Airport delays seem to be pretty common these days and some people decide that they will claim compensation for the delay but other people do not bother Whether you try to get compensation may depend on a variety of factors and it is worth considering these when you are thinking about claiming.
How long was the delay?
If the delay was only a few hours or less, then you really do not have much of a case for compensation. Passing this amount of time is unlikely to be massively stressful to most people and not have a significant impact on their onward journey with regards to cost or inconvenience. However, if you feel that it has had a significant impact on you, even if was only a short delay then it could be worth considering.
There are rules in place with regards to long delays and compensation and it is worth finding out about these. These can be quite complex, for example if your flight is leaving from the EU, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland the airline have to give you food or drink after two hours of delays as well access to phone calls and emails. If the delay is overnight they have to supply accommodation and journeys to the hotel. If the delay is for longer than three hours then you could get compensation depending on the length of the journey and where you are flying into. However, these only apply it is the fault of the airline.
After five hours, you are entitled to a lot more regardless of whose fault it is. This includes the option to get a full refund on the flight and onward flights, food and drink, accommodation, phone calls and email access if you do not take the flight. You can claim compensation if you do take the flight unless it was due to weather or a strike.
Did the delay cost me any money?
If you have spent money on food, accommodation, extras due to missed ongoing transport, then you may be able to claim compensation for this. Keep receipts to prove what you have spent so that you can look into when you return home.
Did I miss a significant amount of my holiday or have to start back at work late?
Although this could seem like grounds for compensation, it is not really based on this just to do with how long the delay was for. Compensation cannot be given to those who miss work and therefore pay but not to those who don’t as this is very hard to prove. However, if you are making a claim, it is worth mentioning anyway, just in case the airline decides to go beyond their legal requirements and pay extra as a kind gesture.
Did the delay cause a considerable amount of distress for me and those I was with?
Stress is again a factor which is very hard to measure and therefore difficult to prove that you may be due more compensation as you got more stressed compared with others. It can be worth trying
to show how the stress was worse for you, perhaps if you had young children, a disabled member in your party or something like this.
Was the delay the fault of the airline?
If the delay was the fault of the airline then you are much more likely to be able to claim compensation. The rules with regards to compensation do not cover bad weather or even staff strikes so it will all depend on the circumstances. It is worth checking with someone at the airport to find out what has caused the delay and then you will be able to find out whether compensation is likely to be given or not.
The country you are in the rules can be quite complex with regards to where you are flying form and to as well as where the airline is based. Therefore it is good to find out whether the rules for compensation in the EU will apply to you or whether you will have to see if there are different rules; if any, to cover compensation for delays in other countries. It is worth asking at the time of the delay about it, because if you can get food or accommodation vouchers then you may only be able to get them at the time of the delay and not claim back anything that you have spent afterwards. Talk to fellow flyers as well as airline staff to get as much information as you can.