The summer and holiday season is in a full swing. But what if your flight is delayed or canceled? What if they loose or damage your luggage? Only a handful of people actually know, what to do and what they are entitled to in such situations. Most airlines will not tell you, of course, they would be against them selves.
And this is why we wrote this article, what to ask for the next time something like that happens to you.
In the first place, of course, you should read the transport conditions. You know, that is the small box ,,I agree with.." that 99% people actually never opened. The situation is different here in the EU and for example in the US, where you are hardly entitled to anything. In America, there is everything about cards (whether they are credit cards or bonus cards), and so they solve their troubles through those, by discounts or free miles. On the other side in Europe, you can get up to € 600 if the delay is longer than 3 hours.
All compensations come from the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, which you can freely read online. These regulations apply to flights which begin or end in the territory of an EU member and are operated by a European airline.
You are entitled to a snack, if the delay is going to be longer than 2 hours, with no difference to what caused the delay. It is usually a refreshment voucher to some of the airport fast foods and it can vary. It´s value depends on the airline it self, the length of the flight and the length of the delay expected. People are called by the public announcement, but you can also get information on an information desk or at the departure gate.
Cash compensations for delayed flights won´t be reimbursed for such events, which have nothing common with the airline, so for example bad weather, strikes or political situation in the arrival country. Collect as much evidence as possible - flight tickets, confirmation from the carrier, take pictures of departure boards, and so on.
You are entitled to a hotel stay, if the delay is longer than 8 hours. This is mainly due to snow calamity. In this case, the carrier is obliged to provide accommodation and meals until the departure of another aircraft. Not every company does it automatically for their customers, you can, however, refer to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
You do not get the compensation once the flight has been canceled under unavoidable circumstances such as weather, political situation or strike. However, you will get at least the money for your purchased ticket.
The claim may also expire when the carrier notifies you of this fact:
1. More than 14 days before the scheduled flight
2. between 14 and 7 days before scheduled departure and offer you an alternate connection with departure max 2 hours earlier and arrival max 4 hours later
3. less than 7 days before the scheduled departure and you have been offered an alternate connection with departure max 1 hour earlier and arriving max 2 hours later.
If none of the above happened and your flight been canceled later or at the airport it self, you are entitled to up to 600 EUR. Again, however, it depends on the length of the flight.
Delayed or lost luggage
As a flight attendant, crossing the airport and other areas, I saw how beautifully and in white gloves they handle your luggage. Of course ha-ha-ha that was a joke.
Many times have I seen luggage laying somewhere at apron or ramp area, guys just throw your luggage on conveyor belts, on to the carry car and so on. That's why we are absolutely not surprised when a luggage gets lost or arrives broken. That's why (from experience known) you really never, but never put money into the main baggage that goes to cargo hold. I am not kidding that really happened.
Report your lost luggage immediately after your arrival. In most cases, they are able to deliver your luggage with the next flight, but if there is no flight, or other circumstances happening, and the delay is more than 24 hours, then you have the right for reimbursement of some essential necessities (does not include a camera, watch etc.) such as hygiene and basic clothing up to € 1445. However, this amount must also include the lost luggage refund, in case not delivered within 21 days. So go easy with your expenditure. In any case, you will need to have all the receipts and a filled in PIR document (Property Irregularity Report), which is to be found in the lost n´ found office.
In case of a damaged luggage, also, report it as soon as possible. They might offer you a free repair or in case of a broken through shell type luggage, which happened to me, you could get compensation, but you have to deliver a slip from the luggage purchase. i don´t know how about you, but we do not keep these for a very long nor we have slips for everything, so i had to put a tape (scotch) on it and walk off. So if you get the chance to wrap your luggage at the airport - go for it.
Luggage insurance is usually given as a part of a travel insurance and you pay just slightly above. Worth it!
Those who come to the airport among the first ones for their flight are less likely to deal with lost luggage.
Put a colorful tag on your luggage, or whatever else that makes it different and recognizable, some may have the same luggage and so you can accidentally swap.
In case it is lost, it is always better to have a copy of a flight ticket inside with your contact. It will definitely ease some trouble.
Also get yourself a proper luggage - we can swear on SAMSONITE - they last.
Does any one of you have similar experiences? How did it go?