If you travel at all, you have probably faced a flight delay or cancellation. Many times, it is not Mother Nature that is causing the delay. It is the airlines that have miscalculated something, and it is causing all of its passengers a great inconvenience. Having a vacation or business meeting ruined for an unknown flight delay or cancellation is something that happens in today’s society, but it really happens much more frequently than it should.
The airline is quick to say sorry over the intercom when your flight is delayed, but that is usually all they offer. However, as passengers, we are entitled to much more. It is possible for you to get flight delay compensation if it’s the airline’s fault. But don’t count on them telling you this. They won’t make this offer after the announcement, but by law, you are entitled to it.
When departing from Canada, there is still no mandatory compensation offered to passengers for delayed or cancelled flights. By law, if the flight is leaving from anywhere in Canada and it is cancelled or delayed, you might be out of luck. However, if a passenger requests compensation, many times they will be offered meal vouchers or something similar.
In the event of a delayed or cancelled flight to or from the United States or Europe, the airline must comply with the regulations in effect in those places. For any flights to or from Europe, the law states that for any delay of over three hours, compensation of up to 600 Euros (around $900) must be paid to each affected passenger. As a passenger that has had his flight delayed or cancelled many times before, the airline has made no effort to inform me of my opportunity to receive any sort of compensation.
The compensation amount is calculated based on the distance of the flight and the duration of the delay. This regulation applies to all airlines departing from the European Union. Any flights heading to the the European Union require airlines that are from the EU to qualify for this compensation.
The regulation also requires that a written document detailing the compensation amounts be given to passengers in the event of a delay of over two hours. Have you ever received such a document? Neither have I. The airline is doing its best not to provide this information to the general public.
In the United States, any delay of more than three hours caused by overbooking allows travellers to receive compensation in an equal amount, or to a higher compensation in vouchers. This is all to be detailed in a written explanation provided by the airline. I would venture to say that most passengers have never heard of this law. But we have seen videos lately of airline passengers being physically dragged off the airplane instead.
Airlines will not readily offer these compensation amounts to their passengers. In fact, they will make it difficult to retrieve these amounts from them. It cuts into their total profit margin when they have to give back refunds. They will skate around the issue and try to avoid giving you the correct compensation outlined by the law. It is estimated that 98 percent of all people that ask for compensation finally give up after being given the runaround. If they do this, rely on a specialist to handle the airlines for you. You can find them online after a quick search. Handing the issue over to a company that regularly deals with these compensation claims will save you several headaches down the road.