Up To Euro 1200 Compensation For Each Passenger In Case Of Delayed / Canceled Flights Or Problems With Luggage

The compensation that the airline owes and must pay to every passenger in case of a delayed or canceled flight, as well as with luggage problems, could reach from € 200 to € 1200, according to the European legislation, which in many cases is directly applicable to flights related to Bulgaria.

1. Compensation for delayed or canceled flight.

Regulation (EC) № 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council regulates the right of compensation for passengers and the conditions to be met for such a compensation. In order for the above Regulation to apply to your flight, one of the following conditions should be met:

  1. Your flight is within the European Union, regardless of which airline is being operated;
  2. Your flight arrives in the EU from outside the Union and is operated by an EU airline;
  3. Your flight leaves the EU for a non-EU country, regardless of which airline is being operated

In fact, the Regulation does not provide for compensation for flight delays. The provision regulating the amount of compensation payable relates to flights which are canceled. For a canceled flight for which the passenger previously had a reserved seat, compensation is due as follows:

a)     EURO 250 for all flights up to 1500 kilometers;

b)     EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometers and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers;

c)     EUR 600 for all flights not covered under a) or b).

However, according to the European practice, it can be successfully claimed and it is accepted that passengers arriving at the final point of their journey with a delay of more than three hours are entitled to compensation, such as those with canceled flights. Any flight that is did not took off in time and has landed with more than three hours late of the scheduled time, is considered as delayed. Of course, cash compensation is only due if the delay is due to the airline’s fault. For example, if the delay is due to strike, military action, or poor weather conditions, it is assumed that there are force majeure circumstances that release the air carrier from liability and from the obligation to pay compensation. However, the airline is required to prove that the delay is due to such circumstances.

In addition to cash compensation, in the event of a delayed flight, passengers are in all cases also entitled to food and drink, free phone calls, and free hotel accommodation in case the plane leaves the earliest the next day. The passenger is also given information about his rights, which could be obtained at the check-in counter or the boarding exit.

2. Compensation for delayed or lost luggage.

Apart from a delayed flight, passengers are also compensated in case their luggage is lost or delayed. The liability of the air carrier is governed by the Montreal Convention and by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council and is limited to around EUR 1200. If the passenger’s luggage is not received by him at the airport, he should immediately go to the counter of the air carrier for a record of the lack of luggage. Once a protocol is drawn up, the airline will initiate a baggage search procedure. The time for finding the luggage is 21 days, after which, if luggage is not localized, it is considered lost, and the passenger is due for lost luggage compensation of up to EURO 1200. In the event of such circumstances, the passenger should file a complaint before the air carrier with which complaint to claim payment of the compensation.

In case the luggage is found within 21 days, it is only considered to be delayed. In the event of a delayed luggage, the passenger must file a written complaint before the airline within 21 days of the day when the luggage is delivered. With it the passenger may claim for reimbursement of the costs incurred by unforeseen payments due to a delayed luggage.

In all cases of delayed or lost luggage, the passenger shall, with the complaint, also provide the air carrier with all receipts demonstrating the unforeseen and indispensable costs incurred or the damage suffered as a result of the lost luggage.

In order to claim compensation for the passenger, in the event of an occurrence of the above, a complaint should be filed before the airline, and if the airline fails to satisfies it, despite his obligation to do so, there are procedures provided before the relevant aeronautical agency or judicial authorities. For more information on passenger rights in any of the above circumstances, you may address your inquiries to att. Adrian Murliev at a.murliev@popov-partners.com or office@popov-partners.com