For nearly two decades passengers in Europe have enjoyed protections bestowed by the European Union in the form of EU Regulation 261/2004. Unhappy with the high incidents of cancellations and delays across the continent, and the subsequent poor treatment of passengers by airlines often leading to passengers having to fend for themselves, the EU sought to introduce a number of protections covering the airline industry in an effort to force the airlines to change their practises.
Whether this worked or not is up for debate as the race to the bottom especially with low cost airlines pushing their planes, crews and schedules to the limits over the years only grew fiercer.
However, under the Regulation airlines were forced to pay compensation for cancelled flights (and then subsequently delayed flights as well) for anywhere between 600 euros and 250 euros depending on the length of the journey providing that the cancellation was not caused by an extraordinary event. The airlines were also forced to give a better level of care for their passenger who became subject to a delay or cancellation by making them provide care such as meals and refreshments and overnight accommodation instead of passengers having to sleep on the floor at the airports.
Fortunately passengers on UK airlines and departing from UK airports will still have the protections offered to it under EU261/2004 as it has been adopted into English law following the end of the transition period.
So passengers now have, for the moment, two different but parallel schemes. The original EU261 and what we are calling UK261. Sometimes EU261 will apply, sometimes UK261 will apply and sometimes both will apply. However just because a flight maybe covered by both regulations it is embedded in the regulations that you cannot get a double recovery.
|Route||UK Carrier||EU Carrier||Other Carrier|
|EU – EU||UK261 & EU261||EU261||EU261|
|EU – UK||UK261 & EU261||UK261 &EU261||EU261|
|EU – Third Country||UK261 & EU261||EU261||EU261|
|UK – EU||UK261||UK261 &EU261||UK261|
|UK – Third Country||UK261||UK261||UK261|
|Third country – EU||UK261||EU261||None|
|Third country – UK||UK261||UK261||None|
|Third country – Third country||None||None||None|
The compensation levels have also been converted into pound sterling instead of euros.
So for flights with a total journey under 1500km the amount is £220, between 1500 & 3500km it is £350 and for over 3500 it is £520.
Of course it remains to be seen what shape both the EU Regulation and UK Regulation takes over the coming years. The EU has for years been trying to revise the regulation but was held over territorial issues with the UK over Gibraltar. With Brexit it may give both the EU and the UK room to amend whatever they now see fit. Hopefully for passengers this will not lead to a watering down of the regulations. Only time will tell.
Free Eligibility Check
If your flight has been disrupted due to a delay or cancellation you may have the potential to make a claim under the EU Regulation 261/2004 for compensation. This could be up to €600 per person. Contact Hayward Baker on 01329 227 983 or complete our On-Line Form today to discuss the potential for a claim.
Have you had a flight that was disrupted?
You may be entitled to claim compensation.