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Lesley's Column

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15th February 2016

Delays, cancellations and compensation

EU rules say that passengers are entitled to receive compensation for problems with air travel, including delays, cancellations and overbookings. But what are travellers entitled to claim for and does compensation belong to the business traveller or the company who paid for the ticket?

In accordance with regulations the passenger has the right to receive the compensation, since he or she alone had to bear the inconvenience caused.

The EU has set minimum standards for air passenger rights to compensation and assistance in the event of overbooking, cancellation or long delay of flights.

If a flight is overbooked, the airline must ask for passengers who are voluntarily willing to give up their reservations for compensation. If there are not enough volunteers the airline is obliged to financially compensate those who are denied boarding against their will.

The amount of compensation depends on the distance. The compensation shall be paid in cash, into the passenger’s bank account or by bank transfer. Travellers who are overbooked or cancelled should receive assistance in addition to the financial compensation.

But what if you’ve used air miles to book? Flight compensation is based around the principle that passengers who have suffered the inconvenience of a flight delay should be compensated for the loss of their time.

Therefore, as long as you have paid something for your flight, even if that is using air miles, then you are eligible to claim.