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    How do I know if I’m entitled to compensation?

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    Air Passenger Law

    • What are my rights regarding Coronavirus/Covid-19?

      If your flight is cancelled because of the Coronavirus
      You are entitled to:

      A full refund of your ticket
      or
      An alternative flight (when flights are rescheduled).

      If you’re stranded at the airport because of a cancellation you’re entitled to care. That includes:

      • Meals and refreshments.
      • Access to communication.
      • Accommodation when necessary.

      At this point in time, we cannot accept claims for compensation for flight cancellations caused directly by Coronavirus, as the airlines must prioritise the health and safety of their passengers and crew first and foremost.

      This includes flights to and from any areas affected by a travel warning or ban.

      What if I don’t want to fly?

      If you decide not to travel due to the Coronavirus you should contact your airline to find out what their refund policy is, or to see if they have specific guidelines covering the outbreak.

    • What are extraordinary circumstances?

      Extraordinary circumstances refer to any events outside of the airline’s control that have resulted in a flight disruption. These are situations where a disruption could not have been avoided, even if the airline had taken all reasonable measures.  

      Extraordinary circumstances include:

      • Strikes by airport employees or air traffic control
      • Political unrest
      • Extreme weather conditions
      • Security risks
      • Travel restrictions
      • Emergency health conditions
    • Should the airline pay for food and other essentials if my flight is canceled due to coronavirus?

      Under EC 261, if an airline cancels your flight they must always provide you with essential care while you are waiting until the next available flight.

      Essential care includes:

      • Food and drink.
      • Access to communication.
      • Hotel accommodation where necessary.

      Because of coronavirus, lots of countries have travel bans in place, meaning airlines can no longer fly many routes, and there may be a considerable delay before the next available flight.

      In these cases, instead of the next available flight, passengers might prefer to request either a full refund or to fly at a later date that suits them (after flights resume). Just be aware that when you choose these options airlines are no longer required to cover your essential care.

    • I missed my connecting flight - am I entitled to compensation?

      If your flight was delayed, whether you’re entitled to compensation varies depending on the laws and regulations of where you are flying. Right now, we mostly work with EC 261 in Europe, and ANAC 400 in Brazil.

      In Europe

      Your delayed flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was departing from the EU or was on an EU airline arriving in the EU.
      • Your flight was delayed by 3 hours or more.
      • Your delay occurred in the last several years. Time limits vary from country to country. Find out more here.
      • You had a confirmed flight reservation.
      • Your delay was not due to an extraordinary circumstance.

      In Brazil

      Your delayed flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was landing or taking off from Brazil.
      • Your flight was delayed by 4 hours or more.
      • Your airline didn’t provide necessary food, communication, or accommodation.
      • Your flight was within the last 5 years (2 years if it was an international flight).

      If you’re unsure, you can always check if your flight is eligible for compensation with AirHelp’s easy Flight Checker.

    • Does weather affect my eligibility?

      Yes, flights disrupted by extreme weather conditions are not eligible for compensation. Airlines may cancel or delay flights if environmental conditions could affect their passengers’ safety. Extreme weather falls under extraordinary circumstances and is, therefore, beyond the airline’s control.

    • My flight was canceled - am I entitled to compensation?

      If your flight was canceled, whether you’re entitled to compensation varies depending on the laws and regulations of where you’re flying. Right now, we mostly work with EC 261 in Europe, and ANAC 400 in Brazil.

      In Europe

      Your canceled flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was departing from the EU or was on an EU airline arriving in the EU.
      • Your flight was canceled within 14 days of your scheduled departure.
      • Your delay occurred in the last few years. Time limits vary from country to country. Find out more here.
      • You had a confirmed flight reservation.
      • Your delay was not due to an extraordinary circumstance.

      In Brazil
      Your canceled flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was landing or taking off from Brazil.
      • Your flight was canceled on short notice and the airline didn’t provide you with another flight, reimbursement of your ticket and fees, or offer suitable alternative transportation.
      • Your airline didn’t provide necessary food, communication, or accommodation.
      • Your flight was within the last 5 years (2 years if it was an international flight).

      If you’re unsure, you can always check if your flight is eligible for compensation with AirHelp’s easy Flight Checker.

    • My flight was delayed - am I entitled to compensation?

      You are entitled to compensation for your delayed flight if:

      – Your flight was either delayed by 3 hours or more or was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.

      – Your flight was set to depart from the EU or was on an EU airline arriving in the EU.

      – You had a confirmed flight reservation.

      – The disruption occurred within the last several years. Time limits for a claim do vary based on country. You can find out more here.

      – If you took a replacement flight and your new arrival time was significantly different than from that of your original flight.

      – The delay wasn’t due to extraordinary circumstances out of the airline’s control.

      You can check if you are entitled to compensation for your delayed flight via our website, free of charge.

    • Are child passengers eligible for compensation too?

      Children are entitled to compensation after a flight disruption if they have either a reserved seat or have paid the full price of an adult airfare. For any other situation, please submit your claim which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

    • What if the airline already offered me compensation?

      Usually, compensation that is offered by the airline will be lower than the full amount stipulated in EU Regulation 261/2004. If the airline offered you travel vouchers or air miles, you could still ask AirHelp to claim cash on your behalf.

    • Can I get the compensation for delayed/canceled/overbooked flight if I have already accepted the voucher offered by the airline?

      We’ll have to check a few things, but generally, yes, you can get compensation for your flight if it is eligible. However, always be careful when signing agreements with the airlines, as some may require you to give up your compensation if you choose to accept a voucher. If you’re unsure about whether you’re entitled to compensation or not, always check with our easy Compensation Check to see what you’re owed.
    • Can I get the compensation according to Regulation EC 261/2004 if I have already received assistance from the airline (meals, refreshments, hotel accommodation, etc.)?

      Yes, if your flight is eligible for compensation. Airlines are required to offer assistance for any long flight delay or cancellation, as well as compensation. The easiest way to check if you’re eligible for compensation is to use our easy Compensation Check.

    • Can I get compensation if the airline informed me about the cancellation on the same day that the flight should have departed?

      Yes, you have the right to compensation from the air carrier, unless you were offered re-routing that allowed you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival depending on distance.

    • Can I claim compensation from an airline that no longer exists?

      While theoretically, you can try to claim compensation with a bankrupt airline, the reality is that you are likely not going to get it. Passengers are often last in a long line of creditors that airlines have to pay off after going under. However, there is one possible exception: if your flight was operated by a different airline that partnered with the airline which went bust. In that case, we’ll continue pursuing that partner airline for compensation passengers are owed. You can learn more about what happens following an airline bankruptcy here

       

    • Can I get compensation for flights with low cost companies and/or charter flights?

      Yes. It doesn’t matter if the company offers low cost flights as long as the flight delay or cancellation meets the eligibility criteria for getting compensation. The easiest way to check if your flight is eligible is to use our easy Compensation Check.

    • My flight was delayed less than three hours but I missed my connecting flight. Can I claim compensation?

      For EU flights, the answer is most likely “yes.” Under European regulation EC 261, eligibility for compensation is based on the length of delay at your final destination. If your missed connection makes you more than three hours late overall, you should be eligible, provided all of your connecting flights were part of the same flight reservation, under the same booking reference number.

    • What are the extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the airlines’ control?

      Airlines are not liable for flight disruptions that were due to “extraordinary circumstances.” These are scenarios that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken and include situations such as medical emergencies, civil unrest, strikes initiated by airport staff or air traffic control, serious adverse weather, and natural disasters, to name a few. 

    • Am I entitled to compensation?

      If you recently experienced a delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight, you may be eligible for compensation. However, the laws differ quite a bit based on where you’re flying. Here’s a breakdown:

      If you’re flying within the US

      Flights within the US are only eligible for compensation if they are overbooked, you then are denied boarding, and the rerouted flight they put you on gets you to your destination one hour late or more.

      If you’re flying to or from Europe

      Flights to or from Europe are eligible for compensation if they are delayed, cancelled, or overbooked due to a situation they could control. Situations that the airlines couldn’t control (such as a weather event) are exempt from compensation.

    • Your website says I’m not entitled to compensation. What can I do?

      While we do everything that we can to help uphold your air passenger rights, we cannot help you get compensation if your flight is found to be ineligible. One common reason for ineligibility is if your flight was disrupted by extraordinary circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions or travel restrictions. You can learn more about what flights qualify for compensation and your rights here.

      Of course, air passenger rights are complex, so if you have any questions or believe that your flight has been assessed incorrectly, please contact us here

    • What can I do if an airline isn't responding to me?

      If you have tried to contact an airline for assistance with any problem, our first piece of advice is to keep trying. We know from our own experience that airline customer service agents get busy, especially during peak times like the summer and Christmas holidays.

      If the airline still isn’t responding to repeated messages you do have a couple of options:

      For some issues you can involve a third party, like AirHelp. We can help passengers who are trying to contact airlines for compensation following delayed or cancelled flights. With our years of experience, we often are able to demand a response from the airline, even after customers have found their own requests were ignored.

      You can also contact the aviation authorities which govern your airline.
      If you’re flying within Europe you can look up your airline’s national enforcement body here.
      We’ve also listed some of the biggest non-EU airline national enforcement bodies here:

      AustraliaCivil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)https://www.casa.gov.au/
      BrazilNational Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC)http://www.anac.gov.br/en
      CanadaCanadian Transportation Agency (CTA)https://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng
      RussiaFederal Air Transport Agencyhttps://favt.ru/
      USAFederal Aviation Administrationhttps://www.faa.gov/

       

    • What are your rights when an airline changes your flight in advance?

      You’ll need to check the t&cs of your ticket for the answer to this – because there are no international laws which cover your rights when airlines change their schedule.

      In general, most airline t&cs will offer you a full refund, or the option to change to another flight whenever there has been a “significant” schedule change.

      What counts as a “significant” schedule change? That is also up to the airlines to decide. For some it means any departure time that has changed by two or more hours. While for other airlines it is a departure time that has changed by 12 or more hours. Again, this definition should be in your t&cs.

      If your flight has been cancelled, and then you have been moved to a different flight, this situation is covered by law. In Europe, regulation EC 261 states that if your flight has been cancelled you are entitled to either a full refund, or a new flight to your destination. In addition, if your flight is cancelled less than 14 days before departure you may also be entitled to additional compensation. Read our guidance on cancelled flight compensation for more information.

    • Do connecting flights make a difference in terms of eligibility for flight disruptions?

      When it comes to compensation it’s how delayed you were getting to your destination that counts. It doesn’t matter if you were on a direct flight, or had to connect. If you arrive over 3 hours late you may be eligible for compensation under EC 261.

      Connecting flights may add some complications to your claim if the disruption happened on a leg outside of the jurisdiction you want to claim in. The simplest way to check this though is just to use our Compensation Check, and we’ll tell you what you’re owed.  

      Note that a connecting flight is one where all legs of the flight are booked together under the same booking reference. If you booked multiple flights yourself the situation is a bit different, and you can usually only claim compensation for the one disrupted flight, rather than the whole journey. 

      You can learn more about missed connection compensation here

    • Are delayed flights eligible for compensation?

      It depends. If your flight was delayed, whether you’re entitled to compensation varies depending on the laws and regulations of where you are flying. Right now, we mostly work with EC 261 in Europe, and ANAC 400 in Brazil.

      In Europe

      Your delayed flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was departing from the EU or was on an EU airline arriving in the EU.
      • Your flight was delayed by 3 hours or more.
      • Your delay occurred in the last several years. Time limits vary from country to country. Find out more here.
      • You had a confirmed flight reservation.
      • Your delay was not due to an extraordinary circumstance.

      In Brazil

      Your delayed flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was landing or taking off from Brazil.
      • Your flight was delayed by 4 hours or more.
      • Your airline didn’t provide necessary food, communication, or accommodation.
      • Your flight was within the last 5 years (2 years if it was an international flight).

      If you’re unsure, you can always check if your flight is eligible for compensation with AirHelp’s easy Flight Checker.

    • How do I know if I am entitled to compensation and how much am I entitled to?

      You can check if you’re entitled to compensation for your disrupted flight(s) and how much are you entitled to via our Eligibility Check. It takes only a few minutes and is completely free of charge.

    • I was denied boarding - Can I file a claim for compensation?

      If you were denied boarding because the flight was overbooked, you are entitled to compensation, and you can file a claim.

      Unfortunately, if you were denied boarding for a reason that was under your control, such as showing up late at the boarding gate, not having correct travel documents, or security-related matters, then you aren’t entitled to compensation.

      If you think you have a valid reason why you couldn’t make your flight, we recommend that you contact the airline directly and explain your case. Sometimes, even though the airline isn’t legally obliged to pay, they might extend a different form of compensation (vouchers, discounts etc.) as a form of “goodwill”.  

    • My flight was delayed. Can I claim compensation?

      It depends. If your flight was delayed, whether you’re entitled to compensation varies depending on the laws and regulations of where you are flying. Right now, we mostly work with EC 261 in Europe, and ANAC 400 in Brazil.

      In Europe

      Your delayed flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was departing from the EU or was on an EU airline arriving in the EU.
      • Your flight was delayed by 3 hours or more.
      • Your delay occurred in the last several years. Time limits vary from country to country. Find out more here.
      • You had a confirmed flight reservation.
      • Your delay was not due to an extraordinary circumstance.

      In Brazil

      Your delayed flight is eligible for compensation if:

      • Your flight was landing or taking off from Brazil.
      • Your flight was delayed by 4 hours or more.
      • Your airline didn’t provide necessary food, communication, or accommodation.
      • Your flight was within the last 5 years (2 years if it was an international flight).

      If you’re unsure, you can always check if your flight is eligible for compensation with AirHelp’s easy Flight Checker.

    • My flight was canceled. Can I claim compensation?

      You may be entitled to compensation between €125 and €600 depending on the distance of your flight and the total delay at your final destination. If you were informed about the cancellation at least 14 days before the flight, or if the airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances (weather conditions, strikes by airport staff or air traffic control, security measures) you are not entitled to compensation. In addition to compensation, the airline must offer you the choice between:
      • reimbursement of your ticket within seven days
      • re-routing to your final destination under similar conditions
      Care (phone call, refreshments, food, accommodation, transportation to the accommodation), should also be provided if necessary.
    • Can the airline reduce the amount of compensation?

      In some cases the airline is allowed to reduce the compensation by 50%. But this happens only if you were offered re-routing and the arrival time at the final destination did not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked:
      • by 2 hrs in case of flights up to 1500 km
      • by 3 hrs in case of flights between 1500 – 3500 km
      • by 4 hrs in case of flights over 3500 km.
    • How much am I entitled to?

      The amount of compensation depends on the distance of your flight.

      DELAY (at final destination after potential rebooking and/or re-routing)Distance
      less than 2 hoursmore than 2 hoursmore than 3 hoursmore than 4 hoursnever arrived
      Denied boarding*€ 250€ 250€ 250€ 250€ 250< 1500 km
      € 400€ 400€ 400€ 400€ 4001500 km < 3500 km
      € 600€ 600€ 600€ 600€ 6003500 km <
      Delayed€ 0€ 0€ 250€ 250€ 250< 1500 km
      € 0€ 0€ 400€ 400€ 4001500 km < 3500 km
      € 0€ 0€ 300€ 600€ 6003500 km <
      Cancelled**€ 125€ 250€ 250€ 250€ 250< 1500 km
      € 200€ 200€ 400€ 400€ 4001500 km < 3500 km
      € 300€ 300€ 300€ 600€ 6003500 km <

      * The compensation is due immediately and irrespective of any re-routing offered.

      ** The compensation may be halved by the airline in case the delay, after offered and accepted re-routing, was less than 2, 3 or 4 hours depending on the length of the flight.

    • Do I have to be a European citizen?

      No. You can claim compensation even if you’re not a European citizen. Your citizenship does not impact your rights under EC 261/2004.

    • Why should I be compensated?

      Increased mobility throughout Europe has created the need for common air passenger rights. EU Regulation 261/2004 ensures that airlines compensate their passengers when they cause serious inconvenience to their customers. Your time is precious!

    • Which countries and airlines are subject to EU passenger rights?

      The EU air passenger rights regulation, EC 261, applies to all countries and territories under the European Union, as well as the UK, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Likewise, all airlines registered within these member states and operating within the EU are subject to this regulation. 

    • How far back can I get compensation?

      If you have been on a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight within the last three years you are entitled to compensation and can send your flight ticket information to AirHelp. We take care of the rest.

    • My airline refused to compensate me after my disrupted flight - what can I do?

      If you think you’re entitled to compensation for your flight problem but the airline won’t do anything about it, don’t worry! There’s a chance that we can still help you. Simply use our Flight Checker to see if you are eligible. If we find that you have a valid claim, we will then discuss it with our Legal Team to see what options are available. We’ll handle the entire process for you from start to finish.

    • Can I claim compensation from a flight that was paid by my employer?

      Yes, regardless of who paid for the flight ticket, it is always the passenger who experienced the disruption who is eligible to claim for compensation.

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