Friday 13 December 2019

Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?

Travellers think planes should have child-free zones, according to a survey
Travellers think planes should have child-free zones, according to a survey

Siobhán Howe

My husband and I have just returned from our honeymoon in Mexico. We had a wonderful time but did initially have some problems with the outbound flight. When we arrived at the airport to take the flight we were told that it had to be delayed due to a technical fault and were advised that it was rescheduled for the following morning.

As we had booked the flights and accommodation separately I rang the hotel we were meant to be staying in in Mexico to advise that we wouldn't be arriving until the following day. They said that they would not refund the cost of the night we missed. The delayed flight meant that we missed out on an entire day of our holiday and had to pay for the night in the hotel that we couldn't use. What rights do I have in this situation?

Some short flight delays are understandable, however, when a flight is delayed for more than 5 hours you have certain rights and entitlements under EU law, including the choice between a rescheduled flight or a refund of the full cost of the unused flight ticket.

In your case you opted to take the rescheduled flight the following morning, which meant that the airline should have provided you with hotel accommodation for the night, transport between the airport and the hotel you stayed in and food/drink expenses within reason, during the waiting time.

If this was not provided to you I would suggest that you contact the airline and look for compensation for any cost incurred by you during this time. You may need to show proof of these expenses, for instance a receipt for your overnight accommodation.

In relation to the hotel in Mexico, if you have travel insurance I would suggest you check the terms and conditions of your policy, as some policies have an allowance for costs caused by delays.

It might also be worth your while contacting the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) which has a significant consumer protection role relating to air passenger rights.

Siobhán Howe works with the National Consumer Agency.

Irish Independent

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