Have you ever experienced a flight delay or cancellation? Have you ever been denied boarding on a plane? If you are in one of these cases, you can claim a refund or compensation for the cancelled flight.
You remember that moment when you were nailed to the airport and gave up hope. Well, rejoice, all is not lost. On the contrary, you have more rights than you think.
Compensation is provided depending on the type of disruption and your flight plan. Here’s what you need to do to get it:
How do you know if you are entitled to a refund or compensation?
First, you do not need to be blocked at the airport at this time to be entitled to a refund or compensation for the cancelled flight. If your flight has been delayed, cancelled or overbooked within the last 5 years, you may be eligible. The compensation provided for by the European Regulations is indeed retroactive.
If your flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours, cancelled or overbooked, your airline is legally obliged to compensate you, if the following conditions are met:
- You have been informed of the disruption less than 14 days before departure
- Your flight is departing from Europe OR the airline is European
The company is responsible for the delay (you will not be compensated if the delay is due to a storm, a health alert or an air traffic controller strike).
What compensation are you entitled to for your delayed flight?
The compensation fixed by European regulations is a lump sum:
This amount is determined by the distance travelled during your flight, and is not linked to the price of the ticket. So if you travel to a Paris-New York delayed purchased 400€ or 200€, in both cases you will be entitled to 600€ of compensation.
Also, if your flight has been cancelled and you do not obtain an alternative flight to your destination or if the departure delay exceeds 5 hours and you choose not to take the flight, you can request a full refund from the airline.
How to obtain reimbursement or compensation for airline tickets?
First of all, you must bring the following documents:
Your travel documents (ticket or e-trip, boarding pass, booking confirmation email). The important thing is that you have at least one of these documents with your flight number and reservation number legible.
A photocopy of your identity card or passport
Send your complaint directly to the airline company: to do this, you must go to the company’s website or contact a company agent directly at the airport. You will then be able to find out how complaints are handled for your company, either by phone, email or by filling out a form on their website. For example, a complaint with Air France will not be made in the same way as a complaint with another airline.
You will then have to send by email or post photocopies of the supporting documents proving your presence on board as well as a photocopy of your identity card.
We also advise you to send a link or a photocopy of the European regulation EC261 which protects the rights of air passengers, in order to show the company that you know your rights. You can easily consult the extracts that relate to your flight problem by clicking here.
Be careful though, there is no law requiring companies to respond within a given time frame. You may therefore wait for many months without receiving any answers, or even have no feedback at all. If you are in this case, you will be able to take legal action and/or hire a lawyer who can give the airline formal notice.