Such was the case for one intrepid traveller, however she managed to make the best of a bad situation and wrangled almost AU$1000 out of her airline for the inconvenience.
In a story for News.com.au, Kara Murphy explains that her good fortune is thanks to a little-known law surrounding delayed flights that originate in Europe. As it turns out, passengers on flights out of Europe, or passengers on flights into Europe on a European airline, who experience massive delays, can actually find themselves up to $1000 richer if they make a claim citing the rule.
She explains that as she is departing from an airport within the EU, if her new arrival time at her end destination exceeds the scheduled arrival time by more than four hours, she could be entitled up to 600 euros in compensation.
This rule is known as the European Union Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004.
Kara was given a consumer rights brochure which instructed her to email her airline with details of ticket numbers, flight numbers, origin and destination cities, travel dates and details of the delay, finishing off the email by mentioning the rule EC261 and requested the 600 euros of compensation.
“If your flight is delayed (thus causing you to reach your final destination three hours or more behind schedule) or cancelled (within 14 days of departure), or you’re denied boarding, you and your travelling companions may be entitled to compensation. The delay must arise from causes within the airline’s control (disruptions due to weather, for instance, aren’t eligible), and the compensation amount depends on the travel distance, the length of the delay, and other factors.”
“Potential compensation per passenger is 250 euros for flights of 1500km or less; 400 euros for flights within the EU of more than 1500km, and other flights between 1500 and 3000km; and 600 euros for all other flights.”
So should you be on holiday in Europe and find yourself delayed by several hours, use those hours wisely to make a claim on EC261.
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