Flight cancellation can be one of the most challenging experiences for a traveller. A cancelled flight can cause lots of stress, incur additional costs, and have a significant impact on your onward travel plans.
During flight disruptions a common question is “Am I eligible for flight cancellation compensation?” In this post, we’ll provide a quick overview of flight cancellation compensation in the air travel industry.
Early days of air travel
The early days of air transport was an era of significant achievements and rapid technological advancements, but despite this progress flight cancellations were a common issue.
Cancellations occurred for various reasons, including adverse weather conditions, mechanical issues, and insufficient passenger bookings. Passengers could try to claim flight compensation for cancelled flight. However, without services like Skycop, which ensure fair compensation for passengers, there was often little recourse for compensation.
The emergence of flight cancellation compensation
As air travel regulations evolved, the industry transitioned towards formalised compensation for air transport cancellations. Furthermore, the development of international agreements like the Montreal Convention in 1999 and regional regulations such as the EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 helped establish compensation guidelines.
The evolution of flight cancellation compensation
Below is a timeline illustrating the evolution of flight cancellation compensation over time:
When aviation was still considered a new invention, air transport cancellations were common. However, cancellation was often viewed as an inherent risk of air travel and passengers had limited or no recourse for compensation.
1940s – 1990s
From the 1940s to the 1990s, discussions and debates on passengers’ rights during flight disruptions became increasingly common. For example, international agreements such as the Warsaw Convention laid out basic liability limits for airlines. However, they didn’t focus specifically on compensation for air transport cancellations.
1990s – early 2000s
The Montreal Convention of 1999 introduced broader liability rules for international travel. This rеgulation addresses liability and compensation for injuries or death during international flights. In addition, it introduced guidelines for compensation duе to air transport dеlays.
EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 was pivotal in compensation for air transport. It established specific rights for air passengers travelling within the European Union and outlined compensation and assistance for passengers affected by air transport cancellations.
Mid-2000s – present
EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 set the stage for more robust passenger rights, which would specify compensation amounts based on flight distances. In addition, courts and legal interpretations helped define the application of these regulations.
Other regions and countries outside the EU, including the USA, acknowledged the importance of protecting passenger rights in the event of flight travel cancellation and began adopting similar regulations and guidelines.
Many airlines across the globe have also developed their own cancellation policiеs.
Current state of flight cancellation compensation
Currently, airlines must adhere to minimum compensation requirements. However, some offer additional compensation or amenities voluntarily, to improve customer satisfaction.
In addition, there are ongoing discussions and potential revisions to regulations which continue to shape flight cancellation compensation. The goal is to strike a fair balance between passenger protection and the recognition of unforeseen circumstances that may exempt airlines from mandatory compensation.
Awareness of passenger rights regarding air transport cancellations has also improved, leading to increased claims and lеgal actions when airlines fail to comply with compensation regulations.
Companies like Skycop have also emerged. Passengers can hire these companies to advocate for their rights and manage the compensation claim process.
Flight travel cancellation compensation has transitioned from an era where flight compensation was unreliable to a more structured system. This structured framework aims to protect passengers’ rights while simultaneously acknowledging factors beyond the airline’s control.