The purpose of the heart wants to start a vacation, but what the power turns into a nightmare. Perhaps that condition was felt by British Airways passengers when the airline experienced a system disruption until finally canceling 117 flights, on Wednesday (7/8) local time.
The cancellation made tens of thousands of passengers exploded at Heathrow Airport, London, England. They reportedly slept on the airport floor because the hotel rooms were already full.
As is known, passengers have consumer rights that must be fulfilled. Including if the services obtained are not following the rules, the airline must pay compensation.
Then, what if we are in the position of British Airways passenger? What consumer rights can we get if that happens when we fly to the European Union?
From the point of view GIVT, there are several compensations that must be given by the airline if a flight is delayed or canceled. This has already been regulated in European Union law. Then what are the rules?
Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 or commonly called EU261 is a regulation made for the convenience of airplane passengers when the flight is delayed, denied boarding for example due to overbooked, or even there is cancellation from the airline. When experiencing this incident, based on EU261, passengers are entitled to get compensation from the airline concerned.
Who is entitled to get EU261 compensation?
You can get compensation when experiencing a flight delay, overbook, or cancellation and meet the following conditions:
- Fly from airports incorporated in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- Fly to airports incorporated in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland with airlines based in Europe.
While for non-EU countries, there are Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
European Union law provides consumer protection for passengers who fly from or to the EU with EU-operated airlines. For charter flight delay compensation will be given depending on the length of the delay.
If there is a delay of more than two hours for short-term flights (less than 1,500 km), three hours for medium flights and more than four hours for long-term flights (more than 3,500 km), then the passenger has the right to get food, drink, and access to communication like a telephone. Passengers are also entitled to compensation in the form of hotel accommodation if a delay occurs overnight.
If the delay occurs more than five hours, Wizz air compensation policy lets passengers are entitled to a refund if they do not want to continue their journey. The compensation is very likely given to passengers if it is proven that the flight delay was caused by an airline error.
However, delays caused by things such as extreme weather, air traffic control, attacks on airport employees, or other exceptional circumstances do not fulfill the conditions that airlines must provide compensation.
The compensation is also determined based on distance and time. Amounts range from € 250 for delays of three hours at short distances to € 600 for delays of more than four hours of long-term travel.
If a flight is canceled, passengers cannot be left stranded. Under EU legislation, passengers can get their money back. If the passenger still wants to fly, then the airline is obliged to find another flight as soon as possible or at a later date.
Compensation will be given in less than 14 days since the notice of cancellation is given. But again, the amount of compensation given will depend on distance and time. Ie ranging from € 250 for short-haul flights to € 600 for long-haul flights.
What if the airline avoids responsibility?
With a variety of possibilities that occur, it’s good for tourists to understand where they should submit a complaint if there is a flight delay or cancellation.
Under EU regulations, system disruptions can be considered as “technical or extraordinary circumstances”, which means airlines do not have to pay compensation. But to be free from the obligation to pay compensation, the airline must prove that, first, there is a relationship between exceptional circumstances and the decision to postpone or cancel flights. Second, the delay or cancellation is unavoidable, even though all actions have been taken. If the passenger is not satisfied with the airline’s explanation, the passenger can contact the CAA.