From flight delay compensation to the EHIC card, there is much being said from both sides about the ramifications of leaving the EU. The truth is nothing much is going to change in the very short term in terms of our membership.
However, in two years time when the real changes take place, there is expected to be some fundamental changes in the way flight delay compensation currently works.
At the moment there are regulations in place to help with cancellations and delays, the two biggest gripes for holiday makers in the UK.
As it stands
Denied Boarding Regulation
As it stands, if you’re travelling with an airline based in the EU, or even a non EU airline flying from an EU airport, you are covered under the Denied Boarding Regulations.
The airline is obligated to help you if your flight is expected to be delayed beyond a certain point.
However, if you’re travelling with a non EU airline to a non EU airport then the airline does not have the same obligation to look after you.
Denied Boarding Regulations will apply to you if:
- You have a confirmed booking
- You were checked in on time. If no check in time was given you must have checked in 45 mins before your flight was due to depart.
- You are departing from an EU airport, or from a non EU airport on a ‘community carrier’ – an airline who has its headquarters within the EU. This includes budget airlines.
Flight delay compensation entitlement
What you’re entitled to depends on the length of your delay and the length of your flight under the current Denied Boarding Regulation.
If one of the following circumstances occurs, you are entitled to refreshments, meals, phone calls and emails.
- A flight under 932 miles is delayed for a minimum of two hours
- A flight within the EU is delayed for a minimum of three hours
- A flight that isn’t in the EU but is between 932 and 2,174 miles is delayed by a minimum of three hours
- Any other flight delayed for minimum of three hours
If you fall into any of the above criteria, as it stands you are entitled to:
- Two free phone calls, emails or faxes.
- Free refreshments and meals appropriate for the delay.
- If an overnight stay is required – free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers.
- If the flight is delayed for five hours or more (but is not cancelled) you can request a full refund of your ticket cost
It all depends on the circumstances of your delay. If the airline proves the circumstances were extraordinary and out of their control there is no compensation payable.
Extraordinary circumstances are situations beyond the control of the airline such as a security risk, political turmoil at your chosen destination, or extreme weather conditions that would make flying dangerous.
They also tend to include strikes into this. Although you’re not entitled to compensation in these circumstances, you are still entitled to the above if your delay has met the criteria.
If the circumstances of the delay do not fall into extraordinary circumstances you’re entitled to claim compensation.
Delayed flight compensation breakdown
|Flight Distance||How Late Arriving||Compensation Entitlement|
|Up to 1,500km (932 miles)||More than 3 hours||€ 250|
|Any flight within the EU over 1,500km (932 miles) or any other flight between 1,500km – 3,500km (2,175 miles)||More than 3 hours||€ 400|
|More than 3,500km (2,175 miles)||Between 3-4 hours||€ 300|
|More than 3,500km (2,175 miles)||More than 4 hours||€ 600|
What can we expect to change
In all honesty it is highly likely that none of it will be available to the UK after we have left the EU. Unless, over the next two years there are negotiations to keep us protected in the same way.
If you have been affected by any of the above, make sure you get your claim in whilst you can. When the time comes we will also need to make sure we all take the correct travel insurance to make sure if the worse case scenario happens, we are still protected. But I’ll leave that to another blog.
What are your thoughts about traveling as a non EU citizen? Have you ever been rewarded with flight delay compensation?
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.