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Your rights when the airplane is late or cancelled

If you travel, I’m sure that at least, one time, you have faced this kind of situation, I mean that your plane has to be cancelled or delayed because of a problem. Personally, I have experimented many times a delay, some more than 3 hours and by this way, sleeping in the airport.

So what are our rights in case if this bad situation happens ? You will agree with me that it is not a good way to start our holiday, neither a good mean to finish our vacation. It doesn’t matter if you buy a ticket in your favorite travel agency, by internet or directly with the company and no matter the price, everyone has the same rights.

In Europe, the compensation depends if the flight is community or not so not depending of your nationality and your residence country. Community means all flights inside Europe (from an European city to another European city).

In case if your flight is late, the compensation will depend of how many hours and the distance of your trip. For instance, for all flights less than 1500 km, the delay should be 2 hours minimum, between 1500 and 3500 km, 3 hours and more than 3500 km, 4 hours. So if you are facing this situation, the company should provide you 2 phone calls (or fax, email...), food, hotel and if necessary, the transportation (taxi, bus…).

If you are thinking about if the company has to indemnify you financially, you have to know that the delay of your flight should be minimum 3 hours. In case if you have to do a connection, it will take in account the arrival time initially scheduled to the final destination. The compensation is between 250 and 600 euros. And if you decide to not continue your flight, you can ask the company a flight back to your home if the delay is minimum 5 hours.

Now, if your flight is cancelled, except to be very mad, the company should provide you as soon as possible at the same or another day, another flight to your final destination or you can ask, without any fees, the reimbursement of the ticket price only for the distance not fulfilled and a flight back to your initial destination.

Take note also that there is a financial compensation (no matter if you accept or not another flight) which corresponds at 250 euros for 1500 km, 400 euros between 1500 and 3500 km, and 600 euros for more than 3500 km.

This rule doesn’t apply if the cancellation has been scheduled 2 weeks before your departure or if the company brings you to your destination just after the scheduled time.

For no community flights, we have to follow the international policies which are the ones of Montreal and/or Warsaw. The compensation of a delay will depend of the issue and it doesn’t exist a minimum or fixed compensation. For a cancellation, we can ask the total repayment of the ticket price only if the company doesn’t offer us a good solution towards our final destination as soon as possible.

So now you know a little more about your rights in case if you are unlucky and to be updated, I will recommend you to check also the official website of the civil aviation of the EU, America, Asia...