If you follow me on Instagram or are a frequent reader of The Daily Belle, you know that I recently traveled to Spain. I had such a great time! Unfortunately, I experienced some issues with my travel but was able to be compensated for it. My bag was delayed on the way there and our flight was cancelled on the way back. Did you know there’s a law in the EU that gives you the right to monetary compensation due to travel disruptions? I received some questions on how we got compensated and what the process was. I hope this blog post helps you if you’re in a similar situation.
On the morning we were flying back from Spain to the US, we received an alert saying our flight had been cancelled and we were booked on the next one out (24 hours away). We found out it was cancelled due to a mechanical issue, which you will later find out this worked in our favor. While Spain is not an awful place to be stuck in, it does come with added stress and costs knowing you have to plan for an additional stay in a foreign country. We have a son and a fur baby and had to make arrangements for an additional day of their care. We also had to request an additional day off from work and booked an extra night at our current hotel.
We of course were going to ask the airline for compensation so we planned on saving our receipts for our additional stay. What we did not know was that we are entitled to up to $700 each for our troubles. Thanks to our hotel in Spain that let us know about regulation EC 261. According to some articles I was reading, 87% of air travelers are unaware of the rights they have when they fly. Also, out of everyone eligible for compensation, only 2% of people actually go through with it. Why not ask for the money if you’re protected by law? All it takes is to be persistent.
What does this regulation actually entail? For starters, this only applies if you’re flying from Europe. So if this happened to you in the US, you would not be protected by this law. If your flight is cancelled on a short notice or delayed by 3 hours or more, you have the right to be compensated up to $700. The amount depends on the distance being traveled. It also helped that our cancellation was due to an airline issue (mechanical) and not weather related.
Let’s talk about filing a claim and being compensated. Since my husband and I were on different reservations, we had to contact the airline separately. First, we filed a complaint through the airline’s website. We received an email apologizing and I received 12,500 and he got 10,000. So strange it was different for us, but also interesting to see how we both were compensated individually. We both responded to the email and asked for monetary compensation and mentioned the EU regulation. They told us our request would take 10-14 days. I knew being persistent would help so in order to get my money, I called them twice. The first time they told me they were processing my request and the second time (10 days later) they processed it while on the phone. They told me I would receive a check for $660. My husband called the same day as me and he received $660 as well AND was compensated for the hotel which wad about $240. In total, we got $1560! Since we both stayed at the same hotel, I had nothing to complain about. But, I do find it weird that they did not even ask about my hotel expense like they did to him. Just know that you are entitled to a hotel reimbursement!
There are also some third party websites that can do the dirty work for you and file the claim on your behalf. While this might be nice, they do take a large portion of commission (up to 25% I believe). I would recommend reaching out to the airline directly, and if it’s not successful, look into the third party sites. We also flew through a really large airline and I’ve heard that if it’s a smaller airline it might be a little more difficult and takes some time.
Hope this blog post was helpful for you! So glad our hotel let us know about this otherwise I would’ve had no idea! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out!
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