Affected passengers are entitled to compensation up to 600 euros per person if their flight had a delay of more than 3 hours, was canceled or overbooked. Tourists can apply for and obtain compensation even if the airline offers them another flight to the destination where they have to arrive, vouchers for food and drink and / or accommodation. The right to compensation for flights delayed, canceled or overbooked by an airline or low-cost airline is regulated by the European Union by Regulation (EC) 261/2004. The condition is that the passenger leaves the European Union with any airline or arrives in the European Union with an airline registered in the EU (or Iceland, Norway or Switzerland). For example, an American citizen flying from the US or Africa to an EU destination with a company like Air France or Lufthansa is entitled to compensation if his flight is affected by delays, cancellations or overbookings. However, affected passengers may only be eligible for compensation under the following conditions: – Flights take delays of at least three hours – It is the fault of the airline (eg an aircraft has been damaged). It is not a cause for compensation for weather conditions, bad weather, political disturbances, terrorist attacks. – The airline refuses to board the passenger Also, according to European Directive 261/2004, if a flight has several stopovers, the delay in one of them can be compensated if the eligibility conditions are met. It is essential that all those flights be on a single reservation. Currently, AirHelp says, many flights are operated in code-share with airline partners in the same alliance, but the company issuing the flight ticket is responsible for running the race to the end, including for delays or cancellations that may occur. This year, flights delayed or canceled due to spontaneous strikes of pilots and flight attendants or airport staff automatically fall into the right to compensation. Passengers can apply retroactively for damages within three years after the affected flight time and can receive compensation up to 600 euros.
A study conducted by AirHelp at EU level shows that: 85% of citizens of member countries do not know what rights they have as airline passengers. 66% of European tourists claim that airlines do not provide sufficient information about their rights as passengers 13 million passengers annually lose 5 billion euros, because they do not apply for delayed, canceled or overbooked flights Although passengers are entitled to apply for compensation up to 600 euros, only 50% of them apply for compensation. One of the main reasons is that air carriers do not inform passengers about their rights, as 66% of the study participants claim. Moreover, despite the 14-year EC 261 law governing the right of passengers to compensation, they do not apply for compensation for the following reasons: they do not know that they have this right (42%), I do not think they are eligible for damages (36 %) and do not know how to file a complaint (24%).