The journey in airline ticket claims due to delay or cancellation.

Everyone has experienced a flight delay or cancelled and if you have not experienced it, you are lucky. Once the bad time is over, we get ready to make the relevant claim, but usually it comes to nothing and sometimes we don't even get our money back. Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 establishes common rules on passenger compensation and assistance. We tell you what your rights are.


Esther Sánchez Páez

10/6/2021 2 min read

First of all, you have to take into account that in case of cancellation and/or long delay of your flight, you are entitled to a series of assistance from the airline and in certain cases compensation. Sometimes it happens that we lose hotel nights, excursions or connections with other flights and these can be compensated. But the first big question is, what has to happen to get the right of compensation?

The European Union establishes that the airline will be obliged to pay compensation as long as they are not due to extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided despite reasonable measures. Therefore, compensation would not be given if the airline proves that the cancellation or delay was due to extraordinary circumstances. This has happened with the covid situation at the time the quarantine was initiated and the mobility of people was limited.

The aforementioned regulation gives a series of examples as possible extraordinary circumstances, including security or political instability, but the Court of Justice of the European Union has already clarified that these examples "may" be extraordinary circumstances, but not in all cases and it is therefore up to the airlines to prove them. Also the Provincial Court of Madrid has ruled on the concept of extraordinary circumstances, therefore, it will be necessary to study the specific case according to case law.

It must be taken into account that the concurrence of an extraordinary circumstance affects only the right to compensation, but not the rest of the rights established in the Regulation, such as assistance to the passenger, reimbursement or alternative transportation, etc.

This compensation may not be given in the event that:

- The cancellation is reported at least two weeks in advance, or.

- The cancellation is reported between two weeks and seven days prior to departure and re-routing is offered that allows for departure no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and arrival at the final destination is less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or

- They are informed of the cancellation less than seven days in advance and are offered another flight that allows departure no more than one hour in advance and arrival at the final destination within two hours of the scheduled departure and arrival times.

How much is the compensation?

The compensation is already regulated in the aforementioned Regulation. We have to emphasize that this is only a compensation, but there is also a right to compensation for expenses incurred such as hotel, excursions or alternative flights.

Returning to the compensation, this will amount to:

- 250 euros for flights of less than 1,500 kilometers distance between the place of departure and destination.

- 400 euros for intra-community flights of more than 1,500 kilometers and other flights that exceed 1,500 kilometers without exceeding 3,500 euros.

- 600 euros for all flights not included above and therefore usually those over 3,500 kilometers.

What if there is a delay?

In the case of delays of more than two hours and not requiring a change of flight the following day, passengers will be entitled to sufficient food and refreshments depending on the waiting time, as well as the possibility of making phone calls or sending e-mails. In the event that the flight is delayed the following day, the airline must provide hotel accommodation and transportation between the airport and the hotel.

If you have suffered a delay or cancellation of your flight and they have not complied with the European Union Regulation and the measures we have told you about above, do not hesitate to contact us and we will proceed to file the claim for you.


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