Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Air traveler - know your rights!!

We all know the feeling - you have packed your suitcase, traveled to the airport and found that, on arrival, the flight to your destination has been delayed or even worse - been canceled. Have no fear - the European Consumer has rights most have not heard of, but will make it so much better. Alternative flights, food as you wait, hotel, or even refund are given to those who know. So - air traveler, know your rights!!

If your flight is delayed:

You are entitled to the following compensation:

Meal and refreshments proportioned to the waiting time when:

a) your flight is up to 1500 kilometers and delayed two hours or more
b) your flight is more than three hours delayed and within the EU/EEA area and over 1500 kilometers, and for all flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers
c) your flight is more than 4 hours delayed and is not covered by point a and b

If your flight leaves the following day you are entitled to accommodation and transport to and from the hotel.

If you are more than 5 hours delayed, you may demand a full refund even for a used ticket if the flight is not suited to fit your original schedule.

According to the Montreal Convention of 1999 you may even seek financial compensation from the air carrier if you have documentation showing financial loss. The air carrier may, however, not be responsible if they tried to avoid the delay or if it was impossible to avoid.

If your flight is cancelled:

If your flight is canceled the airline must either refund your ticket or offer alternative flight to the destination. You are also entitled to food and accommodation.

Unless the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances, bad weather or force majeure, you are entitled to compensation according to the following tariffs:

- € 250 for flights under 1500 km
- € 400 for flights within EU/EEA area over 1500 kilometers or for other flights within 1500 and 3500 kilometers.
- € 600 for all other flights

This compensation may be reduced by 50% if you are offered alternative flight and if arrival time do not exceed the original flight with more than:

- 2 hours for flights up to 1500 kilometers
- 3 hours for flights within the EU/EEA area exceeding 1500 kilometers and all flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers.
- 4 timer for all other flights.

All passengers are entitled to this compensation and it must be paid by the airline to the passenger without delay.

You are not entitled to a refund:

If the airline or travel agent has informed you on the cancellation

- Earlier than 14 days before departure date
- From 7 to 14 days before departure date, and if you are offered an alternative flight less than 2 hours before the original departure and arrive at your destination less than 4 hours after schedule.
- Less than 7 days before departure date, and if you are offered an alternative flight less than 1 hour before the original departure and arrive at your destination less than 2 hours after schedule.

So airline traveler - arm yourself with your new found rights and have a safe trip!!

(Source: http://forbrukereuropa.no/temaer/forsinket_eller_innstilt_flygning)

No comments: