No one ever desires a flight delay but it does happen whether or not we like it. A 2016 report showed the percentage of delayed flights in the EU to be 36%, decreasing by 1 percentage point compared to the same month in 2015. Also, the Bureau of Statistics notes that about 20% of all flights are delayed by 15 minutes or more.
As a regular traveller, you would have faced flight delays at some point in your journey. However, you don’t have to be completely clueless on what to do after a delayed flight. Here are some key steps to follow when your flight is delayed.
Step 1: Find Out the Cause of the Delay
There are several reasons why your flight could be delayed. Frequent reasons include air traffic control restrictions, bird strikes, airline strikes, technical malfunction, rotational delay, and aviation system failures. You are entitled to know the reason for your flight delay and it will also help you when claiming compensation. The cause of the delay can determine whether or not you’ll be entitled to any form of compensation.
Step 2: Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights as a passenger goes a long way in helping you get compensated properly after a delayed flight. This right is applicable after you have reached your destination. The EU Regulation 261/2004 helps passengers claim their rights and works for flights departing an EU airport or operated by an EU airline. If you arrive at your destination at least 3 hours after the scheduled arrival time, the law says you’re entitled to up to €600 based on the flight distance.
You are also entitled to the right to care, which means you must be provided with meals and refreshments, as well as accommodation, where applicable. Getting familiar with the EC 261 law on your rights as a passenger makes it easier to get started with the process and get compensated.
Step 3: Contact the Necessary People
Now that you know your rights and the cause of the delay, you can now contact the airline to claim your compensation. Some airlines have a form you can fill on their website or you can send a direct email instead. If you need legal assistance, you can contact your lawyer or look out for agencies like Flightright to take it up.
Step 4: Put Your Documents Together
This isn’t the time to lose important documents, as you will need everything you can to ensure your rights aren’t waived. Keep your electronic tickets, boarding pass, and receipts from extra expenses due to the delay. These documents will serve as proof to claim your compensation.
These are four easy steps you can follow if you ever have your flight delayed. Getting familiar with the process makes it easier when you eventually have to deal with an issue like this. The process isn’t always straightforward, which is why it is often advised to get legal help especially if the airline is proving difficult.