Flight Compensation Regulation EC 261/2004 (EU Law)

As a frequent traveler, flight delays and cancellations are inevitable. After all, there are so many factors that can cause this inconvenience.

  1. Weather
  2. Late arrivals
  3. Air Traffic
  4. Baggage Loading
  5. Holidays


“um… did that plane just leave without me?”


Though it’s a negative impact, as long as it’s within reasonable limits, all these common hiccups are usually tolerable to your travels. Ultimately, airlines can’t be held responsible just because there’s a snowstorm, lightning, and/or strong winds around your destination.


hashtag fml


That being said, it’s important to know when the cause of the incident is simply unacceptable.

Know your rights as a traveler. Trust me, it becomes a critical advantage especially if it’s an issue that it’s avoidable and purely on the airline’s end. Today I like to share an extreme example…..


Oman Air First Class Lounge in Bangkok



Recently, Miki’s family (8 passengers) flew Oman Air & spent one week in Germany for their annual vacation.


In Munich on their route back, their plane had “navigation issues” and the aircraft was deemed inoperable, which resulted them missing their connecting flight in Muscat. Consequently, they had to spend an extra night in Oman before they reached their final destination in Bangkok.


MUC – MCT – BKK / 9,501 km journey


This type of delay is called “Technical Fault” and it’s an operational issue that is clearly on the airline’s end.

Nevertheless, airlines never want you to know this, so usually their generic response goes something like this…


“We thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding you and your families bad experience with Oman Air. Only with your feedback can changes be brought about [and] we look forward to another opportunity to reiterate our service commitments on your next journey with us” 


Like a judge on “The Voice”, this was my inner sarcastic response…


the voice



What airlines don’t tell you is that if a flight is departing at an airport located in the European Union and it delays for 3 hours or more after the scheduled arrival time, all passengers are subjected to compensation. 


This EU law is called Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re entitled to.


compensation chart


Long story short, the “inconvenience” letter got converted into a full settlement claim of 600 Euros (EUR) per passenger.


After an authorization of bank transfer funds, the airline wired 4800 Euros (EUR) to our U.S. accounts. After conversion, that’s a whopping $5646.96 USD.


$5646.96 USD


Now my inner response is more like this…





Overall though, this was a tiresome process. Though it’s annoying, it’s certainly worth the trouble. Know your rights and if that unfortunate day comes… make sure you apply that knowledge into action.


Most importantly, I can’t stand big corporations like Oman Air attempting to get away with issues like this. Thus, I hope this post sets a positive precedent for everyone and create awareness in the travel community. 


That way, next time an airline tries to take advantage of you…. you’ll know what to do.




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