Up to 4.5 million Czechs will go for a vacation abroad in 2017. The number of clients of travel agencies who choose to travel by plane is constantly increasing. If their flight is considerably delayed, they can ask for financial compensation, and not only on regular lines, but also on charter flights.
“There is no difference. The rules for paying compensation for delayed flights, realized within a package holiday from a travel agency, are valid to exactly the same extent as they are in cases where the traveller arranges everything on his or her own,” says Frantisek Herynk, the director of Click2Claim, a company which helps with justified compensation for the clients of various airlines.
Especially now in the summer, when the air traffic is getting dense, delays are more frequent. This is very unpleasant for travellers, especially when taking into consideration that the average length of a vacation abroad is getting shorter for most Czechs. “Ten years ago the average length of stay was two weeks; now it is only seven days,” says Jan Pape, the vice-chairman for external relations of travel agencies in the Czech Republic. Every hour that can be spent in the given holiday destination is important for the clients.
According to the European Commission regulation, though, the right to compensation arises only when the delay is longer than three hours, and it is the fault of the airlines.
“At the same time, the airlines have to be based in the European Union and at least one of the places of boarding or exiting has to be in the European Union area. In the case of non-European airlines it has to be a flight from an EU country, otherwise the right to compensation does not arise,” Mr Henryk explains.
You have to place the request with your airline
If these conditions are met, the passenger is entitled to receive compensation in the amount of 250 euro (with current exchange rates, approximately 6520 CZK) for a delayed flight up to 1500 km long. In the case of a flight from 1501 to 3500 km long, the compensation is 400 euros (10,440 CZK) and in the case of an even longer flight, it is 600 euro (15,660 CZK). These really are not insignificant amounts.
The request for compensation must be placed by the traveller with the airline to which the flight belonged. If the airlines don’t prove that the delay happened due to an exceptional event which was not their fault, and the above-mentioned conditions are met, the compensation has to be paid. Vladka Dufkova, the spokeswoman for Travel Service confirms that the airlines really stick with this rule.
“We follow the European regulation since it became effective. We provide compensation to the passengers in accordance with the valid legislation,” Ms Dufkova confirmed.