Everyone has had a delayed or cancelled flight at some point. This is a stressful experience but there might be a silver lining. Apart from care and assistance from the airline, you could be entitled to flight compensation of up to £520 (or €600)!
The question is, are you aware of your rights and how to protect them in case of a disrupted flight?
Here is what you should know about your air passenger rights after Brexit.
All passengers in the European Union are protected by the EU Regulation 261/2004. It applies when your flight is within the EU, departs from it, or arrives in the EU from outside (in the latter case, the flight has to be operated by an EU airline).
Since the beginning of 2021, due to Brexit, EU rules on passenger rights do not apply to cases of disrupted flights from the UK to the EU if your flight was operated by a UK airline or another non-EU carrier. This is the case, even if you have booked your flight before 1 January.
However, EU 261 continues to apply if your flight from the UK to the EU was operated by an EU air carrier, as long as you haven’t already received compensation or benefits under UK law.
The UK Government has retained EU 261 and amended it so that it applies to passengers who are:
departing from a UK airport, regardless of the airline;
departing from an airport outside the UK to an airport in:
the UK if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is either an EU/EEA carrier or a UK air carrier; or
the EU/EEA if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a UK air carrier.
This means that air passengers continue to be protected by the law in case of long flight delays, cancellations and denied boarding.
The difference is that from now on, any related compensation claim brought in the UK must be brought under “UK 261”, regardless of the date of the flight.
EU 261 claims can still be made against UK carriers, but only in EU Member States.
On certain routes, there will be overlapping coverage of both the UK and the EU regimes and passengers will be able to decide which one to use. However, if your flight is covered by both legislations, you cannot claim compensation twice.
How much compensation can you claim?
Whether your claim falls under the EU or the UK legislation might not matter much, but the amount of compensation you get might be slightly different due to conversion rates.
Here is the maximum amount you can get according to the EU regulation and the UK legislation:
Short distance flight delays (up to 1500 km) – €250 / £220.
Medium distance flight delays (between 1500 km and 3500 km) – €400 / £350.
Long distance flight delays (over 3500 km) – €600 / £520.
It is definitely worth checking whether you are eligible for flight delay compensation for any of your disrupted flights in the past 3 years! If you are, companies such as SkyRefund will take care of everything for you and make sure you successfully get your money stress-free.