It’s that time of year again. Every man and his dog is jetting off to get a break in the sun. Cue the sangria, tapas, relaxation and possibly a couple of good books.
Though, things do happen. From cancelled flights to substantial delays. However there are rules in place (on both sides) that must be adhered to.
Firstly, the airline:
If a flight is delayed more than 2 hours, the airline must provide you with a voucher entitling you to food and drink, access to a phone and email, and if the delay is over night, accommodation in a hotel.
If your flight is delayed 3 or more hours, or is indefinitely cancelled, not only are you entitled to the above, they must also pay compensation per boarding pass. So a family of 4 delayed for 4 hours would be entitled to a minimum of €1000.
If a flight is delayed for 5 hours or more, you don’t have to take the flight and the airline legally has to provide:
A full refund for the flight, a full refund of any connecting flights (for example, England to Sweden, Sweden to America, America to Australia. If your English leg is delayed and you miss your connections they must compensate the entire journey). And a compensated flight to your original destination.
If you do take the flight, you are entitled to:
Upto €600 per boarding pass depending on the destination and the length of the delay. This however can be waived as things such as weather may be the cause of the delay. Things not in the control of the airline.
The staff who work in the airport and for the airline are there to do a job to put food on the table. Treat them with respect, and should you have a grievance, take it up with them in a calm and collected manner.
You may be a paying passenger, but they are not your slave, PA, servant or personal verbal punching bag. Try and keep as calm as possible and don’t abuse the staff. They are only doing what they are permitted to do.
If you smoke, and the terminal doesn’t have a smoking area, and your flight is delayed for a prolonged period, ask a member of security to escort you out of the terminal and don’t return until you know your plane is going to be arriving soon. You’ll be allowed back in, you’ll just have to be manually re-checked in and have to go through the screening process again.
Don’t let your children run riot. We all know that airports are boring, but there are plenty of ways to keep a child entertained quietly without them running around like headless chickens.
If at all possible, collar one of the staff for the airport or airline and ask them what the ETA of your plane is, and whether it’s worth simply getting a hotel for the night and invoicing the airline.