Flying to Europe? Why it may be worth considering a European Airline Instead

In October 2012 a regulation came into force in the European Union for flights that are delayed by more than three hours at the destination. I posted about the EU regulation sometime back and thought I would revisit.

European_UnionWhat Conditions can you Claim?

You can claim if the fault is with the airline, this could include technical faults (think of the scenario where the ground staff say we are just waiting on a new part), lack of crew, or the previous flight was delayed. For situations like the Icelandic volcano, or strikes by air traffic control you will not be able to claim, instead look to you travel insurance.

The delay has to be three hours or more to be able to claim, and this is from when the flight lands at its final destination. The compensation is done per passenger so for families this is more beneficial than you may think.

What is the Compensation?

Flight Distance Delay (Upon Arrival) Compensation
London to Brussels (Up to 1,500km) 3 hours+ €250 ($S420)
London to Istanbul (1,500km-3,500 km) 3 hours+ €400 ($S680)
London to Singapore (3500 km +) 3-4 hours €300 ($S500)
London to Singapore (3500 km +) 4+ hours €600 ($S1100)

Why Flying a European Airline to Europe May be Worthwhile?

Now here’s the important information. If you flew Singapore Airlines/Malaysia Airlines to Paris (or any EU city), then you would not be covered for delays on the outbound journey. If you flew British Airways or Air France you would be covered in the event of a delay. On the return journey you are covered no matter what the airline. So if you are flying to Europe it may be worthwhile choosing a European Airline over and Asian Airline – of course this will only become important if you are delayed and it was the airlines fault.

Codeshares

Codeshares have no relevance when it comes to claiming under this regulation, you can only claim for flights to the EU if the Operating Airline has its home base in the EU. So for example a Virgin Atlantic codeshare on a Singapore Airlines operated flight from Singapore to London would not fall under this regulation and you would have to file a claim in another way.

Travel Insurance

Your other option is to sign-up for travel insurance, which could not only cover you in the event of a flight delay but also baggage loss, injury as well as many other things. Personally I think everyone should have travel insurance when they travel, airlines and hotels are commercial entities and they may not be as forthcoming as you might think with the help they provide when you have a situation – this is especially the case for budget airlines! I won’t recommend a specific travel insurance product as it’ll vary from person to person, but think about what you would need.

Conclusion

So next time you are booking a flight to the Eu bear this in mind.  As a minimum I really recommend that you take out some travel insurance, especially if you are a regular traveller. If you’ve been delayed, let us know and leave a comment – were you successful in a claim?