As we know, airlines love to make it as difficult as possible for passengers to receive money they’re entitled to for flight delays.

What is EU 261? If you are departing from an EU airport on any airline, or arriving at an EU airport on an EU carrier, you are entitled to care and compensation under EU Regulation 261-2004 for a delayed arrival time, (see chart below). The airline must provide food and drink “appropriate to the time of day”, this is often in the form of a voucher- and a means of communicating your delay or a refund of the cost of essential calls. For overnight delays, the airline must provide hotel accommodation and transport to reach it – or to return home. When there is a major disruption, airline staff may not be able to assist in booking hotels. In such cases, you can make your own arrangements and claim the cost back.

Last week, the UK Court of Appeals confirmed that passengers of non-EU airlines who miss connecting flights outside EU can claim compensation.

On the landmark cases, Gahan v Emirates and Buckley v Emirates, the Court ruled that airlines are liabile under EC Regulation 261/2004 for missed connections and consequent delay at a passenger’s final destination.

What US passengers may not be aware of is that it’s not just European carriers who are subject to these rules – US carriers flying from and within Europe must also abide by them.

Within the US, airlines have very little responsibility and few rules when it comes to reimbursing for flight mishaps and travel problems – just ask anyone who spent several days in an airport this past summer waiting out storms, IT meltdowns and crew timeouts. Though you can often get vouchers or frequent flyer miles, what we lack, and what Flyersrights is fighting for, is official compensation rules authorized by the Dept. of Transportation which holds airlines accountable for their operational messes.

What does the judgment mean?

 

This ruling applies to all passengers departing from a non-EU airport and traveling to their final destination through a connecting flight in a third country – for late arrivals at the final destination the non-EU airline will be liable for compensation of up to EUR 600 ($707) per passenger, see below:

Of course getting an airline to pay the EU compensation due for a flight delay takes some perseverance – as airlines are good at weaseling their way out of paying anything.

You Need to ASK for EU Compensation

Not surprisingly, airlines rarely fork over 600 EUR per passenger for a delayed transcontinental flight without you asking for it.

 

Again, it’s not just European airlines that are subject to these rules – it’s also US carriers flying from and within Europe that must also abide by them.

 

Presuming you’ve been denied your EU Compensation claim – below are the most common contacts for the EC 261/2004 Enforcement Body:

 

(here entire document can be found and saved as a .pdf:  https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/themes/passengers/air/doc/2004_261_national_enforcement_bodies.pdf,– Above is the first page showing a few countries, many more in the link).

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