How would you like to be paid when you experience delays on connecting flights? Travelers in the European Union are about to see it happen. The European Union just expanded protections for airline passengers who experience delays or cancellations on connecting flights. The rule is in place even when the airline involved isn't based within the European Union.
Travelers are now entitled to up to $700 in compensation when a connecting flight that is part of a larger reservation is delayed. Passengers from the United States are able to take advantage of this new protection as long as their connecting flights qualify. The new setup means that an airline could potentially be on the hook for passenger compensation even if a delay is caused by another airline. The operating carrier that sold the ticket is the one that is officially responsible for compensating passengers.
Airlines aren't just obligated to offer monetary compensation. They must also offer passengers alternative options for transportation when a flight is disrupted. Payouts are capped at $700. However, the minimum amount that airlines will be asked to pay is $290 per passenger. A passenger must arrive at their destination at least three hours behind schedule to qualify for compensation. The late arrival must be caused by a missed connection that is the result of a delayed flight in order for compensation requirements to kick in. What's more, a canceled flight will result in a compensation requirement by default.
How can passengers seek compensation from delayed flights in the European Union going forward? There are a few options. The first step would be to file a claim with the airline. This might be all that's necessary in most cases. However, it may also be necessary to file a claim with regulators. Passengers do have the option to file a claim through an advocacy group like AirHelp. However, these groups often take a cut of each payout in exchange for their efforts.
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