The Easter weekend, as usual, will see airports at their busiest. Inevitably, the unlucky ones will experience problems with cancelled or overbooked flights and airport flight delays.

If the worst happens, air travelers have the right to assistance from an airline. To claim such help, you must have a confirmed reservation and you must be present at the required time for “Check-in.” You should make sure  that this is at least 45-60 minutes before departure time or whatever is stated on your ticket.

The following information relates to travelers in the EU but similar conditions apply worldwide.

Airport Flight Delays.   If your flight is delayed, you are entitled to various rights, as follows:

1. Delay of three or more hours. Your airline must offer refreshments and two free telephone calls, fax or e-mail.

2. Delay of five or more hours. Your carrier must offer a refund or the choice of a return flight to your first point of departure.

3. Delay until next day. The airline must also offer free hotel accommodation plus transport.

4. Over booked flight. You are entitled to financial compensation. Amounts vary depending on the travel distance. In addition, you are entitled to a refund, a return flight to your first point of departure or a re-routing to your final destination.

5. In the case of a flight cancellation, you should be offered free meals, two telephone calls and hotel accommodation as necessary. As in the case of overbooked flights you should also benefit from a refund. Financial compensation may also apply, depending on the reason for the cancellation. If circumstances were beyond the control of the airline, financial compensation does not apply.

Finally, we hope that none of these scenarios spoil your Easter Holiday – but be prepared. Make sure that you are fully aware of your rights before travelling and know what to expect from the airline if there are airport flight delays. As we have stressed in previous articles, allow enough time for unexpected complications at the airport. Enjoy your Easter break.

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