We can prepare our trip in advance in great detail. We can check the validity date of our passport. We can take the time to choose travel insurance. We can check all reservations: plane, hotel, excursions, tourist activities… everything. Excited as the departure date approaches, we show up two hours in advance at the airport. But there it is! Regardless of our preparations, it sometimes happens that a tiny grain of sand does slip into this well-oiled machine.
The check in personnel just told you that the flight was going to be a few hours late. No worries, you wait – in the end you will still be going to Dubai, right?
But what about when the flight has been overbooked and you are one of those who couldn’t get on? When you are put on the waiting list for another flight? Or even worse that the flight was canceled altogether?
Fortunately there is legislation that allows you to claim compensation for the damage suffered, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the European Council. This means you have the right to compensation or reimbursement for any delay, cancellation or overbooking of your Flight.
This often also means you can get a monetary compensation. The easiest way to claim these costs is through a specialised company such as Compensair! They will do everything for you in exchange for a small cut. You just need to provide the account number where the airline needs to send the money.
What does Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 say?
Regulation (EC) n ° 261/2004 of the European Council recognizes, under certain specific conditions, a minimum of rights for passengers of an air carrier in the event of denied boarding against their will; in the event of cancellation and in the event of a flight delayed by at least two hours on departure.
If such a mishap should happen to you, the air carrier is therefore required to inform you of your rights. There has to be a notice setting out the compensation.
Does this count for all and every flight?
All flights departing from an airport located in a Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, whatever the carrier or the airline and whatever the destination are liable to provide you with compensation.
For flights from an airport located in a State other than those of member countries of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, only flights operated by an airline whose head office is located in the European Union and bound for an airport also located in the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland (whatever the departure airport.)
Do you see the annoying part? If you are traveling on an Emirates Airlines flight from Paris to Dubai on the outward journey and it is delayed by more than four hours, you can assert your right to compensation.
On the other hand, when returning with the same airline whose head office is located in Dubai, if the flight is also delayed by more than four hours, you cannot claim compensation under the conditions of Regulation (EEC) no. ° 261/2004 of the European Council. In fact in the direction Dubai to Paris, this only applies to flights operated by an air carrier registered in a member country of the European Union.
What are my rights as a passenger?
Delays are never fun. Nor are overbookings or cancellations. In case this happens to you, your air carrier should provide you with free assistance and support.
They should provide you with:
- Refreshments and catering,
- Two telephone calls,
- Accommodation and transfers between the place of accommodation and the airport if the departure cannot take place before the next day).
- Lump sum compensation, the amount of which depends on the length of the journey
If support has not been offered and you have incurred costs, you can also obtain reimbursement of costs incurred as a result of the situation caused by the air carrier, provided that the sums incurred are necessary, appropriate and reasonable … so keep all your receipts, but keep it reasonable.
Conditions in case of delay
Subject to extraordinary circumstances not attributable to the airline, (bad weather conditions, safety risks, instructions given by air traffic controllers, strike, political instabilities, etc.) any claims for compensation or reimbursement in the event of delay are subject to the express condition that it is at least equal to:
- Two hours or more for flights of 1500 km or less.
- Three hours or more for flights over 1,500 km up to 3,500 km and all intra-Community flights over 1,500 km.
- Four hours or more for other flights over 3,500 km.
The flight distance between Paris and Dubai is approximately 5,252 km, so to claim support or compensation for a delay on a flight from France to Dubai, the delay must therefore be at least 4 hours.
And the delay is counted from the time of arrival! that is to say that even if you took off with a delay of four hours but the plane took an hour less to get to your destination, you will not be awarded compensation.
Conditions in case of overbooking
Airlines hate when a plane takes off without being full, to avoid this many overbook planes. This involves selling more tickets than seats are available on the plane.
In fact, it happens in rare cases that some passengers do not show up for boarding. The plane will take off without being fully booked. The airlines thus ensure that whatever the situation, the plane will leave full to its capacity.
But when all the passengers registered on the flight do show up for boarding, the airline is obliged to refuse boarding to supernumerary passengers. In this case, not only are they required to offer you assistance, but passengers who were unable to board an aircraft due to overbooking may also claim compensation.
Conditions in case of a cancelled flight
If you were unable to board for lack of available seats on the plane, the airline must offer you two options. They should offer reimbursement of your ticket within seven days if you ultimately decide to forgo continuing your trip or re-routing on a next flight with full support.
Compensation is not due if you were informed of the cancellation two weeks before the date of the flight or if the air carrier offered you another flight for the same route at a similar time.
How much compensation should you get
In addition to the assistance and free support occasioned in the event of delay, denied boarding and flight cancellation against your will, you also have the right to claim compensation. The amount of the lump sum compensation depends on the flight distance:
€ 250 in the case of flights up to 1500 km;
€ 400 in the case of flights within the European Union of more than 1,500 km and between 1,500 and 3,500 km for other flights;
€ 600 in the case of flights over 3,500 km.
The easiest way to claim these costs is through a specialised company such as Compensair! They will do everything for you in exchange for a small cut. You just need to provide the account number where the airline needs to send the money.