If you flight is delayed or even worse cancelled you need to be compensated for it. What is important before you even think of compensation is to know whose fault it is. If it is the airline’s then you can claim your compensation. The airlines have a list of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that if the delay is caused by one of these then you do not get compensation. This legislation applies to flights that depart from an EU airport or are headed to an EU airport.

Check your travel insurance to see how its travel policy covers flight delays. If you are qualified to claim then go through the insurance since it is faster compared to using the legislation.
If your flight is cancelled long before takeoff then you have two options. To claim for a refund or claim for alternative transport to where you were to go as soon as possible. However if it is cancelled within 14 days of the journey you have a right to claim compensation. This depends on whether the delay or cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances.

How much you get as compensation is dependent on many things. The distance of the flight and the time wasted before reaching your destination are main determinants. If you opt for a refund your compensation will be determined by the timing of the alternative flight that was offered.

Due to EU regulation the flights that have a late take off should be more bearable. This is however not confirmed. In November 2009, the European courts ruled out that delayed passengers should get compensated too, but the airlines appealed against the ruling. In May 2012, the appeal was dismissed and therefore there is a possibility that this law will come into force. If your flight is delayed the air line should provide you with free drinks and meals, two phone calls, faxes, emails and accommodation if need be. If a flight goes beyond five hours then ask for a refund.

If your flight is cancelled or delayed and you are eligible for compensation then contact the airline first and inform them that you are claiming compensation. If the matter is not handled satisfactorily then you can contact the Civil Aviation Authority.

Airlines that fail to compensate their passengers have to pay a fine on every passenger. The problem is that the claims must be done through the authorities in the country of departure. This means that you may have to contact foreign agencies to get the money.

Determining whether the delay is within the airline’s control is a stumbling block. Airlines do not pay compensation for delays caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather, worker strikes and security risks.

In December 2008 the law governing the causes of delays was made clearer. It was ruled that extraordinary circumstances are those that are not inherent to the normal activities of the airline in question.

Knowing your rights is your weapon. Know this EU regulation and get what you deserve when it comes to flight delay and cancellations.

Written by www.theinsuranceowl.co.uk