Your vacation to Europe was everything that you dreamed it would be. Amazing food, stunning landscapes, breathtaking architecture, and enjoyable people. You get to the airport three hours early just in case there is a hiccup during check-in. You are at your gate and patiently waiting for boarding. But instead of your flight being announced, you are informed that they have cancelled your flight home.
Your dream vacation is quickly becoming a nightmare. What options do you have? Can you file an EU cancelled flight claim?
What Is the Difference Between a Delayed Flight and a Cancelled Flight?
First, it’s good to clarify whether your flight has been cancelled or if it has been delayed. Your flight may be delayed if it will depart at a later time than what is printed on your ticket. Delayed flights can be an inconvenience, and they might even cause you to miss connecting flights. If that’s the case, you might be entitled to compensation, depending on what caused the delay and how the delay affects your subsequent flights.
A cancelled flight is where the flight will not be taking off at all because the airlines have cancelled it. Cancelled flights go against everything airlines stand for. If they cancel your flight, it’s likely because there was a situation that could put you in danger, such as a security issue, maintenance issue, or inclement weather. A cancelled flight may entitle you to make an EU cancelled flight claim. This claim is due to the EU 261. According to Travel Refund, “the ability to file a flight claim under EU 261 is meant to hold airlines accountable and provide compensation for passengers’ inconvenience.”
Talk to Your Airline or Travel Agent
There are some steps that you should take immediately after you are informed that they have cancelled your flight. As you go through the steps, it’s important that you keep your calm. As frustrating as a cancelled flight is for you, it’s likely not the fault of a travel agent, a gate agent, or any airline employee you will talk to you.
Talk to the airline or check its website for information. Some airlines have been forced to cancel flights because of the COVID-19 pandemic and later have offered repatriation flights. Some airlines have decided to reschedule cancelled flights, allowing passengers to get back home. If you booked with a travel agent, talk to them. They will likely have tips for helping you get home.
Even if the airline you booked with has cancelled all their flights, you are still not stuck. Many airlines partner with other companies that are still flying and may be able to get you home.
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Take Advantage of Travel Insurance
Purchasing travel insurance is more important now than ever before. If you have purchased travel insurance and you are stuck abroad, contact the travel insurance company immediately. They might reimburse some expenses you will encounter as you wait to be repatriated. Your travel insurance may cover whatever is not covered by the EU cancelled flight claim you file.
Get in Touch with Your Embassy or Consulate
Many embassies are scheduling repatriation flights. The flights are limited, and they only depart on certain days. If there are no immediate flights, an embassy or consulate may find interim lodging for you until you can get back home.
If you are stuck in Europe and you are traveling on a European airline, you may be eligible for even greater benefits when filing an EU cancelled flight claim. It’s important that you stay calm. Talk to people who can truly help you, like gate agents and travel agents, and try to find solutions that you can offer these agents, such as alternative flights to get home, as opposed to solely presenting challenges.