Flight delayed or cancelled? These are your air passenger rights

This year has been quite chaotic at the airports. Cancelled or delayed flights, lost luggage, hours-long queues at security check ... Has happened to you too? If not, you were one of the lucky ones. If yes, we hope you claimed your rights properly.

Learn how to claim your flight rights properly

1Learn how to claim your flight rights properly

As an air passenger, you have rights, no matter where you came from and which airline you are flying with. In most cases, you are protected by regulations of the territory which your flight departed from.

Regulation EC 261 is one of the most comprehensive laws on passenger rights. It applies when:

  • Your flight is within the EU, no matter what airline operates it
  • Your flight arrives in the EU from outside and is operated by an EU airline
  • Your flight departs from the EU, no matter what airline operates it

This includes not only EU airspace, but also Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the so-called “outermost-regions” (for example Martinique, Guadeloupe and Réunion, Madeira, the Azores, and the Canary Islands). Check the other regulations here.

What are you rights if your flight is cancelled?

If your flight is cancelled you have the right to choose between reimbursement, re-routing or return. If you choose any of these three options, you no longer have rights to the other two.

If your flight cancellation results in additional expenses for accommodation, food, drinks or alternative transportation to and from the airport, the airline is obligated to refund these too.

If you were informed of the cancellation less than 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date, you have a right to compensation. The amount of the compensation you’re entitled to depends on a couple of factors, including the distance of your flight. In general, you can get from 250 € up to 600 € of refund per passenger.

What are you rights if your flight is delayed?

It's similar to flight cancellation. You have the right to assistance when the delay is at least two hours at departure, and to reimbursement and a return flight when the delay is at least five hours.

The airline must offer you meals, refreshments, accommodation, and transfers to accommodation if needed. If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, you are also entitled to compensation.

What about missing a connection flight?

If you miss a flight connection because of delay or cancellation of the first flight, you are eligible for missed connection compensation.

In what cases you won't get a compensation for delayed or cancelled flight?

Airlines will not pay you the compensation if they can show that the cancellation or delay was due to extraordinary circumstances. That means that the reason behind it was something outside of their control. In most cases these reasons relate to poor weather conditions (thunderstorms, lightning strikes), medical emergencies and acts of sabotage or terrorism. Cancellations caused by coronavirus also don’t qualify for compensation.

Lost, damaged or delayed luggage

If your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged, or delayed, the airline is liable, and you can get the compensation up to an amount of 1300 €. However, if the damage was caused by an inherent defect in the baggage itself, you're not entitled to any compensation.

How you can claim your rights?

You should always send your complaint to the airline first. You can use either the complaint form provided by the airline or the EU air passenger rights form

If you want to file a claim for lost or damaged luggage, you should do it in writing to the airline within 7 days, or within 21 days of receiving your luggage if it was delayed.

So, if your flight is delayed or cancelled, don’t panic. Just make sure you file all claims for your rights immediately and keep all the receipts for accommodation, shuttles, food ... Everything can come in handy when you will be proving your expenses to the airline. If you happen to be worried about your booked GoOpti transport, don't worry, we've taken care of that too. We offer you a special No Worries package that comes in handy in such situations.

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