In case of delay or cancellation of a flight the youngest also have the right to receive compensation. European legislation EC261 protects all air passengers, regardless of their age
With summer holidays just around the corner, AirHelp, the world’s largest organization that defends the rights of air passengers, remembers what rights young travelers have in the event of an interruption in their flight. Delays or cancellations caused by an airline can mean, for each member of the family, financial compensation of up to 600 euros, even for children.
European legislation EC261 protects all air passengers, regardless of their age. It does not matter if it’s a newborn or a person of legal age, everyone is the same under European Regulation EC261 when it comes to flight interruptions.
«The babies also suffer interruptions, so, of course, they should receive the same compensation as adults during the flight, before the arrival of the holiday period and with the forecasts we have from AirHelp of the increase of the interruptions that will be in summer , we consider it very important to raise awareness about the fact that children also have rights, «says Paloma Salmerón, director of global communication at AirHelp.
The legal breakthrough for babies
For years, airlines have argued that children under the age of two should be exempt from receiving compensation for flight delays, since they do not need their own seats while they fly. However, AirHelp’s victories in the courts have shown that, provided an additional fee has been paid for the child, the child is entitled to compensation for flight delay.
In 2016, AirHelp won a legal battle against Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. The case concerned compensation for flight delay on behalf of a baby under the age of two who was traveling with his mother and sister from Copenhagen (Denmark) to Phuket (Thailand) in January 2015. One year later, AirHelp won the case and Thomas Cook paid the corresponding compensation to the child.
Winning this case was a great legal advance for families traveling with babies under two years of age, since they can claim compensation on their behalf, in the event of a flight interruption, as long as a fee has been paid. the baby. AirHelp has won similar cases across Europe repeatedly since then. «Despite these court victories, there are still many airlines that refuse to pay compensation to newborns, and since most parents do not even know that this option exists, many of the compensations of minors are not requested,» says Salmerón.
Right of assistance
Airlines are obliged, not only to pay compensation if their negligence causes interruptions in the flight, but also to deal with passengers who end up spending a prolonged time waiting at the airport. EU passengers are protected by the strictest air transport regulations in the world. EC Law 261 establishes that air passengers whose flights are canceled or delayed for more than three hours may be entitled to financial compensation, while the right to assistance already begins after two hours.
This means that airlines must provide passengers with access to food and beverages, plus two phone calls, fax messages or free emails. In case it is necessary, the airline must also provide the necessary accommodation in a hotel, as well as round-trip transportation from the airport to the hotel. Some airlines may not have the ability to book rooms for all passengers, in these cases, passengers may choose to book their own accommodation and the airline reimburse the money later.
If passengers are not sure that their airborne interruption is entitled to compensation, they should visit the AirHelp website where they can obtain more information about the rights of air passengers.