When confronted with a delayed or cancelled flight, you may incur additional costs. You can think of buying a meal or arranging a hotel room because your flight is cancelled or delayed for a long time. Officially, the airline is responsible for arranging all of this, but they do not always do so. This can be quite costly for passengers, but due to the Montreal Convention and Regulation 261/2004, you can claim these costs from the airline.
Right to return extra costs incurred
As a passenger, you are entitled to a refund of these extra costs if these were caused by the delay or cancellation of your flight. This is laid down in the Montreal Convention and Regulation 261/2004. The Montréal Convention also allows you to claim for any additional damages. Regulation 261/2004 is only valid for flights from or to an EU country. The Montreal Convention is valid in the countries that have agreed to this Convention, such as the United States, Europe, China and Japan.
Imagine: after a city trip, you arrive at the airport and your flight from Barcelona to Amsterdam has been cancelled. You register at the airline’s desk and you are offered a replacement flight that departs two days later. They offer no care in the form of accommodation, food or drinks. You arrange your own hotel with transport and pay for all the meals in the days you are waiting for the replacement flight. You have the right to reclaim the costs you have incurred for the hotel, transport, food and drinks from the airline.
Right to return ticket or other flight
If your flight is cancelled, the airline must offer your assistance. This means that you as a passenger can choose between:
- Refund of the ticket for the part of the trip that you have not made or full refund of the ticket if you do not make the entire trip.
- A return flight to the first departure point at the first opportunity.
- Another comparable flight at the first opportunity.
- Another comparable flight at a later date of your choice.
If the airline proposes to depart from another airport in the area, they must arrange transportation to this airport.
Right to care
Both the Montreal Convention and Regulation 261/2004 indicate that you are entitled to care in the event of a delay or cancellation of your flight. Care includes meals, refreshments, two phone calls, faxes or e-mails. Often, in the event of a long delay or cancellation, you will receive a voucher to be used for food or a drink, from the airline. Did you not receive a voucher? Then you can buy something to eat or drink and reclaim these costs from the airline.
Right to an accommodation
The right to accommodation is also covered by the right to care. You are entitled to accommodation if your flight is delayed or cancelled and you have to wait one or more nights for your (replacement) flight to depart. Apart from arranging an accommodation, the airline is also responsible for any transport to and from the accommodation.
Extra costs incurred due to extraordinary circumstances
Could your flight not leave because of dense fog or maybe a collision with a bird? Such extraordinary circumstances often allow your flight to be delayed or even cancelled. In such cases you are not entitled to compensation. In case of delay or cancellation due to an extraordinary circumstance, you are entitled to a care and return ticket or another flight.
Get your money back for your extra incurred costs
If the airline has not arranged a replacement flight and / or has not provided any care, you can recover the costs that you had to incur directly from the airline. You can visit the airline’s website for this.