Common Myths About Flight Delay Compensation

In today’s world where people have countless travel options and booking a flight ticket is easier than ever as information is at your fingertips, there still seems to be some misinformation that can affect your plans. The set of regulations that govern passengers’ rights, their obligations, and the right to accommodation and comfort, the EU Regulation 261 and Regulation UK-261, has been in force for over 15 years. Despite this fact, there is still a large number of uninformed passengers in Europe.

In the following content, we present to you the most common misconceptions and myths among travelers regarding flight delay compensation so that you won’t find yourself in a situation that could disrupt your time.

Myth No.1 All delayed flights are eligible for a refund.

The biggest myth ranked is “all delayed flights are eligible for a refund.” FALSE. The accurate information is that not all delays qualify for compensation. For a passenger to be entitled to compensation due to a flight delay, the delay must be caused by the airline itself. Therefore, the issue must arise from matters within the airline’s control. These include cases such as technical issues or crew shortages.

So, if your friend encourages you to claim compensation at all costs because you were late for their performance or similar situations, it’s not necessarily guaranteed that you’ll be able to do so. Make sure to familiarize yourself well with the reasons for the flight delay, otherwise, your claim will just be another one of those that cannot be fulfilled.

Myth No. 2 I can only claim compensation if my flight was delayed for more than eight hours.

Incorrect. You can qualify for compensation for delayed flights even if your flight is delayed by fewer hours. Many people, when they find themselves in a situation where they want compensation, think they are entitled to it only if the flight is delayed by 8 hours or more. To prevent passengers from being misled, according to EC261 and UK261, passengers are entitled to compensation for flights delayed by 3 hours or more upon arrival.

Myth No. 3 Accepting a food voucher from the airline automatically means the absence of the right to compensation for damages.

Incorrect. Feel free to accept care for your needs if you encounter a flight problem. Often, passengers decline this type of assistance due to concerns about not being able to claim compensation or get their money back. This is a completely misguided behavior in this situation considering the rights passengers have in case of flight delays and the obligations the company has towards passengers.

Myth No. 4 Issuing a new plane ticket means the passenger no longer has the right to compensation.

You can get a new ticket but also compensation. Purchasing a new ticket absolutely does not deprive you of the right to compensation for delayed or canceled flights. Airlines are obliged to take you to your destination and similarly provide you with a refund. In the case of extraordinary circumstances, you have the same rights. It is implied that if the delay or cancellation is the airline’s fault, the compensation is yours.

Myth No. 5 Minors do not meet the requirements for compensation for delayed flights.

Incorrect. A minor with an allocated seat can receive the same amount of compensation as an adult. The amounts are the same as for adults. The distance of the travel determines the amount of compensation.

  • €250 – if the flight distance is less than 1500 km;
  • €400 – if the distance is 1500 – 3500 km;
  • €600 – if the distance is more than 3500 km.

Myth No. 6 Only residents of the European Union are entitled to compensation for flight delays.

No. Of course, it’s not a requirement to be a resident of the European Union. All passengers, regardless of residency, flying to or from Europe, and whose flight is delayed or canceled, if the delay is more than 3 hours and so on…are entitled to EU/UK flight compensation of up to €600. The only condition to receive compensation if the flight departs from outside the EU is that the flight is operated by a European airline. All you need to do is submit a compensation claim.

Myth No. 7 Travel vouchers and coupons are equivalent to compensation.

Big mistake!

If the factual situation corresponds to the EU Regulation 261 or UK261 norm, you qualify for compensation for flight delays. Additionally, compensation related to flight issues must be paid in cash or via a bank account.

You are not obliged to accept vouchers if you prefer cash instead. On the contrary, it is always preferable and better for the passenger to receive compensation in cash.

Myth No. 8 The airline is always entirely right.

Not true! From a practical standpoint, it might not always be the best option for the airline to compensate you for the flight delay. Even leading companies sometimes try to avoid this situation.

You find yourself in a situation where you are a qualified passenger for compensation, but the company takes a long time to process your claim, and you wonder how long the claim processing time is. These are exactly the situations when the company tries to avoid compensation. Eventually, the airline has rejected your claim. However, you shouldn’t end here and accept it because the company’s reasons for rejecting the claim are not necessarily truthful. Companies are aware that many passengers lack information and are not familiar with the laws and regulations. Do not give up because there are still ways to get your money back!

Myth No. 9 The airline is not obligated to pay compensation if the reason for the delay is bad weather.

The truth is that in some jurisdictions, airlines are not liable if the reason for the delay is bad weather. This is because “bad weather” is classified as an extraordinary circumstance. However, there is an exception to this rule.

If the airline could have anticipated adverse weather conditions, and yet failed to timely warn passengers and could have somehow managed the situation, it may still be held responsible. For instance, if there is a delay of 7 hours and the airline rejects the claim due to bad weather, the airline has to prove that all 7 hours of delay is caused by the bad weather.

Myth No. 10 If my ticket was cheap, below average, compensation does not apply to me.

Of course not!

The rules apply to every ticket and every passenger. The amount of your compensation will be €250, €400, or €600, even if your ticket was purchased for just €10.

The only criteria for compensation and the amount thereof are the flight delay and the comfort of the flight itself. Even the shortest flights qualify for €250 in case of an incident, provided, of course, it’s the airline’s fault.

However, be aware that EU Regulation 261 and UK261 do not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public. However, it applies to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme or other commercial programme by an air carrier or tour operator.

How to Ensure Your Rights are Fully Obligatory for the Airline?

First, you should be familiar with the passenger rights regulations in your jurisdiction. This will be of great help in knowing exactly what you are entitled to in the event of airline cancellation or flight delay. Stay informed and keep track of any changes and updates provided by the airline. If you notice any issues or have any doubts, you should address them upfront and politely, knowing your rights.

Do not hesitate to seek legal assistance, it is preferred.

If you find yourself in a situation that disrupts your plans and you’re unsure of your rights, it’s essential to seek legal assistance from professionals such as Click 2 Refund. There are lawyers specialized in air passangers law who can provide advice and assistance in obtaining compensation for your flight delay or cancellation. The same applies if you’re facing any other airline-related issue that requires legal assistance.

Understanding your rights as a passenger is crucial. Safe travels!

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