If you are traveling by airplane and your flights are cancelled for one reason or another you might find yourself very frustrated. The good news is that if your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than three hours you might be eligible for compensation. One option to receiving this compensation is to file the claim yourself. If your flight has been cancelled for any reason you are eligible to at least a full refund of the cost of your ticket or a way to book an alternative flight. In many cases, you could receive compensation due to the fact that you were inconvenienced. To receive compensation you need to see if your are eligible. Here is how to do this.
Do You Fit The Criteria
In order to be compensated for a flight that was cancelled or delayed the flight must meet the following criteria. The first step under the law is that the flight needs to have taken off from a EU airport or land at a EU airport with a EU airline. These airports include Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. If the flight that you were supposed to be on was booked as a package the party responsible for finding you a different flight or date would be the tour company not the airline. If the flight you were supposed to be on was before February 2005 then the statue of limitations to file a claim has expired. If your flight was after February 2005 you are still within the time bracket to have a claim filed. In order to receive additional compensation the airline must be at fault. Meaning either the flight was under booked or cancelled by the operating airline. Another criteria is if you arrived at your destination other than what you were scheduled. The compensation you could receive may be based on how delayed you were.
How To File Your Claim
There are several steps to filing your claims. The first thing you need to do is to contact the airline directly. Each airline has a different preferred method to contact them so be sure to find out what that is. There is also certain information you will need to include on your report. This information includes: your complete contact information, details of all of the passengers you were traveling with, your travel dates and reference numbers, your flight number, departure and destination airports, details regarding where the delay happened, information regarding the length of the delay, names of staff members your spoke to, and evidence to support the fact that you were on the flight such as luggage tags, airport receipts, phone records or even passport stamps. The next step occurs if the airline denies your claim. If this happens you need to contact the regulator. The regulator will review your claim to see if you have a valid claim. However they cannot decide the decision of the case or impose any requirement of the airline. If the regulator states that you have a valid case but the airline is still not paying your next step is to head to small claims court.
Using A Professional Service To File Your Claim
Often time’s people find the process of filing the claim with the airline overwhelming and time consuming. If you do not want to go through the process yourself you can hire a professional service to file your claim. You can find these third parties online and most of the time the information can be passed along to the third party online as well. The first step is to estimate the amount of potential compensation. This step is easily done on the website by following the instructions. You will need to enter your flight number and flight date. The company will then estimate the amount you should receive from the airline. The second step is to describe the problem. This is where you explain what happened. Was your flight cancelled or delayed, were you denied boarding or was your fight rerouted? Be sure to be specific regarding the problem. The last step in this process is to sit and wait for the results. The company that you hire will complete the required paperwork for filing the claim ad will represent you. If you are due to receive compensation the company will charge you a fee however, if you do not receive any compensation you are not charged anything.
There are pros and cons to filing the report to receive compensation from the airline yourself but there are also pros and cons to filing the report through a third part. The decision is completely up to you. The ultimate goal is the same both ways to get the compensation you are entitled to from the airline that caused your cancellation or delay.
Image via Flickr by Gui Seiz