipated to take off
    • Within the occasion of any flight disruption, airways should furnish you with this info in written kind. The airline can also be obligated to show the EU261 textual content at its check-in counter and supply every affected passenger with a written discover detailing the foundations for help and compensation.
  • 2 FREE telephone calls, emails, or fax messages
  • FREE complimentary meals and drinks
  • FREE lodge lodging if the flight has been delayed in a single day in addition to the transportation bills between the airport and the lodge (advisable to maintain the receipts for these transportation bills)

– – –

Flight Cancellations

In case your flight is canceled, you might be protected underneath EU261 or EC261 supplied you meet the next situations:

  • You have been the one who bought the tickets
  • The flight cancellation occurred lower than 14 days earlier than the scheduled departure date
  • The canceled flight was supposed to depart from an EU airport or operated by an EU provider
  • It was the airline’s fault and never a unprecedented circumstance

When you meet the entire above situations, you might be granted the next rights:

  • Full refund of your used and unused tickets (for instance, a connecting flight you can’t attain due to the cancellation)
  • Entry to another flight; this alternative flight supplied should depart on the earliest alternative
  • Proper to compensation of as much as €600 (see desk under)
  • “Proper to care” just like the one for flight delays

The next compensation applies when an airline proposes another flight

Discover Quick Flights (lower than 1,500km) Medium Flights (1,500km to three,500km) Lengthy Flights (Greater than 3,500km)
7-13 days’ discover €125 – new flight arrives lower than 2 hours after the outdated flight
€250 – new flight arrives greater than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
None – new flight departs lower than 2 hours earlier than the outdated flight and arrives lower than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€200 – new flight departs greater than 2 hours earlier than the outdated flight, and arrives lower than 3 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€400 – new flight departs greater than 2 hours earlier than the outdated flight, and arrives 3 to 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€400 – new flight arrives greater than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€300 – new flight departs greater than 2 hours earlier than outdated flight, and arrives lower than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€600 – new flight arrives greater than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
Lower than 7 days’ discover €125 – new flight arrives lower than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€250 – new flight arrives greater than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
None – new flight departs lower than 1 hour earlier than the outdated flight and arrives lower than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€200 – new flight departs greater than 1 hour earlier than the outdated flight, and arrives lower than 3 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€400 – new flight arrives greater than 3 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€300 – new flight departs greater than 1 hour earlier than outdated flight, and arrives lower than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€600 – new flight arrives greater than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival

The next compensation applies when an airline does NOT suggest another flight OR in the event you refused the supply

Discover Quick Flights (lower than 1,500km) Medium Flights (1,500km to three,500km) Lengthy Flights (Greater than 3,500km)
For flights between EU & non-EU cities €250 €400 €600
For flights between two EU cities €250 €400 €400

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Denied Boarding

Within the occasion of denied boarding, you might be additionally eligible to obtain EU261 compensation. More often than not, earlier than denying boarding, airline employees will search volunteers to relinquish their seats in change for negotiated advantages. If an inadequate variety of volunteers is discovered, the airline will proceed to disclaim boarding to passengers. Your entitlements in such circumstances are as follows:

  • “Proper to care” just like the one for flight delays
  • Re-routing on the earliest potential time or a later date of your comfort
  • Refund of the ticket value
  • Financial compensation

In the case of financial compensation, it’s going to rely in your flight’s whole distance:

Flights Much less Than 1,500km Flights Between 1,500km to three,000km Flights Extra Than 3,500km
€250 €400 €600

• • •

EU261 Compensation: Methods to Declare?

Even in the event you’re eligible for compensation underneath EU261, sadly, it’s not robotically granted — you’ll must file a declare your self, however relaxation assured, it’s less complicated than it sounds!

For example, I efficiently claimed mine with Aegean Airways by filling out their contact kind, they usually responded inside just a few days (after following up and nudging them too through Twitter). Along with their response, they proceeded to switch the compensation to my checking account.

Whereas it’s true that the benefit of the declare course of can differ relying on the airline, you could be assured that in case your flight meets the factors, you’ll finally be compensated. In spite of everything, the EU imposes stringent penalties on airways that fail to adjust to the regulation, making certain accountability.

Now, earlier than delving into the assorted strategies of claiming your settlement, let me first supply some precious suggestions when you encounter a qualifying occasion underneath EU 261.

  • Collect as a lot info and proof for as a lot as you may.
    • Begin saving or taking screenshots of all communication associated to your involved flight.
    • Ask the airline employees in regards to the cause for the delay. You should definitely report the time; as an example, in case your flight is delayed, make a remark of the particular departure time.
  • Ask the airline to respect your proper to care.
    • Particularly for delayed flights, make sure that to ask about your proper to entry free meals and drinks. If the delay extends in a single day, request lodging. To succeed in the lodging, you may both request a taxi from the airline or preserve monitor of any taxi bills incurred (retain the receipts) and search reimbursement later.

When you’ve accomplished these steps, you may proceed to make a declare utilizing ANY of the next strategies:

Personally Complain to the Airline

This preliminary step is important for YOU to do. It’s essential to exhaust this feature first earlier than contemplating the opposite alternate options.

  1. To lodge a grievance with the airline concerning your prolonged flight delay, flight cancellation, or deboarding, start by conducting a Google search utilizing your airline’s title together with the time period ‘EU261’ (e.g., seek for “Aegean Airline EU261”).
    • Every airline manages complaints in a different way: some supply readily accessible automated on-line kinds, whereas others could require you to e-mail them. If not sure, find their customer support contact particulars and proceed accordingly. (You possibly can even strive contacting them through their social media channels).
    • In the event you’re in search of a flight delay compensation letter pattern template, you should utilize this: [click]
  2. When you’re performed doing step #1, it additionally helps to finish this way: ‘Air Passenger Rights-EU Grievance Type‘.
    • This preliminary screening service goals to help you in acquiring info on the right way to contact your respective airline, notably in the event you encounter difficulties find their contact particulars.

If the airline fails to reply inside just a few weeks or as much as a most of two months, you may then discover the next choices…

– – –

Lodge a Grievance to Nationwide Authorities

As beforehand talked about, if the airline fails to reply inside two months or in case you are unhappy with their reply, you may proceed to the following step of your flight compensation declare, which entails submitting a grievance with the related nationwide authority within the nation the place the working airline relies.

The official web site of the European Union presents an inventory of hyperlinks to every nation’s nationwide shopper our bodies: [link]. On this situation, you need to submit your grievance to the Nationwide Enforcement Physique within the Member State the place the incident occurred. Present them with the grievance you beforehand despatched to the airline and clarify the state of affairs: both the airline didn’t reply, otherwise you discover their response unjust.

The nationwide authority will then give you a non-binding authorized opinion on the right way to proceed along with your declare. Please word that if the incident occurred at an airport outdoors the EU, you need to contact the nationwide enforcement physique within the Member State of your flight vacation spot.

In case you are an EU nationwide, you may as well discover these different choices:

  • Make the most of neutral out-of-court entities like conciliation providers, mediators, arbitrators, and ombudsmen or grievance boards. They’ll evaluate your case and recommend a decision, or implement one if a mutual settlement between you and the airline can’t be reached.
  • In the event you bought your ticket on-line, you’ve gotten the choice to lodge your grievance by means of the EU on-line dispute decision website. This service is freed from cost, and they’re going to deal with your dispute accordingly.
  • Lastly, if the airline refuses to compensate you and also you resolve to take authorized motion, you may go for the European Small Claims process. This entails submitting your compensation declare to a reliable courtroom, which might be the place of arrival or departure for flights between EU nations (operated by one airline), or the courts within the nation the place the airline is registered.
    • To provoke this process, you’ll want to finish kind A and embrace any supporting paperwork reminiscent of receipts or invoices. Upon receiving your declare, the courtroom will assess it, and if any obligatory info is lacking, they are going to request you to finish kind B. Needless to say there’s a courtroom charge related to the European Small Claims process, however this charge shall be reimbursed in case your case is profitable.

– – –

Rent a Firm to Get the EU261 Compensation for You

I extremely advocate trying to file a declare by yourself FIRST to make sure you obtain the complete compensation. Apart from, based mostly alone expertise and generally, this course of could be fast and easy particularly when the airline involved is from the EU (examples being like RyanAir, EasyJet, Lufthansa, Air France, and lots of others).

Nevertheless, I perceive that this may occasionally not at all times be possible with different airways; plus, it might be a problem so that you can do choice #2 of lodging a grievance with nationwide authorities. Time is efficacious, in any case!

In such circumstances, there are a number of firms specialised in dealing with EU261 claims on behalf of passengers, albeit for a charge. These charges could be fairly important, usually reaching as much as 25% to 30% of your declare quantity! For households or bigger teams, this share can lead to a considerable sum — however then the upside too is that they’ll actually assist; plus, in the event that they fail in claiming a settlement, you don’t should pay something in any respect to them.

But when that is the one remaining choice you’d wish to take, a fast Google search will reveal quite a few choices, however in the event you ask me, AirHelp constantly ranks as one of many prime firms for EU261 compensation claims.

• • •

Deadlines to Declare EU261 Compensation

EU nations have various laws concerning the timeframe inside which you’ll be able to declare compensation, because the regulation doesn’t set up a uniform limitation interval throughout the EU.

The time restrict for claiming compensation is dependent upon the situation of the airline’s headquarters:

Deadline Nation
10 months Latvia
1 12 months Belgium, Poland
2 years Croatia, Iceland, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland
2 years & 2 months Italy
3 years Austria, Czech Republic*, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany**, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden***
5 years Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Scotland
6 years Cyprus, Eire, UK (besides Scotland)
10 years Luxembourg
No restrict Malta

*Czech Republic: It’s essential to tell your airline in regards to the flight delay inside 6 months of the incident. As soon as notified, your declare stays energetic for as much as 3 years.
**Germany: The interval expires on the final day of the third 12 months.
***Sweden: The limitation interval resets every time a declare is made. Subsequently, for any subsequent claims, the limitation interval can be 3 years from the date the final declare was filed.

• • •

EU261 Compensation Type of Cost

Your EU261 compensation could be disbursed in varied kinds reminiscent of money, digital financial institution transfers, financial institution orders, or financial institution cheques. Alternatively, if agreed upon, it might be issued within the type of journey vouchers or different providers.

At instances, airways could initially suggest vouchers fairly than money. Nevertheless, it’s important to notice that EU261 ensures money compensation, which you’re entitled to if most well-liked.

IMPORTANT TIP: Upon receiving a response from the airline, make sure that the supplied compensation aligns along with your state of affairs earlier than continuing additional.

• • •


When ought to I submit my EC261 compensation declare?

As quickly as potential! If possible, attain out to the airline on the day of the delay itself. Performing promptly will increase the chance of a positive final result.

Can an airline refuse my EU261 compensation declare?

Definitely, the airline has the authority to reject your declare, particularly if the delay was attributable to extraordinary circumstances. Nevertheless, in the event you really feel your declare was unfairly denied, you may discover the choice strategies I outlined on this article.

Are connecting flights lined for EC261 compensation?

Definitely. In case your journey is booked as a single itinerary, any flight departing from an EU airport qualifies for flight delay compensation underneath EU261 laws. It’s necessary to grasp as effectively that your remaining vacation spot shall be thought-about with regard to EU261 eligibility.

What if my flight was booked with miles—is it eligible for EU261?

No matter whether or not you booked utilizing bank card factors, redeemed an award ticket with frequent flyer miles, or paid with money, EU261 nonetheless applies. The one exceptions are tickets acquired totally free or at lowered fares not usually accessible to most of the people.

I traveled with my child, can I additionally get flight delay compensation?

It varies. In keeping with the EU regulation, passengers are eligible for compensation if their flight is delayed by greater than three hours. Nevertheless, passengers touring totally free are exempt from claiming compensation. For example, if an airline permits mother and father to deliver infants alongside without charge, compensation can’t be searched for the toddler. Nevertheless, in the event you paid for a seat in your child, even at a lowered charge, you may request compensation.

Are motels and meals lined by EU261?

aspect from money compensation, EU261 mandates provisions for lodge lodging and meals. This provision, generally known as the “proper to care,” obliges airways to supply meals and refreshments proportionate to the ready time. Whereas different worldwide airways embrace related provisions of their contracts of carriage, that is fairly a assured entitlement in Europe.

My airline positioned me in a decrease class, completely different from the ticket I bought. Can I nonetheless ask for compensation?

Completely. Inside seven days, the airline is required to refund you:
– 30% of the ticket value for flights as much as 1500 kilometers.
– 50% for intra-community flights exceeding 1500 kilometers.
– 75% for flights between European territories and French abroad departments.
– Moreover, 75% for flights not lined within the earlier circumstances.

We traveled as a bunch, can I ask for compensation for all of us?

Sure, you may, however it’s preferable to file for compensation individually for every particular person.

How do I write a letter of compensation for flight delay?

Take a look at this pattern template I made: [click]

• • •


I hope this complete information helps you declare the compensation that’s rightfully yours!

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