If you think flight delays are something that only happens to other people, and that you don’t have to worry, unfortunately, flights don’t always work that way. The inconvenience caused by a delay is always stressful, especially when you have a schedule to keep. For this reason, the airlines have a way of compensating their clients in different ways including accommodations, meals, and refunds.
Before you file your complaint to get compensated, you need to make sure the compensation is justified. It’s true that delays should be compensated, but not all delays deserve one. When the cause of the delay was in the hands of the airline, then you should get the rightful compensation you deserve for all the troubles you have gone through due to the delay.
How to claim compensation after a flight delay
As mentioned before, the first thing is to ensure that you are eligible for compensation after the flight was delayed. The right way of doing this is by confirming the cause of the delay. Once you are qualify, there are a couple of steps you can follow to make your claim and get your compensation:
· Follow the right procedure
Each airline has an outlined procedure for compensation. The first thing would be to check and confirm how you are supposed to proceed with your claim before taking any further steps. This information is readily available on the website of the airline, or you could contact their customer services for directions. Sticking to the procedure of the airline will increase your chances of getting compensated.
· Provide details of the delay
You want to provide as many relevant details as possible since the airline will be using the information you provide them to determine your case.
As such, you need to explain everything, taking particular care to share the important details, to ensure you get refund for flight delay. Make it clear that you deserve compensation. Include your contact details, information of all your passengers, your flight number, when the disruption occurred, the length of the delay, and any official you talked to.
· You need evidence
There is no doubt the airline will try to dispute your case, mainly because some of the complaints they receive are vague and spurious. Therefore, make sure that you have all the supporting evidence that you need since they won’t simply take your word for it. Provide copies of booking confirmation, tickets, and boarding cards, and the receipts of all expenses you incurred due to the delay. Note that you are not sending your originals but copies.
· File everything
Make sure you keep copies of the correspondence during the determination of your claim for future use. They may come in handy if you are denied the compensation and you want to appeal.
· Seek further assistance
In the instance you don’t get the response you expected from the airline, you can seek further assistance from the relevant authorities or the courts. Just make sure you have all your documents to support your claim.
When you may not be compensated
Airlines will not be held responsible when something beyond their power caused the delay. Some of these causes include:
· Natural Causes
If in the instance of a natural occurrence your flight is delayed, the airline will not compensate you. Such times include earthquakes and tsunamis. An example is what happened in Venezuela and the horrible disaster several years ago over New Years in Asia.
· Security concerns
Terror threats and other security concerns can cause your airline to ground their flights for a while causing massive delays. If that is the case, and a sweep is required before takeoff, you should not expect any compensation from the airline.
· Adverse weather
Icy runways and incoming storms are some of the common reasons flights are delayed because of weather. This is mainly due to the safety of the passengers, and as such, the airline will not compensate anyone for the delays. However, some airlines have small compensation packages if bad weather causes delays.
· Air traffic control
The final say comes from the air traffic controller, and if they think that the pattern is full for another flight to take off, then you will be forced to just deal with the delay and you should not expect anything from the airline regarding compensation.
· Airport maintenance
Sometimes the airport requires maintenance of different equipment which might result in the delay of multiple flights. Many of such incidences are out of the airline’s jurisdiction. So, if the issue is with the airport and not the airline, you will not be compensated.
Doing it the right way
Unfortunately, flight delays are not an unusual occurrence, and if it happens to you, you want to claim your compensation the right way. Make sure that you remain objective and state what happened and why you deserve compensation. While at it, be sure to remove all emotions from the equation and be professional. These will increase your chances of getting compensated.