Flight delayed or canceled for the USA? There is a legal compensantion ! I explain everything

You went on vacation to the USA and like me, you may have already seen part of your trip ruined by a delayed (or canceled) flight. After multiple steps, I exercised to appeal! To help you, I have listed the regulations that apply to be compensated.

For each case, a different appeal

To know which regulations to apply, you must take into account your departure city and your destination. If you are traveling to Europe or to the departure or the arrival of the European Union, call on European regulation CE 261/2004.

On all other international flights, the Montreal convention will be applied. For flights to the United States, the law is much more vague.

Flight delayed or canceled ? Claim your compensation for free

Compensation cases

Apart from cases of force majeure, you can claim compensation. To do this, your plane must have a minimum delay of 3 hours or your flight must be canceled by the company and notify you at least 14 days before the scheduled departure and without satisfactory substitute flight.

Financial compensations are very framed

Whether the flight is delayed or canceled, the conditions of compensation remain the same. Thanks to the CE261 / 2004, you can claim compensation between 250 and 600 € depending on the distance, the length of the delay and the flight itinerary.

In the event that the delay exceeds 5 hours, as a passenger, you can benefit from a support that includes (s) meal, 2 calls, mail or fax and in some cases accommodation.

As part of a cancellation, the company must offer you another flight whose departure can be anticipated up to 2 hours and a delayed arrival of 4 hours. If this does not suit you, ask for the refund of the ticket and the compensation described above.

If you are subject to the Montreal Convention, you can benefit from a reimbursement of expenses already incurred and non-recoverable such as the advance payment of a hotel room or a paid benefit and impossible to achieve in because of the delay.
If you are in the USA and you are doing internal flights, the US regulations are opaque.

There are no objective criteria for defining a “significant” delay. Compensation is at the discretion of the company and in case of disagreement to the judge. For canceled flights, expect to be recased in the next flight if seats are available and without compensation.

Little consolation, the United States Department of Transportation states that if the passenger cancels his flight because it has already been canceled by the company, it is possible to claim a refund of the ticket even if it is non-refundable.

My tips

In case of delay or cancellation, go see the chef d’escale and have written notice of your situation, your claim will be indisputable. Before initiating proceedings, try to negotiate directly with your company.

Finally, I recommend you to go with a travel agency and take a complementary service (hotel, rental …) to enter a notion of package and obtain compensation more easily.