There was one time when G and I were waiting for our flight from Italy back home in Germany and the flight was delayed. This was last year. It started out with 30 minutes, then it went on for an hour then two hours, and then they said they didn’t know how long it would take. The airport we were waiting at was not that very entertaining and since we already checked in, we couldn’t get out, so it was just waiting. And waiting. And walking. And more waiting. They gave us meal vouchers twice, but airport food is never quite that good, even in Italy. We ended up waiting around 8 hours, arriving at Baden-Baden and then having to drive with a couple we met at the airport for a ride back home. A very long, frustrating, tiring day.
I’ve never been seriously delayed with flights, except for that one, so never thought about my flight rights or anything of that nature. AirHelp reached out to me about their program and I found it very interesting and rather eye-opening. It’s not uncommon for flight delays to happen, but it’s not easy to know your rights, write up a claim, reach out to the airlines and finally get back what is lawfully yours. AirHelp offers a service where they do all the work and pay your bank directly when the claim is successful, minus a 25 percent service fee. But if you don’t get paid, AirHelp doesn’t get paid. And now, after reading the information and about my rights, I’m even thinking of looking over my delay last year. (Compensation includes flights within the last three years).
Many travelers, including myself, don’t know a lot about flight rights when it comes to delays, overbooking and cancellations and there really isn’t any better way but to inform ourselves. And even in the case of my experience in Italy, I was more than happy to just get back home in one piece. But according to law, if a flight is delayed, canceled overbooked or if your flight arrives more than three hours after the scheduled arrival time, you can be entitled to financial compensation from the airline. This compensation is in addition to the meal vouchers and other services. (This works unless the incident is caused by an extraordinary circumstance, such as weather, political unrest or strikes. Strikes happen a lot in European countries, including Italy and Germany, so sometimes you need to check your email before leaving for the airport because the airlines usually send you such notifications.)
If a delayed flight requires you to be at the airport overnight, then the airline must offer you a hotel stay, transportation to and from the hotel and a meal voucher. (The compensation over delayed flights is in addition to these services.)
But first things first, you need to know some background info to even consider such claims. And because infographics are so helpful, read on and get informed.
- The best time to fly is early in the morning, while 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. is the worst for delays.
- Saturday is better to fly than any other day, while Friday has the highest chances for a delay.
- Only 2 percent of eligible passengers file a claim for compensation and only 0.06 percent get the money they are entitled to.
- It’s pretty complicating to navigate your way for compensation and AirHelp can help take you through the process.
- Even if you are not interested to use AirHelp, READ and get informed. You really never know.
Disclaimer: The AirHelp link is an affiliate link and I receive a (small) commission if you proceed and use their services through my blog. I’m not paid to recommend their services and if you feel uncomfortable about this, you can open a new page and type in AirHelp. But just clicking won’t mean anything so go ahead and read about their services. They also have a blog with some informative links and info.
All photos by rachelsanghee. Infographics by AirHelp.