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There’s nothing more annoying than going on vacation only to have your flight be delayed, or even worse, canceled. But did you know that there are rules in Europe and Canada that protect you as a passenger? In the event your flight does get delayed or canceled, you may be entitled to some significant compensation!
While it might seem like a pain to get what you’re owed through the airlines, I’ve discovered a new resource that makes it super easy –Click2Refund. If you think you are entitled to compensation, you just simply let them know what happened with your flight, and they will do the work to get your money! This post will explain the new rules that protect you, and how you can use these to get compensation for delayed or canceled flights.
This post was kindly sponsored by Click2Refund. All opinions are my own.
Compensation for Delayed and Canceled Flights Within Europe
Thanks to Regulation 261/2004, there are now common rules for protecting passengers’ rights when your flight gets canceled, delayed, or overbooked within the EU. Let’s explore what those are!
These regulations apply to passengers traveling with a European Union (EU) carrier or any carrier departing from the EU.
Delayed Flights Within Europe
Depending on how long your flight is delayed, you could be entitled to compensation ranging from food vouchers up to 600 euros!
If your flight is delayed two hours or more…
The airline has to give you food, refreshments, and water. This will most likely be in the form of vouchers so make sure to ask at the airport if your flight begins to be delayed. We all know how expensive airport food can be!
The airlines also have to provide access to telecommunication services (phone calls and e-mails), and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight. Plus travel expenses between the airport and the hotel!
If your flight’s delayed for 3 or more hours..
This is where the compensation can really add up. The new rules ensure that passengers are entitled to receive compensation from the airline up to 600 euros per passenger should your arrival to the final destination be delayed at least 3 hours or more.
The amount you are entitled to depends on the flight distance, and the length of the delay (which is time difference between the scheduled time of arrival and the actual time of arrival to the final destination). The table below shows what you could claim for.
You’re entitled to get compensation if the delay is the airline’s responsibility. For example, if they didn’t get enough bookings or there was a technical fault.
The compensation is not payable in the case of an extraordinary circumstance. This includes bad weather, terrorism, sabotage, airport radar malfunction, strike, or a global pandemic like when I almost got stuck in Italy.
If your flight’s delayed for 5 hours or more..
You have the option of canceling the flight entirely, and the airline is responsible to provide a full refund of your flight, and other flights in the same booking (if you have a return ticket).
If you are part-way through a journey, the airline is required to get you a flight back to the airport you originally departed from.
If you do decide to take the delayed flight, you can claim up to 600 euros in compensation if the delay is the airline’s responsibility.
Most airlines will not voluntairly offer compensation, so this is why you need to claim for it!
Canceled Flights Within Europe
If your flight gets canceled less than 14 days before the schedule departure, you can also claim compensation due to regulation (EC) 261/2004.
In the instance of a canceled flight, you have the legal right to full reimbursement (including other flights in the same booking), a return flight to the first point of departure, or a replacement flight to get you to your final destination (this would be considered a delay).
If you take a replacement flight, you also have the legal right to assistance if the replacement flight delays you two hours or more, as well as compensation if you’re delayed three hours or more (see above about delays).
When there’s no replacement flight offered, you’re entitled to compensation between 250-600 euros. The exact amount depends on the distance of the flight which you can learn more about here.
If your flight was canceled less than 7 days before departure, then in addition to re-routing or a refund you would be entitled to greater compensation to reflect the greater inconvenience compared with 7-14 days.
You are not eligible to claim compensation for canceled flights if it was caused by extraordinary circumstances, you were informed 14 days before the scheduled flight date, or you were offered an alternative for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one.
Compensation When Flights Are Overbooked
If you are denied boarding in case of overbooking, you are eligible to receive compensation. If the airline is asking people to volunteer to be bumped from the flight and you agree at the airport, then it’s up to you and the airline to agree on compensation (this is usually a cash or voucher offer at the gate).
However, if are denied boarding against your will and have shown up for your flight on time, then you are entitled to compensation up to 600 Euros. Again, the exact amount will depend on the distance you were supposed to travel.
In this instance, the airline must also offer you a replacement flight, or a refund if you don’t want to fly. If you choose a replacement flight, the airline may reduce the compensation by 50% if the new arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked by two hours for short-haul, three hours for medium-haul, and four hours for long-hauls.
Compensation For Missed Connections
If you miss a connection due to a delay, then you can also claim compensation up to 600 Euros. This depends on how late you arrive at your final destination and what is the root cause of the delay.
You are not eligible to claim if the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances or you book a trip on two separate reservations (for example, one flight with British Airways and another with Lufthansa).
Maybe at this point you are thinking about an instance where may have been entitled to compensation but didn’t claim. Well, good news because you can claim compensation retroactively for disrupted flights for the last 3 years. Even 6 years in some jurisdictions!
Compensation For Delayed and Canceled Flights Within Canada
I’m so happy that Canada finally has its own set of rules which entitles you to compensation should your flight be delayed, canceled, or overbooked. The new Canadian air travel rules apply to every single flight departing from or arriving in Canada after July 15th, 2019.
How much your airline is required to pay you in compensation will vary depending on which airline you’re flying with (larger airlines pay out more).
While airlines are unlikely to voluntairly offer you compensation, it’s absolutely worth trying to get it after the fact. The payouts can be quite generous. As an example, if you’re denied boarding and that delays you more than 9 hours, you could be entitled to up to $2400 CAD!
When are you entitled to compensation?
Canceled and Delayed Flights
If the flight is canceled or delayed for a reason within the airline’s control, you’re entitled to compensation. The amount you are entitled to depends on the size of the airline and the length of the delay.
|Delay Length||3-6 hours||6-9 hours||9 hours+|
|Minimum Compensation||Small airline: $125|
Large airline: $400
|Small airline: $250|
Large airline: $700
|Small airline: $500|
Large airline: $1000
A compensation claim must be submitted to the airline within one year of the departure date. Then, airlines have 30 days to either provide a statement explaining why they think no compensation is warranted or to issue payment.
If your flight is delayed over two hours (for reasons within the airlines control), then the airline must also provide food and drink, electronic communications, and accommodation if the delay is overnight.
Denied Boarding (overbooking)
If you’re denied boarding because the flight is full, but you have a valid travel document with you, then you’ve been denied boarding due to overbooking. In the majority of cases, this is the airline’s fault, and you’ll be entitled to compensation between $900-$2400.
As with delayed or canceled flights, the airline must rebook you on its next available flight. If there isn’t one, larger airlines must book you on a competitor flight. If the rebooking wouldn’t satisfy, then you’re entitled to a full refund of your ticket plus minimum tier compensation.
Is there anything worse than being stuck on a tarmac? Well, unfortunately you aren’t entitled to compensation here but the good news is there are some rules. Airlines can’t keep you on the plane for more than 3 hours and 45 minutes.
When your stuck on the plane, the airline must provide working lavatories, ventilation and cooling, food and drink, and the ability to communicate with people outside the plane free or charge.
Why use Click2Refund?
It’s one thing to know your passenger rights, but another to get the airlines to actually payout. This can be a huge pain and administrative hassle to do on your own. This is why Click2Refund is such a great idea for a service!
Click2Refund is super easy to use. You just go on the website and enter the details of your flight, explain what happened, and shortly after you’ll get an e-mail from the team letting you know whether you’re entitled to compensation. If you are, they will start the process for you.
I tried it myself for a flight I had canceled in Italy this year, but unfortunately, it wasn’t eligible as the flight was canceled due to extraordinary circumstances (the pandemic). However, I was impressed with how quickly the team got back to me after submitting the inquiry. It was within a couple of hours of submitting the form online!
The best part is that if you are entitled to compensation, you don’t need to do any additional work. The team at Click2Refund handles everything on your behalf, so you can just wait for the money to be deposited into your account.
While there is no fee to use Click2Refund, they will take 25% of the compensation if your case is successful. Still, I think this service is absolutely worth it to have someone handle everything on your behalf. Especially because they know all of the rules so you know you’ll be getting the maximum compensation. They have a 98% success rate as well as excellent reviews on Trustpilot.
While delayed and canceled flights are a pain, I’m excited to learn more about these new rules that protect passengers. I know I’ll certainly be trying to get compensation back for any flight issues in the future through Click2Refund.