Summertime is one of the peak seasons in aviation. There’s a very simple reason for that – everyone in the northern hemisphere is flying somewhere for the holidays. However, we all know that not every flight is guaranteed to succeed. Some are ruined by flight disruptions – which in turn ruin your holidays. But is there a silver lining for them?
Flight Disruptions And How They Happen
There is a myriad of reasons why a flight can be disrupted. Many factors can cause a flight to be delayed or cancelled. Airline staff strikes are an ever-popular reason for flight disruptions, especially with Ryanair. However, 2018 saw its fair share of public employee sector strikes as well as industrial action by air traffic control specialists. And, of course, airport staff can stage a walkout as well.
Weather conditions can also cause delayed flights and cancellations – and you may not even notice them, as inclement weather at the destination airport may be the culprit. And that’s all before you get into military actions or security concerns that may be the causes for disruption (this includes drones flying in the airport). Eventually, the planes themselves might be malfunctioning (at least one flight a week is disrupted due to air conditioning systems going haywire), which is also a problem.
Extracting Benefit From Disrupted Flights
However, you can still claim compensation for some of these disrupted flights! Granted, the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 grants exceptions – mainly when it’s determined that the cause of the disruption might be outside the airline’s control – when you won’t get paid. But when can you claim compensation?
- First, you need to check if your flight is considered disrupted by the law. For compensations, only delays of 3 or more hours (at the point of arrival) count. For cancellations, you have to be informed of the cancellation less than 14 days prior to the flight to be able to claim compensation.
- Your flight has to be intra-EU, leaving the EU or entering the EU while operated by an EU-registered airline.
- Maintenance issues are probably the most common compensation scenario. They occur when something breaks in the plane and it’s not considered to be a manufacturing defect. The airline should have caught it before the situation developed – but they didn’t. So now you can claim compensation.
- Air crew scheduling issues are also considered something the airlines are responsible for. If your flight is late or cancelled because the airline couldn’t get the shifts for pilots and cabin crews straight, claim away.
- The airlines can also mess up with plane allocation. So yes, your flight might be disrupted because there’s no plane allocated for it. Oops.
- For overbooking: if you were not allowed on the plane/taken off the plane because the airline sold more tickets than there are seats, then you can also claim compensation.
If the disruption that causes your holiday flight to be delayed or cancelled fits what we described above, congratulations, you can claim flight compensation! Depending on the length of the flight, you could be looking at up €600 in compensation. So why not claim compensation via Skycop? We’ll handle all the bureaucratic work for you!