The European Union has developed a regulation known as EC 261/2004 to protect air passengers' rights. This means that the airlines are responsible for certain events and mean that passengers can be compensated. If you have had a flight delay longer than three hours, were denied boarding on to your booked flight, had a cancellation to a scheduled flight within 14 days of the departure, or were rerouted during your flight, and this happened within the last three years, you should get familiar with the airline passenger regulations. However, these regulations don't apply if the event was caused by a extraordinary circumstances.
EC 261/2004 is one of the most comprehensive airline passenger bills of rights in the world. It protects passengers who traveled from a European airport or traveled into Europe with a European carrier from any destination around the world. This bill of rights created for the airline passengers' protection means that if they experience problems while flying and their flight meets the necessary criteria, they can enforce their rights and claim up to $700 per person for compensation.
However, these regulations may not be enforced if the cause of the inconvenience was an extraordinary circumstance, such as inclement weather conditions, security risks, hidden manufacturing defects, and medical emergencies.
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AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organization, here to help air travelers secure compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights.
We make claiming compensation easy and stress-free. Whether you are unsure of your rights, lack the time, or simply want an expert to handle your entire claim for you, AirHelp can help you get what you are rightfully owed.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis, so you can check your compensation risk-free.
How do you know when you should claim compensation for a delayed or canceled flight? Though the law can be complicated, we're here to break it down for you:
Delayed flights: you may be able to claim compensation if your flight arrived 3 hours or more late.
Canceled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
Overbookings: you are owed compensation any time you are denied boarding through no fault of your own — so long as you didn't voluntarily give up your seat.
We should note that if extraordinary circumstances were involved, arirlines are under no obligation to pay compensation. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include bad weather, travel restrictions, and air traffic control strikes. Though these situations cause delays and cancellations, the airline isn't at fault, so can't be expected to offer compensation.
Remember these are European flight regulations and so only apply to flights departing from an EU airport, or flights landing in the EU with a European airline. The table below makes it clear which flights are covered:
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|All flights under 1,500 km||Up to €250 per person|
|Internal EU flights over 1,500 km||Up to €400 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km||Up to €400 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km||Up to €600 per person|
Table shows values in € as specified in EC 261
In some circumstances the compensation amount may differ from the standard amounts shown above. The easiest way to find out what you’re owed is to use our Compensation Calculator.
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