Duty Of Care And Assistance - Article 9 Of EU Regulation 261/2004

Article 9 of EU Regulation 261/2004 sets out a range of rights airlines must provide for passengers if their flight is cancelled or delayed.

Updated on October 17th, 2018

Desmond

Airlines must provide you with the rights determined in Article 9 even if the cancellation or delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.

You are also owed this care and assistance if you are denied boarding due to overbooking.

If your airline does not provide you with the care and assistance they are obligated to give you, you might find yourself out of pocket. Keep all receipts, because you may be able to make a claim for expenses back from your airline later.

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Airline?

If your flight is delayed or cancelled for any reason, Article 9 of EU Regulation 261/2004 stipulates that your airline must provide you with:

  • Two communications (phone calls, emails, fax)
  • A reasonable amount of food and drink
  • Hotel accommodation if needed
  • Travel to and from that accommodation

The airline must provide you with this care and assistance if your flight is delayed by two hours or more and the flight distance is less than 1,500 KM or 3 and 4 hours respectively for medium (1,500KM – 3,500KM) and long haul (Over 3,500KM) flights.

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm”>Article 9 of EU regulation 261/2004 must be obeyed by all airlines as long as you are flying out of an EU airport, or arriving into an EU airport on an EU airline.

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When Should My Airline Provide Me With Care And Assistance?

Airlines must provide you with care and assistance if your flight is substantially delayed. It doesn’t matter why the flight was delayed, they are obligated to offer you care and assistance under EU Regulation 261/2004.

When a flight is cancelled or delayed, airlines will sometimes claim that this was because of extraordinary circumstances. This is the only way an airline can avoid paying passengers flight delay or flight cancellation compensation.

Article 9 of the EU Regulation 261/2004 states that an airline must provide passengers with basic care and assistance even when their flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances, such as weather that is ‘freak’ or ‘wholly exceptional’, terrorism, political or civil unrest, strikes by ground staff or air traffic control, and hidden manufacturing defects.

You’re also entitled to this care and assistance if you are denied boarding due to overbooking on your flight.

How Do I Ask For My Rights From An Airline?

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled, it is important that you ask for your rights as a passenger. Airlines are supposed to inform you of your rights under EU 261 but that might not always happen.

Look for airline staff or your airline’s information desk, explain what’s happened and ask them what you need to do next. If you can’t find any airline staff or your airline information desk, speak to someone at the airport information desk.

Airlines are supposed to inform you of your rights under EU 261 but that might not always happen

Explain that your flight has been delayed or cancelled and ask them how you claim the care and assistance you are entitled to. They’ll probably provide you with food and drink in the form of vouchers.

If you can’t find anyone or your airline refuses to pay for your care and assistance, you may have to claim them back later as expenses.

Airlines should be well aware of the rules, and hopefully will be ready to offer you the assistance you are entitled to in the event of a delay or cancellation. They’ll most often give you vouchers for food and drink, and arrange your hotel accommodation and transport for you if it’s needed.

It’s important to note that you can still claim compensation for your delayed or cancelled flight if you’re entitled to it, even if you accept this care and assistance.

Our Simple Three Steps Claim Process

Check your flight with our free, industry leading calculator.

Our legal team go to work and negotiate with the airline for you.

Your claim is settled and the compensation is paid to you.

What To Do If The Airline Doesn’t Provide Me With My Rights?

If the airline refuse to offer you care and assistance, you may need to subsidise this yourself, but you should be able to claim expenses back from the airline later.

Keep your receipts and don’t spend beyond what is reasonable, as your airline can refuse to compensate you for extravagant expenses.

Where possible, allow the airline to provide you with the necessary care and assistance on the day of the delay or cancellation, as this is certainly easier than trying to claim expenses back from them at a later date.

Get An Instant Decision On Your Flight

Our flight compensation checker is the most accurate on the web. It checks the following instantly.

  • The length of your delay
  • The cause of your delay
  • Legal validity of claim
  • How much you could claim

Check Your Flight

Claiming expenses from airlines is often a long process and may have to be done as part of a court claim. If you really can’t forfeit that money for long, you should try your best to get the care and assistance you are entitled to on the actual day.

You should also keep a note of any other losses you have incurred because of your flight delay or cancellation, for example missed hotel reservations, trips you had booked that you couldn’t go on, or missed events, as you may be able to claim these losses back from your airline too.

Flight Delay Expenses Template Letter

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled and your airline did not provide you with the care and assistance you are entitled to, you may have found yourself paying for things you should not have had to pay for, such as extra food and drink or hotel accommodation.

You should be able to claim these expenses back. Our expenses template might help you. Fill in the appropriate details and send it to your airline.

We can claim expenses back on your behalf but only if we issue court proceedings against the airline.

You have six years to claim back these expenses so dig out any old receipts you might have from old flight delays as the airline should have covered these costs.

If you don’t hear back from the airline after sending the letter, or they refuse to pay out, then you can issue court proceedings yourself through the Small Claims Track online.

Further Information About Your Rights

For further information about your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled, this Civil Aviation Authority article might help.

You can find more information about Article 9 of EU Regulation 261/2004 here.