If your flight has been heavily delayed, or cancelled, or you have been denied boarding on a flight due to overbooking you may be entitled compensation according to EC-Regulation 261/2004, which came into force on 17 February 2005.
This regulation applies:
- To passengers departing from an EC airport or from an airport located in a third country with an EC airline to an airport into an EC country, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country,
- Only if you have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned,
- Only if you (except in the case of cancellation) present yourself for check-in as stipulated and at the time indicated in advance and in writing by the airline or if no time was indicated not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time,
- Only if you travel at a fare available directly to the public.
You are not entitled to compensation according to the EC- Regulation if the incident is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken, e.g. bad weather conditions, political instability, strike, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings. You are not entitled to compensations of any kind if you have been excluded from a flight due to justifiable reasons, e.g. in connection with your health, common or operational security or inadequate travel documents.
Advice for customers considering using a claims company or other lawyers to apply for flight delay compensation
Most claims companies charge their clients a percentage of any compensation payment received; this is likely to be up to 30%. We encourage our customers to make their claim directly to us using our online claim form. All claims we receive are dealt with in the order in which they are received; claims made via claims companies are not given priority over claims made directly by customers. By claiming directly with us, where compensation is due, you will receive the full amount rather than a reduced amount which you will receive if you claim via a claims company.
Delays according to EC Regulation 261/04 apply if a flight is expected to arrive beyond the scheduled time of arrival by more than:-
- 4 hours in case of flights of 3.500 kilometres,
- 3 hours in case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1.500 kilometres and of all other flights between 1.500 and 3.500 kilometres
- 2 hours for flights of 1.500 kilometres or less.
If your flight is impacted by such a delay you have the right to assistance:-
- Meals and refreshment in a reasonable relation to the waiting time,
- Hotel accommodation where appropriate combined with potential transfer
- Two short telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails
Assistance may not be provided if there is a risk the departure will be delayed further.
In case of a delay of more than five hours you have the right to cancel the flight and the right to reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket, or for parts of the journey not made, according to article 8 paragraph 1 (a) of EC-Regulation 261/2004 respectively.
You will be required to prove that the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the original travel plan. We would point out that any such cancellations and refunds only relate to the flight element of a pre-paid package. For package travel, the conditions of EC Directive 90/314 apply.
In case of an arrival delay of more than three hours, you have the right to be compensated in accordance with the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice C-581/10 and C-629/1, in the form of cash, cheque, electronic bank transfer or in travel vouchers, with your agreement. The amount of the payment is determined by the distance of the planned flight route and on the alternative flight offered.
- Flights of 1.500 kilometres or less, the compensation amount is €250.
- Flights between 1.500 and 3.500 kilometres, the compensation amount is €400.
- Flights of more than 3.500 kilometres, the compensation amount is €600.
Compensation will not be payable in the event that the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances.
For flights of more than 3.500 kilometres and with an arrival delay of more than 3 hours, but no later than 4 hours after the scheduled arrival time of the originally booked flight, the compensation entitlement listed above will be reduced by 50%.
If the carrier submits an offer to you to voluntary withdraw from your flight, or boarding is denied to you on the booked flight against your will, you have the right to compensation and assistance in accordance with that provided for ‘Delays’. Furthermore a choice of alternative transport to your final destination will be offered or a refund within 7 days of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant. The re-routing will take place at the earliest opportunity and under comparable transport conditions. Subject to availability of seats the re-routing to your final destination may take place at a later date at your convenience. In this case you would have to bear the cost of accommodation, meals and transfer.
In the event that you have been involuntary denied boarding to a flight, you have additional rights to compensation in the form of cash, cheque, electronic bank transfer, or vouchers with your agreement. The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the planned flight route and on the alternative flight offered. The compensation amounts to:-
- €250 for all flights of 1.500 kilometres or less
- €400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1.500 kilometres
- all other flights between 1.500 and 3.500 kilometres
- €600 for flights of more than 3.500 kilometres.
If you get offered an alternative flight and the arrival time does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1.500 kilometres or less; or by three hours, in respect of all intra-Community flights of more than 1.500 kilometres and for all other flights between 1.500 and 3500 kilometres; or by four hours, in respect of all flights over 3.500 kilometres, the compensation will be reduced by 50%, i.e. €125, €200 or €300.
In the event of cancellation of a flight for which you hold a confirmed reservation, you will be offered alternative transport and have the same rights – beside the alternative transportation – to assistance, reimbursement and compensation, as per Denied Boarding.
If the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances you do not have the right to compensation. Also no compensation will be payable if you were informed of the cancellation
- at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure
- between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and the offered re-routing departs no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and reaches the final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival
- less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and the offered re-routing departs no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and reaches the final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival
In the event that you wish to make a claim, please contact our Customer Relations department on www.thomascook.com/customer-relations.
In accordance with the EC-Regulation please find below contact details of the National Body responsible for the enforcement of the passenger rights.
If you are dissatisfied with the provision of services during your delay and wish to contact the regulator, please note that within the UK the Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for enforcing these regulations:
Contact: Complaints, Civil Aviation Authority, CAA House, 45- 59 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6TE