Flight delay: who is to blame and what to do?
The delay of the plane's flight is an unpleasant, but, unfortunately, it is quite possible situation. Often, passengers do not know about their rights, which is used by unscrupulous air carriers, without notifying about the possibility of getting hot meals, a place to rest or other necessary services.
The main acts regulating the legal status of a citizen whose flight was delayed are:
- The Air Code of the Russian Federation;
- Federal rules for the production of air transportation;
- The Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights.
In accordance with the specified provisions of the law, the passenger has the right to delay the flight:
- Cancel the flight and get a refund of the full cost of tickets, even in cases when the ticket is not returned according to the rules of the air carrier;
- Demand compensation for moral and material damage. To do this, it will be necessary to provide the airline with documents confirming the passenger's forced expenses for travel to the destination in another way. Moral damage is calculated as 3% for one hour of delay;
- Collect a fine from the air carrier for late fulfillment of obligations in the amount of 25 to 50% of the minimum wage for each hour, the maximum amount is equal to half the ticket price.
A fine cannot be collected only if the air carrier proves that the delay occurred due to the elimination of a breakdown of the aircraft, potentially threatening the life and health of passengers, or due to force majeure circumstances.
If the flight is delayed, be sure to put an appropriate mark on your boarding pass from an airline representative. If necessary, this will become your main evidence in court.
Regardless of the length of the delay, passengers traveling with children under seven years of age are necessarily provided with a mother and child room. In addition, representatives of the airline organize comfortable luggage storage for passengers. If there is a delay of more than two hours, passengers should receive drinks and the opportunity to contact any persons twice by telephone or electronic mail.
If the waiting time is more than four hours, passengers may require the provision of hot food. When the delay time is not limited to this, passengers are entitled to receive meals every six hours during the day in the future. If the delay occurred at night, this period increases to eight hours.
Passengers must be accommodated in a hotel if the delay exceeds eight hours during the day or six hours at night. Travel in both directions is free of charge.
In the event that an airline representative refuses to provide you with the required services, request that the refusal be recorded in writing and keep all receipts related to your expenses for food and rest, which you should have received free of charge in order to receive compensation in the future.
The delay time begins to flow from the moment specified in the ticket as the departure time of the flight. To exercise their rights, the passenger must contact the representative of the air carrier at the airport.
How to ease the waiting for departure
Any waiting can be tedious if you don't know what to do with yourself. It will be useful to take care of a possible long stay in the departure zone in advance. Take a comfortable pillow under your neck, an interesting book, a smartphone or tablet. Also remember about chargers, including portable ones, for your gadgets, since you will need to dispel boredom on the plane itself during a long flight.
Do not forget to consume a sufficient amount of liquid, since during the flight the human body is especially susceptible to dehydration. If you don't want to sit in one place, take a walk around the waiting room, stretch your legs, because soon you will have to spend many hours in one position. Go shopping in the duty-free zone or watch the departures of other planes. Engage yourself in an interesting business and then the delay will pass for you in a less exhausting way.
If you are hungry, and the time for providing food by the airline's employees has not yet come or you have been denied food, do not starve yourself. Go to a cafe or look for a staff canteen where prices are lower. You can also ask an airport employee about where it is located.
The main thing is to try not to be nervous. Even if due to a delay you are very late for a connecting flight or for an important event, this can no longer be prevented. But it is possible to force the airline to compensate for the damage caused.