The world has been consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In summary, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has rampaged its way across the world, causing havoc, death, and destruction in the communities it swept through.
Much has been written about the impact of the novel coronavirus on the global communities, mentally, economically, and physically.
Therefore, it is not worth repeating existing discussions on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world. Suffice to say that the virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, or until a successful vaccine is developed.
And even then, we might still have to cope with future mutations and annual reoccurrences similar to the influenza virus.
The reason for travel disruptions, including flight delays and cancellations
Travel disruptions are a significant complication caused by the pandemic. It does not matter whether you’ve planned a dream trip to countries like Scotland in the UK.
Because the virus spreads via person-to-person transmission, social distancing is one of the best ways to control its rampant spread. Most of the world’s countries enforce varying strengths of a hard lockdown where all non-essential businesses were closed, and employees laid off or furloughed. Those businesses that could pivot their operations to the online space allowed their employees to work from home.
Fast forward to Autumn / Fall 2020:
The global hospitality industry has been reopened. It opened for the Northern Hemisphere summer, and residents were encouraged to travel to different regions and countries as a way of bootstrapping the tourism industry. And, even though many countries have opened travel corridors or air bubbles between themselves and adjacent countries, the intensity with which the virus numbers rise and fall, plays a fundamental role in people’s movement along the travel corridors.
The mechanics of claiming compensation for flight delays and cancellations
And, as national governments open and close international borders and limit the number of people on public transport, including airplanes, flights like the British Airway flights end up being delayed or cancelled.
Therefore, the question that begs is, if you have made travel arrangements and paid for your air tickets, how do you manage British Airways flight delays and cancellations? Do you claim for financial compensation due to cancellation of the flights? Are you entitled to compensation if your flights have been delayed or cancelled?
Further questions that arise when discussing whether you are entitled to claim compensation or not, include aspects like:
- How to claim flight delay compensation.
- How much compensation should you claim for the flight delay or cancellation? In other words, how much compensation will you be paid for a 12-hour flight delay?
Let’s consider each of these questions or statements individually.
- Claiming flight delay compensation
At this juncture, it is essential to note that you are entitled to claim flight delay compensation. And in many instances, you might need to stand your ground and insist on your rights. Based on European Union law or flight delay compensation rules (EU regulation 261/2004), you are entitled to compensation of up to €600 for delayed or cancelled flights.
The way to claim flight delay compensation is to either speak to a company like Flightright or contact the British Airways customer service desk at the airport.
- How much compensation should you claim for the flight delay or cancellation?
If your flight has been delayed overnight, you are entitled to a night’s stay at a hotel and transport between the airport and hotel. Get the BA desk to confirm these arrangements in writing.
If your long-haul flight has been delayed for anything more than 4 hours, you are entitled to free food, free drinks, and two phone calls, emails, or faxes.
You are also entitled to compensation of up to €600 for the delay. Therefore, for a long-haul flight delay of 12 hours and more, you can receive the €600 financial compensation and free food, drinks, and two phone calls. And if your flight is delayed overnight, you are entitled to hotel accommodation.
If a medium-distance flight such as a flight between two European countries has been delayed, you qualify for EU flight delay compensation, including €400. If your delay is more than 3 hours long, you are entitled to free food, free drinks, and two phone calls, emails, or faxes at the airport while you wait.
If your short-haul flight has been delayed, you are entitled to €250, and if you are waiting at the airport for more than 2 hours, free food, free drinks, and two phone calls, emails, or faxes while you wait.
- How much compensation will you be paid for a 12-hour flight delay?
This question might seem simple, but the answer depends on a number of variables like whether you are catching a short-, medium-, or long-haul flight and the length of time you wait at the airport for the plane to leave.
In summary, if your short-distance flight has been delayed by any length of time, you are entitled to €250 compensation. If your medium-distance flight has been delayed by any length of time, you are entitled to €400 compensation. And if your long-distance flight has been delayed by any length of time, you are entitled to €400 compensation.