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Canceled or delayed flights - Your rights as an air passenger

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You have to get one compensation or wondering if you are eligible for compensation in a travel situation where your flight was canceled or delayed?

Here are some procedures and regulations that can help you in these situations

Whether you are a frequent passenger or not, the unpleasant situation of a flight delay or even a cancellation is part of the reality of air passenger transport.

 Every day, and even more so lately, thousands of flights around the world are canceled for reasons that may vary. Against the background of the current global situation, many people are facing such a scenario, a trend that is expected to continue, given that 2020 was a record year for flight cancellations during the pandemic. Even if you travel by plane for work or go on a holiday for which you bought plane tickets to the desired destination, a canceled flight or even a delay can quickly ruin your trip, with the risk of losing a connection.

 Of course, these are situations that no one wants, with a possible psychological impact for the traveler. But remember! Information and staying calm are the key to solving and finding the best solution for your particular travel situation. We hope this guide will help you with clarifications and some practical information.

 And more than that, it will help you reset the way you look at and approach these types of scenarios, because it happens that sometimes they even put you in a more favorable place. You will find useful tips and answers to frequently asked questions and information about the legal framework for such situations. 

 But first, let's start with some general information about what you should know in case of a canceled or delayed flight.

What should I know?

Know your rights and what are the obligations of the airline

Even if you are in such a stalemate, it is good to know that there are solutions as long as you know each other. air passenger rights and what to do in case of a canceled or delayed flight.

 Fortunately, there are regulations that have established common rules that help passengers claim compensation after a flight is canceled, rules that the airline must follow and are in your favor as an air passenger. 

 Know that you are owed a refund

 Stay informed and protect yourself from the scams that some carriers try to impose, suggesting that they can only offer a voucher for future trips, but according to the rules of the Department of Transport (DOT) this is not the case. In fact, US carriers received two official warnings from DOT at the start of the pandemic, saying they must meet customers when they are due a refund instead of giving them a voucher for a future flight. 

 Please note: if an airline cancels your flight, you will be reimbursed.

 Know the type of flight you are going to take

 In order to know how to act in these canceled or delayed flight situations, it is good to know what kind of flight you are going to do.

 What you need to know is that the departure and return flights are always considered separate flights, even if they are part of the same reservation.

 In some cases, the airline operating the flight may not be the one from which you purchase the flight ticket. In case of problems, only the company operating the flight can be held liable.

 In the event of a canceled or delayed flight, you are entitled to compensation based on the duration of the flight, which will determine the specific amount due.

 The Regulation on Flight Compensation and Compensation to Air Passengers differentiates between three types of flights:

 1. Flights with a distance of less than 1.500 km (930 miles);

 2. Flights within the EU with a distance of more than 1.500 km (930 miles) or any other flight with a distance of more than 1.500 km (930 miles) but less than 3.500 km (2.200 miles);  

 3. Non-EU flights of more than 3.500 km (2.200 miles).

Know the rules for delaying or canceling a flight in the area where you are to fly (EU, US or international flights)

 It is good to know that, although there are situations that make you eligible for compensation, the specific rules and ways of applying them may differ depending on the territory or area in which you are to fly.

 Find out about free changes and refunds within 24 hours of booking

 There are situations when you have to change your flight or you can no longer travel at all and you want a refund. Airlines will usually charge a fee if you try to change your flight route, but there are a few exceptions and ways to avoid these fees. For example, for flights in the US, you can change your flight plan or receive a refund if you cancel the flight within 24 hours of booking, but only if the flight exceeds at least 7 days.

 But it is best to ask the airline, as some may have more generous policies for canceling and resuming the reservation. Passengers who fly frequently and who have enough miles or flight points often have lower fees for cancellations and changes.

 Find out about the flexible ticket

 It is good to know that air passengers also have the opportunity to purchase flexible air tickets, also known as flexible flights. These tickets often allow at least one free change of date at the time of booking. It is an ideal option for business travelers or travelers who want more flight flexibility. Some refundable flights give you credit in exchange for a future purchase. So don't forget to ask the airline what options you have.

Air passenger rights

Did you know that 84% of air passengers do not know or do not use their passenger rights when flying? The first step in defending your rights is to know what these rights are and here AirAdvisor can help you.

 With more than 4 years of experience, AirAdvisor can be a real support in helping you, first of all, to determine your eligibility status and, secondly, to be able to benefit from 100% risk-free compensation.

 After checking your eligibility status, you should know that you may be compensated up to 700 USD / 600 EURO if your flight has been canceled or even delayed in the last 3 years. By sending flight details and information, AirAdvisor can perform an instant check to see if you are entitled to compensation at no cost to you.

 Whether it's flight cancellations or even delays, you may be entitled to compensation and more.

 So, let's find out some of the rights you have as an air passenger!

•• The right to be informed about the rights of air passengers

 All airlines must clearly and fully inform their customers about their air passenger rights. Regardless of how the booking was made, the airline must inform you through warnings at the time of check-in and is obliged to provide passengers with up-to-date information on the company's website and also by written notice stating the rights granted in the case of in which the flight is delayed or canceled.

 •• The right to file a complaint against the air carrier

 Each passenger has the right to submit a complaint regarding the direct flight to the air carrier that provided the services.

 •• Damage consisting of irreversible loss of time

 Cancellations or even flight delays are situations that can affect our good mood before the trip.

 Assuming that, in most cases, passengers either do not know their rights to compensation and compensation that they have in flight / delayed and / or canceled flight situations, or do not have sufficient time to fully document the conditions of granting these rights, fortunately, the European Union has established EC Regulation no. 261/2004 in order to protect the rights of the traveler, taking into account not only the coverage of the financial loss, but also the damage of time and even the impact on the psychological level that involves stressful conditions due to the situation created. 

•• The right to assistance provided by airlines

 Depending on the circumstances, if the flight you are about to take is canceled or delayed, you are entitled to assistance (meals, means of communication, overnight accommodation, if applicable).

 In this case, you can also choose to continue your journey or be reimbursed for the cost of your ticket.

•• When am I entitled to compensation and how do I know?

 To be eligible for compensation you need to consider 3 aspects:

1. The flight path
2. Flight delay time
3. The cancellation or delayed flight must have occurred due to the airline

 To calculate the duration of the flight delay, the scheduled time to reach the destination is taken into account. If you arrive at your final destination later than the scheduled time, you should be entitled to compensation.

 However, you should be aware that there may be situations in which the airline cannot be held liable for the cancellation or postponement of the flight. In these cases the company cannot be obliged to pay compensation, these cases being considered "extraordinary circumstances" (any technical problems due to the airlines are not included).

•• What the reparation I can obtain?

First of all you have to remember that to get a compensation is not conditioned by the cost of the plane ticket.

 The compensation is provided for in Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and is granted depending on the flight distance and the duration of the delay.

 Passengers whose flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours are mainly entitled to the following compensation:

  • at a distance of less than 1500km: you can get a compensation of 250 €
  • at a distance between 1500 - 3500km: you can get a compensation of 400 €
  • at a distance of more than 3500km: you can get a compensation of 600 €

It is also good to consider that you are entitled to compensation of up to 50% of the amount indicated if you used an alternative flight.  

•• How do I protect my rights for a future flight?

 If you have planned or booked a future flight and you want to be sure that you will not lose any compensation, you have the option to check your flight in advance and find out whether or not you are entitled to compensation. 

 •• What rights do I have while waiting to have the option to check your flight (s) to the airport? 

Based on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight, the rights you can benefit from can be as follows:

 • Short distance (up to 1500 km): late departure over 2 hours or canceled flight - free drinks and food and 2 phone calls, e-mails or faxes

 • Average distance (between 1500 and 3500 km): delayed departure over 3 hours or canceled flight - free drinks and food and 2 phone calls, e-mails or faxes

 • Long journeys (over 3500 km): delayed departure over 4 hours or canceled flight - free drinks and food and 2 phone calls, e-mails or faxes

 In some particular cases of flight delay and cancellation, other rights are also available: if you have waited at the airport for more than 5 hours, you have the right to cancel the flights, but if the flight is postponed until the next day, the airline must provide overnight accommodation in a hotel.

•• Other rights to compensation and compensation for the air traveler

It is good to know that the rights of the air passenger also include compensation and the receipt of compensation specific to another type of situation, such as: lost connection, excessive booking, denied boarding, delayed luggage, or even strike situations in the airline. . 

 In some of these cases you can immediately get the right to additional services and benefits. But we will discuss these in future articles.

What should I do?

 If you are here and read this article, you have probably experienced a disrupted journey. Delayed and canceled flights are a probability when it comes to air travel. AirAdvisor can teach you what to do next if you encounter such situations.

 Ask to receive a new booking at another airline or consider alternative airports

There are situations in which it is better to consider the alternatives and not accept the first opinion that is offered to you. Thus, you can consider either making a reservation without an agent, or requesting to receive another reservation from a competing airline. But if you can't find solutions, and the next available flight is at a different airport nearby, then maybe it would be better to consider this one as the best possible alternative. 

 Requests to be protected with another backup flight

 If you are concerned that the flight delay may have implications for the connection, you can ask the agent to "protect" you with another flight if, at best, you think you can make the initial flight. Your initial reservation will not be canceled, instead you will be able to have a security reservation in case you lose that connection.

 Do not accept a flight change unless you are absolutely certain that you will not catch the initial connection.

 Buy flight insurance before the trip

Flight insurance is a protection that you will need to purchase before your trip, although many travel insurance policies include coverage for hotel rooms, meals, or other expenses associated with flight disruptions.

 Some of these insurance plans also cover lost or delayed luggage and include both a XNUMX-hour hotline and concierge services to help with reservations.

Having an annual travel insurance plan can seem like something elegant or even expensive. In fact, it is actually the best and most affordable travel investment you can make.

A few more tips at hand!

Book your flight in the morning or opt for a direct flight that has no intermittent stops. It is known that early morning flights are subject to significantly lower delays and cancellations than other flights at other time intervals. 

We also recommend that you check the weather reports before booking your flight. Many flight cancellations and delays are due to adverse weather conditions. Airlines often post a travel alert, with the option to change your flight to another day, free of charge. These alerts can also be sent by email, text or to the airline application you booked. 

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