If you are delayed from an airport, canceled a flight or denied boarding, what do you do in these circumstances?

 

woman watching a plane leave late

WHich FLIGHTS CONCERNED?

All flights departing from European Union airports: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland.

Regardless of the nationality of the air carrier, or the destination of the flight if the flight concerned falls within the scope of EC Regulation 261.

For flights departing from an airport in a non-Member State (other than Member States of the European Union), only flights operated directly or indirectly by a Community carrier to an airport in the other Member State, EU shall be affected unless the passenger receives benefits or compensation and assistance in that third country.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ON THE FLIGHT CONCERNED.

In accordance with the provisions of EC Regulation 261/2004, air carriers must inform the passenger of their rights.

In the case of a delayed flight of at least two hours, cancellation of flight or refusal of boarding, a notice including the rules of compensation and assistance must be presented to the passenger.

In the event of refusal to disclose such notice, the airline may be accused of a lack of due diligence liable to incur liability.

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SIGNIFICANT DELAY: WHAT COURSE DOES IT WORK?

As soon as the delay at the start of a flight reaches:

  • Either three hours or more for flights of 1500 km or less
  • That is three hours or more for flights of more than 1500 km up to 3500 km and all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 km
  • Or three hours or more for other flights of more than 3500 km

Pending his actual departure, the passenger is, in principle, entitled to varying treatment depending on the waiting period

  • Refreshments
  • Restauration
  • Phone call
  • If necessary take charge of the hotel night
  • Possible transfers between the accommodation and the take-off airport

If the delay in departure is at least 5 hours, and only if the passenger is in the situation in which he renounces his journey, he is of course entitled to ask to be refunded his ticket, and sometimes even to request the take-over of the return flight to its initial point of departure.

The passenger whose flight is delayed at the start has the right to compensation when he reaches the final destination recorded on his contract of carriage three hours or more after the time of arrival originally foreseen by the carrier.

The flat-rate compensation awarded is as follows:

  • 250 € for trips of 1500 kilometers or less
  • 400 € for those between 1500 and 3500 kilometers and for all intra-community flights of more than 1500 kilometers *
  • 600 € beyond 3500 kilometers for non-Community destinations.

The carrier is obliged to pay the compensation in cash or by any other means (check, transfer etc.). Compensation in the form of travel vouchers or credit can only be made with the written consent of the passenger. However, the carrier may not pay the compensation if it proves that the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable steps had been taken.

* On the other hand, flights between the Métropole and the French overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Réunion and Mayotte) are compensated in the amount of € 400: in this case, there are more intra-Community flights of 1500 kilometers.

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WHAT CAN I ASK FOR CANCELLATION?

The passenger benefits from various options including the possibility to choose between:

  • Rerouting by another flight
  • The refund of the ticket only if he / she renounces to undertake his or her trip. On departure from a flight in connection with a transfer, he shall be entitled to the return flight to his initial departure point if the passenger renounces the continuation of his journey

Pending re-routing, the carrier must take care of the passenger on a time-out basis (including refreshments, catering, communications, and if departure can not take place until the next day, accommodation and transfers between the accommodation and the airport).

The passenger has the right to compensation. The flat-rate compensation amounts are identical to those foreseen for a delay.

However, compensation is not due in the following circumstances:

  • If the passenger is informed two weeks before the departure time or, in the case of a shorter delay, if a seat is offered to him on another flight at a time close to the time originally scheduled both at departure and the arrival,
  • If the carrier proves that the cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable steps had been taken.

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flight cancellation man who waits

SHIPPING REFUSAL: WHAT CAN I PREVENT?

Before passengers are denied boarding, carriers are obliged to make priority use of passengers who agree to waive their reservation. Voluntary passengers must negotiate their services directly with the air carrier.

The volunteer passenger may at a minimum choose between the following options:

  • The re-routing by another flight,
  • The refund of the ticket only if he renounces to undertake his or her trip. On departure from a flight in the event of a transfer, he shall be entitled to the return flight to his initial departure point if the passenger renounces the continuation of his journey.

The passenger refused to embark against his will benefits:

  • From the choice between the redirection by another flight and the refund of the ticket according to the conditions described above,
  • From a reloading time (refreshments, restoration, two calls, and if the departure can not take place before the next day, accommodation and transfers between the accommodation and the airport )
  • The right to immediate compensation. The amounts of compensation are identical to those of delay and cancellation. In this situation, there is no exception to the right to compensation

The passenger loses his rights if he is refused boarding for a reason directly attributable to him (late presentation to the registration or embarkation of a flight, health reasons, behavior good flight performance, inadequate travel documents, etc.).

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