According to EU law passengers with 3-hour flight delays can claim compensation from the airline up to 600 EUR. The EU Regulation 261/2004 sets very specific rules, aiming at the protection of air passengers rights, including the amount of compensation and the circumstances under which you can claim. To be eligible for flight delay compensation under EC261 your flight needs to arrive at its destination at least 3 hours late. Furthermore, this delay should be the airline’s fault, otherwise, you won’t be able to get any money back. If both conditions are met, passengers will need to undergo a lengthy procedure, which might result in no compensation after all.
The following article will discuss the process of getting compensated for 3-hour flight delays and will talk about the cornerstones when it comes to fighting for your rights as an air traveller.
Am I Eligible for Compensation For a 3 Hour Flight Delay?
The question of eligibility is probably the most important one. Who has the right to claim and will the claim be successful in court? There are a few simple rules, you would need to take into consideration when initiating a claiming procedure whether at your own or through external compensation providers or flight compensation brokers.
First, and most importantly, the delay at the final destination must be at least 3 hours or more. This means that if you have waited, for example, 180 minutes for the plane to take-off, but it has made up for the lost time while flying and you land with 160 minutes delay, you won’t be eligible for flight delay compensation. So always, check the actual landing time and how it differs from the scheduled one. Using professional boarding pass wallets might be a huge help in this case.
Then, you would need to know if the airline is responsible for this delay. Ask for a statement and demand information while you’re still at the airport. Holding airlines accountable is one of your main EU air passenger rights. If the cause of delay was due to circumstances within the airline’s control (e.g. technical issues, strikes, late baggage loading or fueling) you are owed compensation. However, if there are circumstances, which are out of the airline’s hands (e.g. bad weather, security risks, medical emergencies, etc.) you won’t be able to claim anything.
And last, but not least, make sure you’re on an EU regulated flight, which departs from one of the European airports or/and is carried out by an airline registered in the EU. If so, you are covered by the European Regulation and can claim accordingly.
What Am I Entitled To For My Delay?
If all of the above-mentioned conditions are met – you have experienced a 3-hour flight delay, carried out by an EU registered company or taking-off from a European country and was caused by the airline, you are entitled to flight delay compensation. The amount you can get doesn’t depend on the price of your ticket. What is relevant is nothing other but the flight distance. Here is how much you are entitled to for your flight delay:
- Flights less than 1,500 km: €250
- Flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km: €400
- Fights more than 3,500km, delayed by 3-4 hours: €300
- Flight more than 3,500 km, delayed by more than 4 hours: €600
However, this isn’t everything you should get when experiencing a flight disruption. In cases of flight delays of more than 2 hours, the airline must enforce your so-called right to care. This is the right to receive several essentials for your comfort and well-being while waiting:
- Meal or meal vouchers
- Access to phone or Internet
- Hotel room and transportation (for overnight stays)
How To Claim My Compensation?
Now knowing that you are eligible for EU flight delay compensation for your 3-hour flight delay opens the question about claiming and how to do it.
If you have the nerve to go through the whole process on your own, find enough information to support your claim, get in touch with the airline and manage to receive an answer from them, you might have a lucky day. Most airlines tend to prolong their communication with passengers with the hope they will eventually give up their claims and thus absolve from the obligation to pay.
If you don’t feel comfortable claiming on your own, you might want to hire a lawyer. Here you should have in mind that most lawyers will demand upfront payment of fees no matter the outcome of the case. Furthermore, working with a representative can be time-consuming, since it’s necessary to explain what happened, meet to sign documents, coordinate back and fort communication and do paperwork.
Let’s say, you don’t have the time and energy to do the work and prefer to use the services of a professional flight compensation broker, which again will represent you in front of the airline. If they succeed in collecting your money, they will charge a market average success fee of 20-40% depending on the compensation amount. This claiming process takes between 6 and 12 months unless the airline refuses to pay, which will require a lawsuit and prolong waiting for over a year. It’s important to know, that those companies only file claims, that are most likely to be successful and refuse to work on more complex and expensive ones with the argumentation that they aren’t eligible for compensation.
The Colibra Way To Claim
The alternative to claiming yourself or using the complicated services of flight compensation brokers is a mobile application, called Colibra, which pays you unconditionally every time your flight delays over an hour no matter the delay reason! You just need to register your boarding pass no later than 20 minutes prior to take-off, join the flying community and enjoy simpler, easier and more accessible compensations.
- No need to worry about getting reliable information about the causes of delays
- No need to invest time, money and resources in claiming yourself or hiring external providers
- No costs for using Colibra – the app is completely free
- Guaranteed payment in 24 hours after landing
Here’s how it works:
Whenever travelling via plane you would share your potential right to receive compensations for 3+ hours flight delays (under EU261) so you can get paid for flights no airline would compensate (1 to 3-hour delays). Given that the chance of a 90-minute delay is 30x greater than the chance of a 3+ hour delay, Colibra offers an effective solution which means passengers are more likely to be paid more often.
With Colibra claiming becomes easy and convenient! Get your app now and never worry about how to get what you deserve!
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