We have often mentioned your right to compensation when your arrival delay is three hours or more. But did you know that you also have rights when your arrival delay starts at two hours? We explain.
Two hours’ delay and compensation
In order to apply for compensation for a flight delay, your arrival delay must be three hours or more. The flight must also not be delayed by an extraordinary circumstance such as bad weather conditions, medical emergency landings, strikes and terrorism. However, when your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to compensation when your arrival delay starts at two hours. Your replacement flight must get you to your end destination within two hours of the original arrival time, or the airline has to compensate you for loss of time.
Example 1: Your flight from Paris to Glasgow is cancelled because of a French Air Traffic Control strike. You arrive in Glasgow a day late. You are not entitled to compensation because the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance, being a strike.
Amount of compensation for a two hour delay
Plane cancellations affect passengers every day. There is some important flight cancelled information for you: If your flight is cancelled and your arrival delay is two hours or more, you are entitled to compensation. The moment that you were informed about the cancellation is important when determining your right to compensation. If you are informed less than 7 days before departure, you are entitled to compensation if you arrive two hours later or more.
Example 2: Your flight from London to Singapore is cancelled two in advance because of planning issues. Your replacement flight arrives five hours later. You are now entitled to a compensation of €600.
Right to care starts at a two hour delay
The right to care in Regulation 261/2004 establishes your entitlements regarding food, drink and if needed a hotel stay if your flight is delayed or cancelled. Your right to care starts at a two hour delay for flights of 1500 kilometers or less and is in no way connected to the reason of the delay. Meaning that if your flight is delayed or cancelled because of an extraordinary circumstance, you are still entitled to care for the entire duration of the delay. If your flight exceeds 1500 kilometers your delay must be longer in order to be entitled to care. Always keep your receipts and boarding pass for claiming the extra costs.
Example 3: Your flight from Philadelphia to London is cancelled because of a blizzard. It is not known when you can fly again as the airport is closed. You are not entitled to food, drinks and a hotel for the duration of the delay.
Two hour delay due to a strike
If your flight is cancelled or delayed by two hours because of a strike you are not entitled to compensation as a strike is considered to be an extraordinary circumstance in the UK. You are however always entitled to care of the delay exceeds two hours. If the flight is cancelled because of a strike you are entitled to a replacement flight or a refund of your ticket.
Example 4: Your flight with Iberia to Madrid is cancelled because the pilots are on strike. You are not entitled to compensation as the flight is cancelled due to a strike which is classified as an extraordinary circumstance. You are however entitled to care and a replacement flight or a refund of your purchased ticket from Iberia.
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