THE recent Ryanair cabin crew strike in Spain has led to numerous flight cancellations in the last days of June and early July. Many people are not aware of their rights against the airlines in case of a delay, cancellation, overbooking or loss of luggage. In this article, we explain when you could file a claim against the airlines because of delay or cancellation, as well as the applicable legislation, compensations, etc.
Which flights are covered and how much time do I have to file a complaint?
All flights taking off from a European airport are covered by the European regulation 261/2004, regardless of their destination. The same applies to flights landing at a European airport, provided that the airline is based in a European Community country.
We can file a claim, as long as no more than five years have passed since the date of flight.
Cancellation of flight
First, the airline is required to inform passengers of their rights with a note presenting their rights and available options in this situation. In addition to that, if the airline notifies the cancellation at the same airport: it should provide basic assistance within two hours, such as food or drinks to all the people involved.
The consumer can choose between a full refund of the ticket or an alternative flight which allows him to get his final destination as soon as possible. In case of choosing the refund, the passenger can request a compensation, which will depend on the distance of their flight: from €250 (flights up to 1,500 km) to €600 (flights of more than 3,500 km). However, if you decide to accept the alternative flight, you can also request a compensation (but it may be lower depending on the delay or early landing at the destination).
What happens when the flight takes off, but is delayed? If there is a delay of more than three hours, you will also have the right to apply for the same compensation mentioned in the preceding paragraph (even if the plane finally departs to its destination). The airline must bear the costs of overnight accommodation and meals until the departure of the new flight.
Other travel expenses that can be claimed
A delay or a flight cancellation often causes a chain reaction that may affect many different parts of our trip. Certain expenses such as a rented car, hotels paid in the destination, museum or show tickets can be claimed. For a claim to be successful, it is essential to save all tickets, bills, etc as well as all the documentation associated with the flight: e-mails, flight tickets, boarding pass, etc.
The so-called ‘overbooking’ (the airline sells more seats than there are) or the loss of luggage, also give rise to a compensation. In the latter case, the regulation is defined in the Montreal Convention.
However, airlines are not always responsible for the unexpected events that may affect your flights. Thus, if the airline has notified the cancellation of the flight 14 days in advance, the compensation cannot be claimed. This also applies if it has been notified within two weeks and seven days and if the airline then offers a flight according to the requested departure or arrival parameters. Finally, as a result of adverse weather conditions, medical emergencies, political instability, etc airlines are not bound to pay compensation either.
If you have been affected by last-minute cancellations, delays, overbooking or loss of luggage, etc do not hesitate to contact us. White Baos will help you to make a successful claim against airlines. Contact us. We will discuss your specific case and offer you expert legal advice on obtaining a compensation you are entitled to.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys information relating to legal matters.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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