7 tips: what to do if your flight is cancelled, delayed or overbooked

Summer is here, but your plans for lounging on the beach may not come to fruition due to delayed or cancelled flight. Statistics show that every tenth European has faced delays, cancellations or overbooking, or experienced baggage delay or loss. But do you know what compensation for the inconvenience you deserve and where you should apply to get it?

First off, you should know how to recognize when you are entitled to compensation, and when you are not.

Military acts, poor weather conditions, aircraft manufacturing defects, worker strikes – if you had to deal with one of these situations beyond the control of the airlines, you will not be compensated for neither financial nor moral damage.

However, if your flight is late to arrive at your destination by more than 3 hours (arrival time counted to opening of the aircraft door, not the landing), if the flight is cancelled in less than 14 days prior to the departure, or if you have been asked to disembark because of overbooking, you may enjoy a solid morsel in accordance with the Regulation of the European Parliament.

Lukas Raščiauskas, the CEO of SKYCOP, the company (and the international platform Skycop.com) standing up for passengers and their rights in the fight against airline stalling of flight refunds, says that if you have found yourself experiencing a flight disruption that falls within the EU regulatory framework, you can claim up to €600 from the airline. Nevertheless, companies have hundreds of ways to delay the process and to avoid it whatsoever by taking advantage of bureaucratic mistakes.

SKYCOP specialists suggest what you should do to recover the money that rightfully belongs to you:

  • Even if you know that the flight may be delayed, arrive at the airport and check-in for your flight on time. If you fail to do so, you may not claim compensation.
  • If a flight has been cancelled, insist on being properly taken care of: the airline had to give access to phone calls, email, as well as provide you with food and water.
  • Never accept “compensations” (food vouchers, next trip voucher, free tour coupons, etc.) and do not sign documents that waive further claims if you accept this ridiculous compensation.
  • File a complaint as soon as possible – depending on the country where the incident took place, the law may provide a very short period for claims.
  • If your luggage is delayed, immediately contact the personnel in the arrival hall and fill out a complaint. If you leave the airport, your complaint about missing or delayed baggage submitted afterwards is likely to be rejected.
  • If you are flying with a group, remember that the compensation must be paid for each passenger individually – do not yield to companies trying to mislead you.
  • If it was a business flight and your ticket was bought by the company, don’t give up – the compensation must be paid to a person whose name appears on the ticket instead of whoever paid for the flight.