Recently, I’ve seemed to have the worst luck with trains and planes. I think we’ve all been experiencing the worst services when it comes to trains in the past month – Especially if you’re up north! In the last month or so, I’ve experienced four cancelled trains and every single other one has been considerably delayed! My luck hasn’t been brilliant when it comes to planes either! Back in December, I experienced a four and a half hour delay coming back from Orlando to Manchester. I wasn’t really clued up with what to do if you’re plane is considerably delayed or even cancelled so I thought I’d write a post with everything I’ve learnt.
I know a four and a half hour delay isn’t THAT much of a big deal in the grand scheme of things but there’s nothing worse than lurking in an airport with minimal information. Before we even set off for the airport, we were aware of a three-hour delay but it’s advised to still go to the airport for the original time in case anything changes.
This is where I wasn’t very clued up on what to do. If you are delayed more than two hours you are actually entitled to some refreshment vouchers. Although we checked in, handed over our bags and asked about the delay we weren’t offered any vouchers. However, we should have probably asked someone for them but as I said, I wasn’t really clued up. In addition to refreshment vouchers, you are also entitled to a free phone call. If you are delayed overnight, the airline would be expected to put you up in a nearby hotel. If you have to pay for anything yourself, keep all recepits!
One of my main pieces of advice would be to keep track of what’s going on. This might help when it comes to claiming compensation. In my experience, we found that the airline was actually claiming that our gate had closed 90 minutes before we even boarded. Suspicious, right? Members of staff were pretty rude and claimed it was a technical problem but according to the internet, we had taken off and was halfway home and we, in fact, were still in the departure lounge! We kept a note of what was going on and took a few photos of the situation to send with our claim.
To claim compensation, you need to have been delayed for over three hours. Additionally, You must be flying into or departing from an EU airport or flying with an EU based company to claim. Unfortunately, there are a lot of loopholes when it comes to claiming and we didn’t actually get anything. This is down to the “special circumstances” clause. If you are delayed because of things such as the weather or a security risk, a claim is pretty unlikely.
To make a compensation claim for a flight delay, you need to go to the airline’s website. This where you will normally find the steps to follow to make a claim. The airline we used had a form where we could fill out all the information, attach any “evidence” and create a login so you could add to your case if necessary.
The reasoning behind our delay was because of weather in New York. I wasn’t too happy about this as the weather wasn’t affecting our flight path and it was a knock on effect from two flights before. A few websites that I did some research on said that my claim would be valid because it wasn’t affecting my flight path but unfortunately my claim got rejected… twice!
I decided to not pursue my case further. I probably should have though. There are a few other things you can do. First, you can contact the airline directly and speak to them over the phone about your case. You can find a list of airline numbers on Customer Service Guru. Additionally, if you are still not getting anywhere you can take your case to The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to appeal. However, they will only look into cases which were delayed or cancelled within the UK or with a UK based company. I’m not too sure about this process as I only briefly looked into it before sadly deciding to give up.
If you’ve been delayed, it is so worth looking into claiming compensation. You could be owed up to €600! The amount of compensation is based on the distance of the flight and how long you were delayed. Also, don’t forget to keep track of everything and ask about refreshment vouchers when you’re actually at the airport!
Have you experienced a long delay? or even worse – a cancellation?
*This is a collaborative post