Are you aware that passengers are entitled to claim compensation if they are rebooked to another flight with a different departure schedule? Most passengers are not aware of this fact, we are here to inform you that you could be entitled to claim for compensation as per Regulation EC 261/2004. Don’t worry! Even though it sometimes gets complicated, we’ll explain everything.
What are my passenger rights when my flight schedule has changed?
As mentioned previously, EC 261/2004 treats schedule changes pretty much as flight cancellations. Therefore, your rights as a passenger are covered if you’re flying within or from the EU or to the EU with an EU carrier. Don’t forget! This includes missed connections, so if your flight originated in the EU, please always consider your time of arrival at your final destination when calculating your total delay. Even if the connecting airline is not a EU carrier and the connection itself was missed outside the EU. The most important question regarding schedule changes is …
When were you informed of your schedule change?
If you’ve been informed of your schedule change or rebooking 14 days or more before your departure date, you are, unfortunately, not entitled to claim compensation. It’s a disappointment, but the Regulation is pretty set regarding this topic.
“Wait! The airline informed me 10 days before my travel date”
– British Airways passenger
Different criteria apply according to when you've been informed. If you’ve been informed of the schedule change or rebooking between 14 and 7 days before your departure. In this case, you’ll be eligible for compensation if: Your flight departs more than two hours before the scheduled time or your new flight arrives more than 4 hours later than originally scheduled.
“Hey! I was only informed of my schedule change once I arrived at the airport”
– Wizz Air passenger
In that case, It’s a tad different. If you have been informed of the schedule change or rebooking between 7 days and the time of departure (or if you were just never informed and only found out at the airport), you have the right to claim compensation if your new schedule has you departing at least one hour earlier than the original scheduled time of departure or if you are arriving at your final destination at least two hours later than originally scheduled.
It can be a little bit confusing, we know. As a rule of thumb, oftentimes you’ll have the right to claim compensation if your schedule change or rebooking has you arriving at your final destination with a delay greater than two hours. If you’re still unsure, you can always check your flight for free with our flight checker and find out immediately!
How much compensation can I claim if I have to rebook?
The regulation, signed into law by the EU, gives the guidelines to determine the toal amounts that you can receive in compensation if you’ve been rebooked to a later or earlier flight. They key: the distance covered by your flight.
- All flights of 1500 kilometres or less amount to EUR 250.
- Intra-community flights of 1500+ kilometres as well as all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres amount to EUR 400.
- Flights over 3500 kilometres amount to EUR 600.
The amounts are set in Euros by the regulation. Regarding flights over 3500 kilometres, the airline may reduce the total amount by 50% if you’ve arrived with a delay greater than three hours but lesser than four.
What’s the difference between a schedule change and a rebooking?
They are virtually the same thing, especially when under consideration for claiming compensation under EC 261/2004. If you and your passengers are rebooked, the following things will happen:
- Your flight number and schedule will change (sometimes the flight number won’t be affected)
- A different airline may be operating your flight
- You are flying to a different destination than the initial planned destination
- You may be rebooked to different connecting flights in order to reach your final destination
It is worth mentioning that the Civil Aviation Authority (the enforcement body for the UK when talking about passenger rights) has stated that schedule changes affect the time and date of the flight but not the number.
Receiving a refund due to a schedule change or rebooking
If your flight has been rescheduled or if you’ve been rebooked, you are entitled to be flown to your final destination with a replacement flight or schedule. If the change is significant (if it meets the criteria mentioned above) and you’ve decided not to fly, then you’ll be entitled to a full refund of the money you’ve spent on your flight.
Why am I being rebooked or why is my schedule changing?
There are many reasons why airlines may rebook passengers or change schedules. Technical issues, crew shortages or just simply overbookings. These are some other options:
- You are denied boarding on your original flight due to overbooking.
- Your original flight or one of the flights in your schedule have been cancelled. If you still wish to get to your planned destination you are therefore forced to take a different flight.
- A delay in one of the flights operated with the aircraft scheduled to service your route has made it impossible to operate your flight and there is a different option available.
There are other occurrences that may lead to your schedule changing or you being rebooked. The abovementioned are the most common.
Can Flight-Delayed help me with claiming compensation for a schedule change?
Thanks to our databases, we are able to quickly assess your flight’s eligibility. Our team will also assess if the abovementioned criteria has been met in order for us to claim your compensation. First, check your flight with our claim calculator and afterwards you can decide if you want to submit your claim with us under our no win no fee structure. That means you only pay our 25% win fee if we actually succeed at claiming your compensation. Best of all, our fee covers all the possible costs associated to claiming what you may be owed, even if it means going to court!
Filing a claim on your own requires knowing your rights, being sure that the flight is eligible and back and forth communication with the airline. As carriers at times go to great lengths to evade paying compensation, we’ll take over the process and let you sit down and relax. If you would prefer not to waste your time and test your patience, just let us know as we would be more than happy to assist you herewith. With an elaborate database on actual flight schedules and weather conditions, years of experience and a 98% success rate in court, we're more than well equipped to take on your claim.
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