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2.7 million passengers a day fly above the United States. Are they entitled to compensation?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Summer is only a few days away and with it comes the busiest of seasons for airlines around the northern hemisphere. In the United States alone this means that, according to the Airline for America group, 2.7 million passengers a day will find themselves flying through U.S. airspace. That is a hard number to grasp if you ask us. If you want to try and understand it, think about this: as many people will be flying over the U.S.A. a day as the amount of people living in Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds combined.

Here at Flight-Delayed.co.uk we frequently get asked about the rights of passengers on flights within the United States. Unfortunately, if you are flying on a domestic flight in the U.S. you won’t be able to claim for compensation. However we do have some good news! There are cases in which you can claim a €600/£532/$709 compensation  for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight.

If you're wondering, like so many other travellers, how is this possible? Here we will explain the circumstances your flight must meet in order to receive compensation if you have experienced a flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding whilst travelling to the United States of America.

Delayed or cancelled flight while traveling to or from the United States, can I claim compensation?

If you have arrived at your final destination more than three hours late, you can claim compensation in the following cases:

  • Your delayed flight took off from an airport inside the European Union
  • If the delay within the European Union has caused you to miss a connecting flight in the US and this has caused a delay of more than 3 hours when arriving at your final destination
  • If your flight departed from the U.S. but arrived at an airport within the European Union and was operated by a European airline. Even if they sold it to you with a US airline number (for example AA 829, but it was operated by British Airways).

Cool news right? Here’s the catch: when flying from the U.S. you will only be entitled to compensation, as noted above, if you were flying with a European carrier.

Claim compensation flying to or from America flight delayed or cancelled

Can I claim compensation for a cancelled flight to or from the United States?

Although the criteria for requesting compensation for a cancelled flights may vary slightly, you can generally claim compensation if the following conditions are met:

  • You were not informed of your flight’s cancellation 14 days, or more, prior to the departure date on your itinerary
  • Your flight was supposed to depart from any city within the European Union or if your flight was scheduled to take off from the U.S. and was bound for a city within the European Union and also was scheduled to be operated by a European airline. Even if they sold it to you with a US flight number (for example AA 227, but it was operated by Iberia)
  • Due to the cancellation of your flight, you have arrived at your final destination with a delay of 2 hours or more in comparison to your original itinerary.
  • If the airline has not offered you a suitable replacement flight, or an alternative to your plans, and you have decided not to fly. In this situation you are also entitled to the refund of your original ticket

Another great aspect about your passengers being covered when flying from or to the U.S.: due to the distance, all flights to and from the United States cover more than 3,500 km and therefore you can claim £532 for the disruption. However, if your delay was longer than 3 hours but shorter than 4 the airline will only have to pay 50% of the compensation.

We know that this can be a tad confusing, if you want to know quickly if you are entitled to claim compensation you can enter your flight data in our claim calculator and in just a few seconds we will let you know if you can claim compensation for your flight:

Claim compensation for a flight delay or cancellation United States of America

Claim compensation for cancelled or delayed flights inside the United States

Unfortunately, when it comes to domestic flights in the United States, there is still no regulation or law of any kind that grants travellers similar rights to those on which European citizens can rely. However, if you have experienced a delay or cancellation on a domestic flight in the United States, please contact the airline responsible for the flight, as they will likely offer you at least some vouchers to travel with them in the future.

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