Flight Rebooking: Your right to compensation
The holiday is planned. The flights are booked and the tickets issued. But then you hear you’ve been transferred to another flight, because they’re using a smaller aircraft. In this situation, are you entitled to compensation?
When is an airlines obliged to pay compensation?
Transferring travellers to a flight different to the one they purchased is classed as denied boarding, no matter what the reason is.
This is the airline’s responsibility. Passengers affected by denied boarding have a right to compensation of up to $ 710. The amount depends on the length of the journey.
When the airlines do not pay compensation
It is not uncommon for flights to experience long delays or cancellations without any fault of the airlines themselves. Weather events such as snow storms, thunderstorms or even the ash cloud of 2010 in the European airspace, can make a safe and thus prompt start impossible. These cases are referred to as exceptional circumstances. Strikes by ground staff at airports or by the employees of the aviation company itself are also placed in this category, as they are not within the control of the airlines. The airlines are therefore not to be held responsible for the changes of the flight plan, and are not required to make any payment of compensation to the passengers in such cases.
For a two hour delay, passengers are entitled to free access telephone calls and the airlines must offer food and drink and, if required, hotel accommodation. The delay will apply to flights with a distance of up to 1500 km. Passengers are entitled benefits beyond these if the delay is longer and/or the flight distance is longer. When the delay exceeds five hours, passengers can ask for a refund.
Regardless of the reason for a delay or denied boarding, airlines are required by the EU regulation to keep travelers fully informed and up to date with the latest developments.
You can check if your rebooking entitles you to compensation by using our compensation calculator.