While traveling by air, there can be unexpected issues that can actually ruin your trip. Whether you have experienced a check-in problem, or even got your flight canceled or delayed, you might feel absolutely frustrated. You get angry when it is your fault (for instance, you didn’t get to the airport on time) or when the mother nature is not in good moods, but it’s the most unpleasant when some troubles occur at the airport or within the airline, that determined your flight delay or loss. One for sure, you must always check whether or not you are eligible for flight cancellation or flight delay compensation.

Why You Should Check Flight Regulations

You know you can’t do anything about it when it’s your fault that you were late at the check-in, didn’t check the airline’s baggage requirements, or got a flight delay because of bad weather.  But you may always check flight regulations related to flight compensation beforehand, especially when the airline or the airport might be responsible for your flight disruption.

There is a law that enforces air passenger rights, and it is called EU Regulation 261/ 2004, which came into force on February 11, 2004. This law states that if any air passenger whose flight was delayed for more than 3 hours or even got canceled can claim flight compensation of up to 600 euros (around $660).

Before you head to the airline’s website or some other websites that provide help with the compensation claiming process, make sure your case doesn’t fall within the category of flight disruptions that aren’t compensated. Flight disruptions that are caused by so-called extraordinary circumstances can’t be compensated due to the fact that they are categorized as unforeseen events. Extraordinary circumstances include political unrest, weather conditions incompatible with flights, security hazards, unforeseen flight safety faults, and strikes.

In addition to the above said, only international flights within the EU can be compensated. If your plane was planned to take off from any point on the world’s map and land in the European Union, or back, and you have been flying with an EU-based airline and landed within the EU area, you may be eligible for flight compensation.

The amount of compensated money depends on factors like flight length and delay time. You should also have an in-depth outlook on flight delay and flight cancellation compensation. But before checking if you are entitled to compensation you may know all the factors that caused your flight delay or cancellation. The regulation states that in inevitable extraordinary circumstances, the airline is not obliged to pay compensation to its passengers. But there have been some court cases in the past, which changed the compensation claiming process.

Is It Possible to Get Flight Delay Compensation Due to Technical Fault?

The short answer is, “Yes.” The case related to flight cancellation due to technical fault, known as C-549/07 Wallentin-Hermann case, solved the confusing statements from EU Regulation 261/2004 with regards to extraordinary circumstances and, especially, flight cancellation or flight delay due to technical problems. The dilemma was that the concept of extraordinary circumstances was not defined in any article of the regulation, and technical problems felt within this concept. Therefore, airlines took their advantages of it and have avoided giving compensation to their passengers when facing aircraft technical faults.

The court investigated the case and concluded that, as the air passengers mentioned in it got a notice 5 minutes before the departure time that their flight was canceled, they must be reimbursed the sum stated within the case. The technical issue stated as an extraordinary circumstance by the airline was, in fact, a complex engine defect in the turbine, which has been discovered the day before during a check. As the passengers didn't get warned on time, and the air carrier had not paid enough attention to the issue, air passengers had to be granted compensation. Eventually, any air carrier is required to provide evidence that the supposed technical issue that may cause flight cancellation is "beyond its actual control."

Ten years later, air carries still try avoiding giving compensation for diverse reasons. Flight delay and flight cancellation due to technical faults are still extremely uncertain topics. For that reason, if you still think that your case is not an eligible one, you should check that, to be absolutely sure. The EU 261 law is working on air passenger’s rights enforcement, therefore, any case can shed light on the existing regulation.

Last Updated on November 14, 2019.