So the summer holidays are just on the horizon which means millions of us will be jetting off to somewhere hot or even somewhere cold. But what can you do if you are left grounded by your airline?
Research carried out by Which? has revealed that 30% of UK holidaymakers have experienced delayed flights and consider it as their top holiday gripe. Although this is the case, many people do not know their rights when it comes to cancelled or delayed flights.
It has been estimated that around 3.27 million passengers to and from UK airports each year could have a potential claim. In addition to this, an average of £320 is demanded as compensation.
By law, customers have 6 years to submit a claim and airlines must pay compensation for delays caused by technical issues. In order to make a claim you must have been delayed for more than 3 hours. The amount you are entitled to however, will depend on the delay and the distance.
However, holidaymakers must be aware that the amount of compensation you receive can be halved if the actual arrival time is within two hours for short haul flights, three hours for medium flights and within four hours for long-haul flights.
If your flight has been delayed, airlines have a duty of care to provide those affected with refreshments and accommodation, if required. Even if you have booked your flight through a tour operator, the airline still owes you a duty of care.
Compensation is usually paid in cash, bank transfer or cheque. If the airline is looking to pay you in vouchers for other services, you must agree to this, so don't accept anything you do not want.
So what are extraordinary circumstances?
Extraordinary circumstances account for issues such as security risks, weather events, and dust clouds for example. Basically, the term mean anything which is beyond the airlines control. If this is the case, you will unfortunately not have a claim. It is important to note however that recent rulings have excluded mechanical failures from 'extraordinary circumstances'. If you feel that the airline is not acting fairly in regards to what actually counts as 'extraordinary circumstances', you may challenge them. If your flight was cancelled or delayed in the UK then you can raise it with the Civil Aviation Authority.
What else am I entitled to?
During your delay, the airline must look after you, providing that you are flying from an EU-based airline or are flying from an EU airport.
This Denied Boarding Regulation covers cancellations and delays, and entitles travellers to welfare packages from their airline. Short-haul flights must be delayed by more than two hours, medium-haul by more than three hours and long-haul flights by more than four hours. Once the designated time has passed, passengers are entitled to meals and refreshments, two free telephone calls and potentially accommodation if needed.
If your thinking of making a flight delay or cancellation claim MTA Solicitors can help you! To find our more or to make a claim simply click here or call us on 0208 313 7804 today!