Everyone who has gone on a trip and flown has experienced a hiccup in their flight plan. The most common issues with airline flights are delays, cancellations and overbookings. Authorities in the UK decided to do something about it and set up a regulation to allow passengers be compensated for the hassle they endure during these difficult situations. Air France is a popular airline that flies in and out of the UK and is one of the largest airlines in the world. If you have flown on Air France in the UK and experienced any of these problems than you may be eligible for compensation.
Air France is one of the airline giants. They are the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenues and third largest in terms of passengers carried. They are the largest French airline. They carry over 40 million people to 168 destinations in 93 countries annually. The company is headquartered in Paris with the main hubs being in Paris– Charles de Gaulle and Paris- Orly. Air France is an extremely popular airline with long-standing tradition. Nevertheless, it is not immune to grounded flights, potential overbookings, cancellations or delays. It shouldn’t happen, but is an unavoidable part of normal operations and the passengers are left to carry the burden. They have a relatively good track record for being such a large and active airline.
Their flights are on time 85% of the time. Their stats show that 3% of the time their flights are behind schedule. Of that 3%, 1% of the time their flights were very late and 2% were excessively delayed. Air France flights were cancelled 4% of times. Since Air France and its subsidiaries are European regulated airlines, travelling with them within Europe or away from Europe will be governed by the European Law and are required to follow Regulation 261/2004 regarding flight delay compensation.
Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 was established as an EU law and went into effect on 17 February 2005. This regulation established rules on compensation and assistance to passengers who experience substandard flights. Specifically, it requires compensation for passengers if they are denied boarding, their flight is cancelled, their flight is overbooked or if they have a long delay. The compensation has been set up to €600. The amount awarded is based upon the duration of the flight and the distance of the flight. The longer the flight, the more compensation you will receive. The shorter the flight, the less compensation you will receive.
The regulation requires that your flight meet the following specifications to be eligible for compensation. 1.) You departed from an airport within Europe on any given airline (also includes non-EU airlines), 2.)You arrived at an airport within Europe on a European airline, 3.) Your flight was delayed at least three hours, 4.) Your flight did not take place, 5.) Your flight was overbooked. As a result there was no seat available, 6.)You missed your connecting flight. As a result you arrived at your destination airport with a delay of more than three hours
Tips for Filing a Claim
Obviously airlines are required to pay the compensation if your flight falls under their regulation rules. However, often times filing is more complicated than it should be and things aren’t just black and white. So the best tip for any passenger who is experiencing a delay, flight cancellation or flight overbooking is to document as much as possible and get as much information as possible. Gather what you can from employees and those around you who are experiencing the same thing as you. The more information you have and more facts you have, the easier the claims process will be. For example, be sure to keep all flight documents and receipts. Save receipts for things like food you had to eat while you waited or drinks you bought.
This will show the airlines what you spent because of their inconvenience. If you keep your flight documents it will be easier to have the flight number and terminal/gate numbers at hand. Make sure you ask employees what is happening and what is causing the turmoil. Make sure you get the information from a reliable source like an employee of the airline. It is also smart to gather contact information from the other passengers on your flight that are going through the same thing as you. This way you can exchange information with each other and help each other out. You can also verify everyone is being treated the same way by doing this. By having all of this information on hand you are one step ahead of the game and will be one step closer to your claim going smoothly for you.
One way an airline can get out of paying out for flight delay compensation is by extraordinary circumstances. Since all of the airlines are faced with paying this compensation they are doing everything in their power to get out of paying it. The problem is that certain situations can be tricky and some airlines will try to find the loophole to get out of it. Carriers will go great lengths to evade paying compensation. A lot of times the airlines will claim what occurred was due to extraordinary circumstances and is not their fault. When something causes a flight to be delayed, cancelled, overbooked they will want it to appear it is not their fault because otherwise they are required to pay. Typical examples of such circumstances would be strikes, freak weather conditions, acts of sabotage or terrorism, unexpected flight safety shortcomings, political or civil unrest, hidden manufacturing defects. Airlines will try to use all of these instances to cover themselves in passenger claims.
Be informed before going on an airplane. Know that this regulation exists and know your rights as a passenger. To help you file a claim you can use many resources available throughout the UK. You can find information regarding flight delay compensation on the airline websites as well as companies who specialize in helping you with the claims process. They will walk you through the process from start to finish.