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The dog who received compensation because his flight was cancelled

Friday, February 7, 2020

Jack is the first dog who has successfully claimed compensation for his cancelled flight. The dog was scheduled to fly with Danish Air Transport (DAT) from Palermo to Lampedusa on a booked ‘pet in cabin’ ticket but couldn’t proceed with his flight as it was cancelled due to technical issues.

The flight was cancelled, Jack was entitled to compensation!

Dog gets compensation for delayed flight

In January, Jack the dog was scheduled to fly on-board a DAT flight. As a ticket on his behalf had been purchased and there was an existing power of attorney for the dog, the airline had to grant compensation to the dog under EC No 261/2004, however, there was no signature from the dog himself for obvious reasons.

The CEO of Danish Air Transport Jesper Rungholm admitted that the dog was entitled to compensation as EU 261 clearly states that the regulation applies to “a passenger is a holder of a ticket or similar travel documents” and that there is no specification that the term ‘passenger’ only refers to humans.

Jack was entitled to compensation by EU 261/2004 due to a technical issue

The flight from Palermo to Lampedusa was scheduled to depart in the morning but it was discovered that the aircraft was disrupted due to technical issues. Technical issues are classed as being of the airline’s responsibility so the dog who was booked onto the flight having purchased a ticket is entitled to compensation.

Director of airline association furious over compensation and calls it greedy

Rungholm was not amused but had to accept the fact that this was an unusual case of flight compensation. In anger, he claimed: “EU-261 is well known to be a serious disaster and seriously overdue for revision”. Amidst the anger regarding the regulation that protects passenger rights and specifies when they are eligible for compensation, Rungholm is not the only boss in the airline business that disagrees with the regulation set out by the EU. Montserrat Barriga, the European Regions Airline Association Director clearly negatively expressed that “this is further proof of the greed of some in detriment of the work of the airlines”. She explains that many airlines have been affected due to EC 261 as they are bound to the regulation which often leaves them bankrupt, especially during the summer months with an increase in air traffic resulting in higher delays and cancellations.

What is EU 261/2004?

Within the European Union, there are rules and laws that determine how airlines can and cannot treat passengers. When you buy a flight ticket, you agree to the airline's terms and conditions. This does not, however, mean that the airline can treat you how they want to as long as it's featured in their terms and conditions. They have to follow the guidelines. This applies to European airlines, but also to non-European airlines that fly from Europe.

In order to ensure that air passengers are sufficiently protected, the European Parliament and European Commission set up Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004. This document establishes rules about the criteria and conditions for passengers to be compensated for flight cancellations and when they’ve been denied boarding. Five years later, in 2009, it was determined that these rules shouldn't just apply to cancelled flights and cases of denied boarding, but also to flight delays. That means all air passengers who experience delays in Europe qualify for care and, in many cases, they are also entitled to compensation.

Apart from technical issues, what conditions qualify you for claiming flight compensation?

The following factors determine whether you are eligible for compensation for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight:

  • The flight route: The European regulation states that you can claim compensation when a flight is operated by a European airline or if the flight takes off from an EU airport.
  • Circumstances: The regulations also state that in order to claim compensation for a flight delay, cancellation or incident of denied boarding, the disruption must not have been a result of extraordinary circumstances.
  • The deadline for claiming compensation: In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is possible to claim compensation up to 6 years after the date of the flight. The timeframe varies depending on the European country.
  • The total time of your delay: In most cases, you will be able to claim if you’ve arrived at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours. When it comes to cancellations, it's 2 hours.

Other criteria may apply. If you want to know more about the conditions that qualify you to compensation in the UK, then click here!

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled and you wish to know if you can claim compensation and also find out how much money you may receive, check your flight for free with our claim calculator:

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