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  • Sherri & Allan Collier

Flight delayed? Here is how to get paid for that!

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

EU261: The law that pays you up to $600 when your flight is delayed.


A VERY IMPORTANT TRAVEL HACK that you need to know about.

Keep this in your back pocket.


Let's be honest, flight delays and cancellations are an inevitable part of travel, and while the U.S. may not have federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers affected by delays or cancellations compensation, Europe does! It’s called EU261and it’s a law in Europe that provides rights to people traveling by air… and it can make you a lot of money. The compensation rules are based on when you were notified of the delay or cancellation and the distance between your intended flights.


Basically, the longer the distance, the greater the compensation.

Here’s how it works: The law states that when a flight is delayed or canceled, a passenger is often times entitled to compensation. This applies to ANY airline based in the EU or any airline operating flights to or from the EU. The amount of compensation depends on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight.


If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances, you are entitled to:

Delayed

between

3 - 4 hours

Delayed by

more than

4 hours

Distance

€ 250

€ 250

1,500 km or less

€ 400

€ 400

ECAA flights of more than 1,500 km and all

others between 1,500 and 3,500 km

€ 300

€ 600

All other flights of more than 3,500 km

Additionally:

1. Reimbursement / Return flight

  • reimbursement of your ticket and, if you have a connecting flight, a return flight to the airport of departure at the earliest convenience;

  • re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity; or at a later date

2. Assistance

  • meals and beverages;

  • accommodation and transport to/from airport if necessary;

  • two telephone calls, fax, or emails free of charge.



If your original flight was cancelled and your airline rerouted you to your final destination with a delay or you never managed to complete the journey, you are entitled to:


Delayed by less than 2 hours

Delayed between 2-3 hrs

​Delayed

between

3 - 4 hours

Delayed by

more than

4 hours

/ Never

arrived

Distance

€ 125

€ 250

€ 250

€ 250

1,500 km or less

€ 200

€ 200

€ 400

€ 400

​ECAA flights of more than

1,500 km and all

others between 1,500 and

3,500 km

€ 300

€ 300

€ 300

€ 600

All other flights of more than

3,500 km

*there are a few restrictions and fine print!

So as you can see, these are pretty hefty payout: € 300 = $337.08 US Dollar


It applies to: countries from the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA)

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland.


The European Union broadened this rule in April, allowing for compensation of domestic connecting flights originating in the EU, so flights within the EU, flights departing from the EU to the U.S. (and other countries) as well as connecting flights within the U.S. are now covered.





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