It’s truly horrible when you’ve planned your perfect trip to France, everything is packed, you’re so ready to go… and then you’re told right at the last minute that your flight has been cancelled. Apart from the big let-down, you may lose your money. However, there are ways you can achieve flight cancellation compensation. Here are a few tips:
What to do if your flight is cancelled
First, always remember to check your flight status online before driving to the airport. If your flight is cancelled long enough in advance, it can at least spare you the trip and the hassle. This can happen because of bad weather for example, which can sometimes be anticipated hours before departure time.
On the other hand, if your flight is cancelled at last minute, you might not be informed until the last hour before the intended departure time. This kind of emergency cancellation can be due to security risks for instance (such as was seen in the UK when drones were apparently seen flying over an airport, which caused chaos to flight schedules for several day).
In any case, whatever the reason for cancellation – you can ask for a flight cancellation compensation. EU regulation EC 261 provides certain rights to passengers, such as a reimbursement of the flight ticket up to €600 under certain circumstances.
Are there also compensations for flight delays?
Fortunately, yes, but only in specific circumstances and depending on the airline you travel with. For instance the compensation for a flight delay with Ryanair may be as much as $700.
However, not all airlines apply the same rates and it can take hours of negotiating with the airline to get success.
For this reason, it may be worth using a service which specialises in dealing with airline compensation on your behalf. These kinds of services are expert in consumers rights and all you have to do is fill a form for them to take in charge all the administrative process.
What are the criteria for a flight delay or cancellation compensation?
Compensation is the same for any destination, whether you go to Toulouse, Paris or Bordeaux, although not all circumstances open right to a compensation. For instance, emergency weather and other extraordinary circumstances are usually not taken in account, as it is obviously not the responsibility of the airline. The European law EC 261 defines a cancelled flight as “non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved”.
On the other hand, a flight that do leave the tarmac, but takes off later than planned, is considered as delayed. Of course, if there is only a 5 minutes delay, you won’t get any compensation, but depending on the airline your travel with, compensations can be requested from a 3 hours delay. Obviously, the compensation will be proportional to the delay time.