For those who want a little Autumn sun, the best holiday destinations include several European locations. With average temperatures ranging from 25°C up to 33°C, you can top up your tan and enjoy some beautiful scenery after only a few hours flight time. The beaches in Spain, for example, are quieter than during peak holiday season, but the sunshine is just as warming. Cyprus enjoys long, hot months, while Croatia sees humidity drop along with the prices, offering an oasis of tranquillity for sun-seekers.
No matter where you choose to go, every holiday comes with a risk of delay. Happily, all EU destinations are covered by the Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 which defines your passenger rights should your journey not go smoothly.
Delays and cancellations
If a delay is longer than three hours, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The amount will depend on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight, but the airline must provide the following:
- Care: Until flight issues are resolved, the airline must provide food and drink for the duration of the delay. They should also allow you to make phone calls, send emails and, if necessary, faxes.
- Accommodation: If the delay is significant and continues overnight, carriers must arrange and pay for accommodation, as well as associated transport costs.
- Re-routing: If a delay is five hours or longer, or involves a cancellation, the airline is responsible for booking you a new flight as well as reimbursing you the cost of your ticket.
If the airline is not able to arrange accommodation, you will have to do so yourself. You are, however, entitled to reimbursement of these costs. You will need to provide full documentation to support your claim, so be sure to keep all receipts associated with the delay.
Lost and damaged luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged, you need to report the problem as soon as possible. You should fill in a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) which you can get from the airport’s customer services desk in the baggage claims area. If your luggage is delayed, the airline has 21 days to find and return it. Even if you do get it back, you can still claim for the inconvenience, but there are deadlines for making claims. It is important that you check the specific airline’s rules, although most carriers adhere to the following deadlines:
- Damaged luggage: You have 7 days to claim after collecting your luggage. Take photos of the damage and send cost estimates of any repairs you intend to make. If the damage is irreparable, provide a cost estimate of buying a replacement.
- Missing or damaged contents: You have 7 days after receiving your baggage to make a claim. Again, photograph all issues and provide an estimate of your costs for rectifying the damage, plus all costs you incurred buying essential replacements (i.e. toiletries and clothing).
- Delayed or missing luggage: The deadline for claiming delayed or missing luggage is 21 days after the flight. Provide receipts for any essential replacements you had to make.
- Lost luggage: Luggage is considered officially lost – rather than just missing – after 21 days. Your claim must be made as soon as possible after this deadline. As always, fully document all costs incurred, as well as estimated costs of replacing all lost items.
You can only make a claim for lost or damaged hand luggage if it’s the airline’s fault, but for all claims make sure to include copies of your PIR, boarding card, luggage labels (these have a barcode) and, of course, receipts. For help in navigating the claims process, get in touch with GIVT.