Delayed or Cancelled Flights? What are Your Rights.

17 August 2017

If you find yourself delayed or stranded in an airport this Summer, EC Regulation No. 261/2004 may be of assistance to you.

Delay

Where a flight is delayed ‘care and assistance’ must be offered in the form of:

  • meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting period;
  • two free telephone calls; and
  • hotel accommodation where the waiting period is overnight.

If you are forced to make your own arrangements you should retain all receipts so as to make a claim for reimbursement.

Where the delay is over five hours duration and you decide not to travel, you can also claim the cost of the ticket for the part of the journey not taken.

Cancellation

Your entitlements in the case of a cancelled flight depend on when you were notified.

  • Less than 7 days’ notice:
    • an alternative flight departing no more than two hours before your original departure time and allowing arrival at your final destination within four hours of the original scheduled time of arrival; or
    • a full refund of the ticket. Compensation is payable if the alternative flight’s departure/arrival times don’t fall within the time limits set out above.
  • On arrival at the airport i.e. no prior notification:
    • an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or by comparable transport to the final destination;
    • care and assistance as set out above;
    • a full refund of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose to the passenger’s original travel plan or when relevant a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;
    • compensation.

Compensation

The amount of compensation payable depends on the distance of the delayed/cancelled flight though compensation can be reduced by 50% if your flight is rerouted such that you arrive within a certain period of your originally scheduled arrival time as below:

  • 1500km or less – €250 per person (reduced by 50% if you arrive within 2 hours of original arrival time)
  • 1500 – 3500km or intra-community flights – €400 per person (reduced by 50% if you arrive within 3 hours of original arrival time)
  • All other flights – €600 per person (reduced by 50% if you arrive within 24 hours of original arrival time)

Compensation is not payable where the airline can show “extraordinary” circumstances. This is not a defined term and could range from extreme weather to political instability.

Compensation can also be reduced based on your own insurance compensation.

 

For further information on this topic please contact:

Caoilfhionn Ní Chuanacháin
Partner Dispute Resolution Department
Direct +353 1 202 6501
email: cnichuanachain@efc.ie

Rachel Shanley
Partner Dispute Resolution Department
Direct +353 1 202 6556
Email: rshanley@efc.ie

 

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