We have all been there, arriving at the airport 3 hours before your flight leaves. You check in and clear the grinding queues for security. You are in departures, you look up to check what time your plane is boarding and the dreaded word “Delayed” flashes up before your eyes.
If your flight is cancelled or delayed you may need to purchase another ticket. That is frustrating enough as a normal passenger, but what if you are travelling on business or it is your employee who will be missing their flight? They will want to expense their new ticket to your business, which may cost you a significant amount.
Fortunately, there is legislation to protect consumers (including business travellers) in such situations. Provided you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for compensation under the Denied Boarding Regulations (DBR).
The DBR applies if:
- You have a confirmed booking i.e. you have pre-booked your flights;
- You checked in on time; and,
- You are departing from, or travelling to an EU airport (important to note this may change post-Brexit) or you are travelling on an EU based airline. If you are travelling on a non-EU airline to a non-EU airport you are not covered to the same extent.
DBR and Delays
What you are entitled to under the DBR for delayed flights is dependant on a number of factors. You are entitled to meals, phone calls, refreshments if the following apply:
- Your flight is delayed by more than 2 hours and your distance travelled is not more than 932 miles; or,
- If your flight of 932 miles is within the EU the delay will need to be at least 3 hours; or,
- A flight outside the EU between 932 and 2174 miles will need to be delayed for at least 3 hours.
If a category above applies, you are entitled to the following to be paid by the airline:
- 2 free phone calls, emails or faxes
- Free meals and refreshments appropriate to the delay
- Overnight accommodation (if necessary)
- If your delay is over 5 hours – you are entitled to choose either being re-routed or reimbursed.
In addition to the above you may be able to claim financial compensation. The amount you are entitled to depends on the distance of travel and length of delay as follows:
|Flight Distance||Length of Delay||Entitlement|
|Up to 932 Miles||More than 3 Hours||250 Euros|
|Any flight within the EU over 1,500km (932 miles) or any other flight up to 2,175 miles)||More than 3 Hours||400 Euros|
|More than 2175 miles||Between 3 and 4 hours||300 Euros|
|More than 2175||More than 4 hours||600 Euros|
Where a carrier expects to have to deny boarding to one or more passengers, it must first call for volunteers to surrender their reservations. The volunteers may choose between being reimbursed for their tickets and being re-routed to their final destination at a later date of their choice. They may also agree additional benefits with the airline.
If there are not enough volunteers, then the carrier can deny boarding to passengers against their will, but must then pay them compensation, and give them assistance.
Let us know if we can help you!
Author: Yvonne Morris
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