How long are claims for cancelled flights valid?
Each country has its own rules when it comes to how long you have to claim compensation. In Europe, for example, claims must be executed within three years. This means that if your flight was cancelled on 02.02.2020, you have time until 01.02.2023 to submit your claim to the airline.
If the airline you flew with is based in the UK, you have even more time to implement your claim: 6 years! The country to watch out for is Sweden, where customers only have two months to file a complaint against the airline.
Not sure how long you have to enforce your claim or want to check on a past flight problem you’ve completely forgotten about?
Enter your original flight details into DELAY.AERO’s free online compensation calculator and we’ll let you know if you’re eligible to claim compensation for your cancelled flight.
What are “extraordinary circumstances”?
Sometimes, cancelling a flight does not qualify for compensation because the reasons behind the disruption have been deemed to be “extraordinary circumstances”. These are factors beyond the responsibility or control of the airline. These circumstances include:
– Closure of airports and airspace
– Political instability
– Unavoidable security risks
– Birds flying into the engine
– Adverse weather conditions
Extraordinary circumstances are events that cause flight disruptions over which the airline has no control. This could be a medical emergency or national strike, adverse weather conditions or air traffic control restrictions.
When an extraordinary event occurs, the airline is not legally obliged to pay compensation. As simple as it sounds, the airline cannot use “extraordinary circumstances” as an excuse to avoid paying compensation. The air carrier must be able to demonstrate that it has taken all reasonable measures to minimise disruption to flight schedules.
Following a thorough inspection of the case, our team often finds that there were steps the airline could have taken to avoid cancellation. In such cases, passengers may still be entitled to claim compensation for the cancelled flight.
Why is it so difficult to claim my rights myself?
Airlines regularly do not follow up passenger complaints and, when they do, opt to respond with standardised letters asking passengers with complaints to wait an extended period of time. Another practice of some airlines is to offer discount coupons, which are often much smaller in value than the compensation due, claiming that this is what their passengers are entitled to. In reality, European rules on air passenger rights are not well known and airlines do not always inform passengers of their rights. Without sound legal knowledge, passengers are often lost and don’t know how or where to turn for help in claiming compensation.
Thanks to our experience and expertise, we know the subtleties and pitfalls to avoid in this matter, making us able to assist you in obtaining compensation for your flight cancellation.
Procedure for compensation of cancelled flights
The first thing to do is to have confirmation that you are indeed eligible for compensation. This is not a simple process: getting access to flight databases, comparing your situation with other similar cases, checking whether European Regulation 261/2004 or other international air transport regulations apply to you.
In fact, for a person without aviation expertise and the necessary technological means, this can prove to be very complicated.
However, the simple alternative is to claim compensation with DELAY.AERO. To do this, simply enter your flight details into the “GET COMPENSATION” application on our website for free. The DELAY.AERO team will check the details entered and determine whether you are entitled to make a claim against the airline. From then on, DELAY.AERO takes over the case and you are notified when the airline grants you compensation. The DELAY.AERO tool analyses hundreds of thousands of flights, has access to a wealth of meteorological data and is able to check whether your claim can be settled under EU law or other legal provisions applicable to your case.
Your application will be checked for eligibility free of charge
Our network of experts and our experience in the aviation sector, as well as the partnerships we have, allow us to negotiate with airlines on an equal footing. In 98% of open cases, our clients have won the case and received compensation/refunds. Regardless of the outcome, we take all the financial risk. If we are unsuccessful in your case, for whatever reason, we alone bear the costs. When we win, we receive a service fee according to the Price List from the amount recovered. This protects you, the client, from any lost expenses and investment.
Rights in the airport, in the event of a cancelled flight
In case of flight cancellation, the airline is obliged to provide its passengers with food and refreshments. Passengers are also entitled to 2 free phone calls or emails. These benefits must be offered regardless of the circumstances surrounding the cancellation – whether it is a technical fault, bad weather or strike.
– Short distance (less than 1500 km) – free food and drinks and 2 free phone calls, e-mails or faxes
– Medium distance (between 1500 and 3500 km) – free food and drinks and 2 phone calls, e-mails or faxes
– Long distance (over 3500 km)- free food and drinks and 2 phone calls, emails or faxes
Flight postponed to the next day
When your flight is rescheduled for departure the next day, the airline will usually arrange hotel accommodation and transport to and from the hotel. Normally, the company should provide you with the necessary information, but it is advisable to get written confirmation from them. Finally, don’t forget to check all the details with the airline representatives before making a reservation yourself.