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Has your flight been delayed? Travel for free

You arrive at the airport and find the unpleasant surprise that your flight has been delayed. Whether you travel for pleasure or business, it is a frustrating situation, but don't panic, did you know that as a passenger you have rights that protect you and allow you to claim compensation?

Yes, that's right, but as we know it can be confusing to know what you can claim and how to do it, here are some tips. Take note, and above all, don't hesitate to complain!

Your rights in case of flight delay

The OCU, Organization of Consumers and Users, explains how you can claim up to €600 depending on the destination, distance and time delay in reaching your destination.

  • Delays of more than 2 hours: In this case, you have the right to assistance that includes food and drink, accommodation if necessary and transfers between the airport and the hotel.
  • Delays of more than 3 hours: In addition to all the assistance mentioned above, you are entitled to compensation ranging from €250 to €600, depending on the distance and type of flight.
  • Delays of more than 5 hours: If you have to wait more than 5 hours for your flight to depart, in addition to the previous compensations, the possibility of choosing to travel with another transport is added, receiving compensations of €250, €400 or €600 depending on the distance and type of flight or even a full refund of the value of the flight within a period of seven days.

How to make your claim

In order to make your claim, we recommend that you follow the following steps:

  1. Request assistance: To record the delay, the first thing you should do is request the necessary assistance from the airline; food, drink and accommodation if necessary.
  2. Keep all documents: It is very important that you keep all documents related to your flight, the plane ticket, receipts for food and accommodation and any other document that shows that an incident has occurred.
  3. Make an official claim: You can file a claim with the airline yourself through any platform specialized in flight claims.
  4. Turn to consumer protection organizations: In the event that the airline does not respond adequately to your complaint, you can seek help from organizations that protect consumers such as the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users), AESA (State Security Agency  Airlines in Spain) or to the European Commission if your flight has origin or destination in a member country of the European Union.

“Extraordinary circumstances” or “Causes of force majeure”. When you will not be able to claim.

Importantly, airlines are not required to pay compensation if the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even with all reasonable measures.

“Extraordinary circumstances” or “major circumstances” are considered to be all those situations that are unforeseeable, unavoidable and external to the flight. Below we detail a series of those considered as such.

  • Bad weather or adverse weather
  • Medical problems during the flight
  • Security issues
  • technical breakdown
  • Bird collision
  • Accumulation of delays on previous flights
  • Airport closures
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Infectious diseases
  • Air traffic restrictions
  • Political instability or war
  • Excessive hours of pilots or crew

However, you have to know that airlines try by all means to justify cancellations, claiming that they are beyond their control, thus removing responsibility for what happened. This is precisely why the best option is to look for a good advisor who knows how to manage these cases, so that you can win despite the airline's excuses.

The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that if your flight is delayed, you have rights as a passenger that protect you and allow you to claim compensation. Make sure you are aware of these rights and follow the appropriate steps to claim if necessary. Don't forget that the legislation is on your side and that, in most cases, user complaints end in returns and compensation.

Traveling is a wonderful experience, don't let anything ruin your trip. Know your rights as a passenger and travel more calmly and safely.

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