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There are many reasons why a particular flight may not be able to carry a passenger who has reserved a seat and most of those reasons are the fault and responsibility of the airline rather than the fault of the passenger. We may make the best of plans and make specific arrangements only to be frustrated by flight cancellations, delays or overbooking which inevitably cause stress and distress and is no way to start either a holiday or a business meeting in some far off country. Since the passing of EC Regulation 261/2004 by the European Commission passengers have now been given airline cancellation rights and in certain circumstances it is now possible for a flight delay compensation solicitor to make a claim for cancelled or delayed flight compensation under the new rules. Airlines must give assistance and support to passengers if their is a flight delay in the form of facilities for phone calls and emails and should provide refreshments and meals with overnight accommodation where appropriate.

Flight Delay & Cancellation Compensation - European Union Flights

In order for a flight delay compensation solicitor to make a claim under EC Regulation 261/2004 it is necessary for a passenger to have a confirmed reservation and to have checked in on time. In addition a flight is only covered by these rules if it departs from a European Union airport or if the airline is a ‘Community Carrier’ which is a company with its headquarters and main place of business is within the European Union. The rules relating to connecting flights are complex however the Community Carrier will still be liable if all flights were booked with or through the same European Union carrier.

Flight Cancellation - Delay Compensation Awards

The amount of cancelled or delayed flight compensation that may be awarded to a passenger following a flight delay compensation solicitors claim under the rules depends on the length of the delay in reaching the destination and the distance to the destination and ranges from 250 Euros up to 600 Euros per passenger. This means that each individual family member of a group may apply and be awarded individual compensation of up to 600 Euros each for a cancelled flight. This effectively means that if you were traveling from the UK to the USA and you arrived 4 hours or more late because of a cancelled flight, each person on the flight would be entitled to delayed flight compensation of 600 Euros.

Cancellation & Overbooking & Downgrades

In the event that the flight is cancelled entirely without prior warning the airline should offer a full refund or an alternative flight and in addition must also pay delayed flight compensation. The same rules apply to ‘overbooking’ where a seat is simply not available for a passenger despite a reservation because the airline sold too many tickets expecting a percentage of ‘no shows’. In the event of a non consensual downgrade due to overbooking passengers are entitled to a refund of between 30% and 75% of their fares dependent on the distance traveled. Your flight delay compensation solicitor will be able to negotiate this aspect of any settlement on your behalf.

Airline Defences

There is one defence available to an airline's solicitors which seeks to avoid payment of delayed flight compensation. If the delay was due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ which includes inclement weather, terrorism or dealing with security risks, the airline has a complete defence however the rules makes it clear that airlines will still be liable to pay delayed flight compensation in the case of delays due to technical failure, staffing difficulties, baggage problems or maintenance matters. Airlines often try to avoid payment by using a whole host of lame excuses however our delayed flight compensation solicitors have heard them all and are unlikely to be swayed by ridiculous ascertains of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ dreamed up by a non compliant airline. One matter that is worth mentioning about airline defences is that if your flight is cancelled due to bad weather but other airlines continue flying, you should still be able to overcome the 'bad weather' defence. What we can tell you is that our solicitors will make a formal application for compensation in almost every case that is presented to us on a no win no fee* basis and we will deal with spurious defences as and when they are put forward by the airlines with no extra charge. Our litigation solicitors fight to win every time and never give up easily.

Your Rights

If you have been denied boarding due to a cancelled flight or have been delayed for a lengthy period you may be entitled to compensation by law upon which our solicitors will give advice at no cost. Airlines have a legal duty to advise you about your rights which include the following :-

  • Reduced Mobility
    • Passengers with disabilities are protected from discrimination and are entitled to mobility assistance through EU airports.
  • Airline Identity
    • A carrier must advise in advance which airline is operating your flight to ensure that you are not flying on a compromised aircraft.
  • Financial Liability
    • An airline may have to pay up to € 4800 compensation for flight delays and pay compensation for culpable death or injury.
  • Baggage
    • An airline may have to pay up to € 1200 compensation for lost luggage.
  • Package Holidays
    • Package tour operators must give accurate information and abide by contractual obligations and provide cover for an organiser’s insolvency.
  • Denied Boarding
    • Up to € 600 is payable for delayed, re-routed flights dependent on time and distance.
  • Long Delays
    • Following a delay of over five hours you may demand a refund if you decide not to travel.
  • Adequate Notice
    • Compensation is payable for cancellation unless you were informed 14 days before the flight, or you were rerouted close to your original times.
  • Airline Assistance
    • If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled or delayed, you may be entitled to food, drink, communications assistance and an overnight stay in a hotel all paid by the airline. In addition you have the option of continuing your trip or a refund of your ticket.

Flight Delay Compensation Solicitors

We one of the few legal firms who deal with bulk delayed flight compensation claims and as a result we have unparalleled expertise in these matters. Our flight delay compensation solicitors are able to make supported application on your behalf using the no win no fee** scheme and if your claim is rejected we will seek the assistance of the Civil Aviation Department and the Consumer and Competition Division. If mediation through these departments is not successful we may take your case to the Consumer Claims Tribunal. If you would like further information on the chances of success for your potential claim just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a qualified solicitor will give you free advice with no further obligation.



*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here