It can be difficult to figure out whether or not you are entitled to an EU261 compensation claim when your flight was delayed. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of. Read on to learn about the various types of delays and what type of claim you might be eligible for.
One common form of delay is when a flight has been diverted. If the flight is delayed for more than 10 hours, it can be considered a diversion, according to the U.K. Government Code. In order to claim this type of damage, the delay must extend past your scheduled arrival time and it must be within the charter period.
If you are able to book another flight and still arrive on time and at the same destination, then the delay will not be considered a diversion. For example, if you are scheduled to depart at 8:00 am and arrive at noon, the delay will not be considered a diversion because it does not extend past your scheduled arrival time.
Charter is the period during which a flight is offered for sale to passengers. Charter is considered to be the most common form of delay, especially for travel times less than five hours.
Flight cancellations are also considered as a diversion. For example, if a flight is canceled two weeks before departure due to an accident, flight cancellations do not extend beyond the charter period and therefore it will not be considered as a delay.
Flight delay is when a flight is delayed more than five hours from its scheduled arrival time. For example, if you are scheduled to leave at 8:00 am and arrive at noon, your flight may have arrived after the scheduled arrival time, but the delay extends past your scheduled arrival time. In this case, you can claim for damages resulting from the delay.
The same is true for charter if the flight is not delayed beyond the charter period. If a flight has not been delayed beyond the charter period, it will not be considered diversion and therefore you will not be eligible to make a claim.
If the flight is delayed beyond the charter period and you are not scheduled to make your flight home, the same rules apply as if you were not scheduled to fly. The delay extends beyond the charter period and therefore you cannot make a claim for damages.
Another form of delay is the delayed boarding when passengers are not notified of a scheduled boarding time or have a boarding time that is more than 15 minutes. For example, if you are scheduled to board at 4:00 pm, your flight could have arrived ten minutes late, but you were not informed that you had to report for your flight at 4:00 pm.
There are two situations that can lead to a delayed boarding. The first is when a flight has been delayed because of an accident, when an aircraft has been forced to land, or when a flight has been diverted.
The second is when a flight is not allocated for a flight crew, such as due to crew shortages or if a flight is canceled. In these cases, the same rules apply as if you were not scheduled to fly, and therefore you cannot make a claim for damages.
The U.K. government provides guidance on the EU261 liability for various flight delays, such as diversion, flight cancellation, delayed boarding, charter, and delayed departure. Please contact the U.K. Government Code helpline for assistance in determining your rights.