Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can I claim compensation for delayed flights?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Thursday 14 February 2013
Q My wife and I were on a flight from Manchester to Madeira in May 2006. It was delayed for several hours. The return flight was delayed even longer – instead of returning in the early evening, we got back early the next day. Can I claim compensation?
Barrie Wilkinson, Lincolnshire
A Probably not. The European Court of Justice recently decided that a flight delay of three hours or more amounts to a cancellation, and that if the airline was to blame then passengers could claim compensation – anything between €250 and €600. Most retrospective claims are allowed, but for flights from UK airports there is a cut-off of six years – so any departure before 8 February 2007 would not qualify. It is theoretically possible that the return flight, from Madeira, may qualify, as it falls within the jurisdiction of the Portuguese aviation authority, but I fear the chance of getting a successful outcome after all this time is remote.
I have written a brief about your rights and how to obtain them, available here: bit.ly/EU261Claim.
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