Last week’s post took an in-depth look into what exactly happens if you have a flight cancelled or delayed by several hours in Europe. You may be eligible for compensation through EU 261. When I left off, I was in the process of figuring out how to file it for myself. Here is what I’ve put together from my own experience.
Put Your Facts Together
To begin the claim process, you will need to ensure you have:
– flight number
– electronic ticket number or flight reservation confirmation number
– where the flights were going to/from
-the scheduled date and time of the flight
-a copy of the boarding pass
-a copy of your passport or national identification card
-a brief summary of what happened
Once you have the basic information, the next step is to check the website of the carrier you flew. If you were traveling on a European carrier, such as Air France, they should have an EU 261 page for you to fill out with prompts for information.
If you were traveling on a non-European carrier, the first step you will want to take is to find their customer service page.
From there, you must send them a message with the information you gather earlier and a brief summary of what happened. You must mention that under the EU261 regulation you are eligible for compensation.
They are not as familiar with the EU261 and may initially reject your claim. If that happens, try once more.
Here is a template email to assist you:
My name is XXXX. I was on flight number XXX from XXX to XXX on [insert date here]. My flight was [insert delayed or cancelled] due to XXX. Under the European Union regulation 261, I am eligible for compensation in the amount of XXX.
Third Party Services
If you do have trouble or lack the time to file the claim yourself, you may do so through a third party company. Just be aware they will take a large commission for doing so.
I am attempting this route myself due to lack of time. The company I am attempting to use is AirHelp. The commission they take is 35% of the compensation awarded to you plus 15% if legal help is required.
I have found so far that they are quick and efficient, but claims may take up to 107 days to process, so you will have to be patient. I will let you know how my own situation goes.
I hope you have found this post helpful in how to file an EU 261 compensation claim. Remember that the amount will vary depending on how long your flight was and what happened. There is a window to file the claim. I believe it varies by country, Germany, for example, allows claims to be filed for upwards of three years from the date of the incident. It is better to file a claim sooner rather than later.