How to Claim Compensation for a Cancelled or Delayed Flight

There are times you will book a flight and a few hours to the time scheduled for the flight, the airline cancels the flight. This means that the purpose that had made you travel will either be suspended or delayed until another travel alternative have been found. Most airlines will give compensation for such incidences especially if the delay or the cancelation was as a result that could have been avoided such as employees strike.

Here is a guide on how you can follow up on your compensation after a flight cancelation:

File the compensation claim yourself

You can choose to directly contact the airline to claim your compensation. In this option, you will need to be aware of your rights as a  passenger and also apply a lot of patience. The chances of succeeding on your own are very minimal with most of the people giving up along the way.

You should be able to get into a detailed explanation of what happened that led to the flight cancellation and if you are lucky the airline will agree to issue the compensation.

Get a lawyer

You can contact a lawyer to file the claim on your behalf if you do not want to go through the trouble of following up the compensation. The lawyer will demand to be paid his fee upfront regardless of whether you will succeed in getting the compensation or not. You should ensure that the contacted lawyer understands the rights of air passengers as well as the compensation claim.

Contact a claim company

There are companies that specialize in filing claims on behalf of flight passengers in case their flights are canceled or delayed. Such companies will file a claim and will only charge a fee after the compensation has been issued. If the claim for the compensation is not successful, you will not pay any fee.

Though you are entitled to a compensation after the flight is delayed, there are circumstances under which the compensation will not be issued such as civil unrest, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, insecurity, restrictions by the air traffic control department or medical emergencies when on board.

The compensation you are entitled to will depend on the duration of the delay or the cancellation. For instance:

  • If your flight is delayed for three hours, you have a right to food, drinks, make calls, and accommodation.
  • If your flight is delayed for over five hours, you are entitled to full compensation of the amount paid which include the amount you had paid for other flights in that booking such as return flights.

The airline can also opt to help you get another flight and in this case, they will provide the necessary assistance such as providing food, allowing you access to a phone and emails, and if the delay will be overnight, provide accommodation. If these provisions are not provided when waiting for the alternative flight, you should pay for the expenses, keep the receipts and later claim your compensation. However, no compensation will be given for substances such as alcohol or expensive meals.