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If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you are - in addition to your compensation for the flight itself - very likely also entitled to getting your expenses covered for food, drinks, transport, and hotel. Airline has a duty of care for you regardless of the reason for any flight disruption, if the delay is above 2 hours. It may be dificult to assess how much you are entitled to get reimbursed, which is why we have tried to explain your rights below.
Generally, will you be entitled to compensation for the delay of your flight when your delay is more than 3 hours, but you are entitled to other rights after as little as 2 hours of delay. After 2 hours of delay, you have a right to have the possibility of sending e-mails and you may perform 2 phone calls on a line the airline provides.
If your flight is delayed for a longer time, you could also be entitled to food and refreshment while you are waiting. Actually this means that you may be entitle to get a refund of your expenses for food and refreshments after 2 hours on short distances and after 3 hours on longer distances. This is called the airlines right to care for their passengers. Ufortuately, not all airlines will make you aware of these rights.
If you are delayed for more than 3 hours you are entitled to compensation, but did you know that you can get your extra expenses due to the delay covered by the airline as well?
The regulation ascribes that you are entitled to meals when:
Your flight is less than 1.500 km, and you are delayed for at least 2 hours.
You can expect to be compensated for meals within a reasonable price range. In an British airport, this would generally be in the range between £10 and £15 per passenger. You cannot get reimbursed for any alcohol, cigarettes or more expensive meals that you buy. You must remember to keep all your receipts, so we can help you get your purchases reimbursed.
If the delay of your flight is overnight and you need accommodation, the airline must to pay for your stay at a hotel and, if necessary, the transport to and from the hotel. In this situation, is it also essential for you to choose a hotel in a reasonable price range since you can risk that the airline refuse to compensate any expenses, or they might only compensate your expenses partly.
In general, there are no specific guidelines of when a delay or cancellation entitles you to accommodation. However, in the event that your plane is delayed late into the evening and there has been no set time for boarding yet, you have the possibility to be accommodated in a hotel located in the vicinity of the airport.
In case of a delay or cancellation, you will typically need to approach the airline staff if they are present in the airport or otherwise contact the customer service of the airline. We always recommend you get in contact with a representative of the airline before you seek accommodation in any hotel. The airline staff will normally be able to assist by informing you, when your flight is ready, and which hotel you should choose, to ensure that you can get your expenses reimbursed.
If the delay or cancellation of your flight is of greater duration than 5 hours, you could alternatively choose to discontinue your journey and get the ticket price refunded. In this case, you are no longer entitled to get your journey re-routed.
Even though you might choose to discontinue your journey and get a ticket refund, you may still be entitled to compensation. In such cases , where the delay or cancellation of your flight entitles you to compensation, it is still possible to make your claim against the airline. You can get an indication of what your compensation might amount to by submitting the detail concerning your delay using our calculator tool on the front page of this website.
The rights interpreted in the above are parts of the EU-regulation 261/2004, which deals with flight passengers rights. The regulation is applicable when flying from or to any country that is a member of EU with an EU-based airline or tour operator.
In case we have left you with any questions, we are looking forward to answering them on (0044) 0333 4040 999 or by e-mail to: [email protected]