Monetary award for canceled flight

By Harvey Lampert
This item appears on page 14 of the September 2017 issue.

I was scheduled to fly on United Airlines from Dublin, Ireland, to Washington, DC, on June 16, 2017. After hours of delay, United canceled the flight for mechanical reasons. 

In addition to putting passengers up at an airport hotel and rescheduling their travel for the next day, United provided a sheet explaining our rights to compensation under European Union (EU) rules.* 

According to the sheet, I was entitled to 600 (near $700) in compensation, since United was not able to deliver me to my destination within four hours of the originally scheduled arrival time.

The sheet instructed me to email my claim to I was highly skeptical but decided to try to make the claim anyway. 

It took some time, but United finally agreed that my case fell under EU guidelines. They first offered me an $800 travel credit (which had to be used within one year) or some extra mileage. When I insisted on the 600, however, United sent me a check for the dollar equivalent.  

So the lesson is that it is always worth pursuing your reward.


North Bethesda, MD

*According to European Union passenger rights regulations, both EU- and non-EU-registered airlines are liable for monetary damages for lengthy delays or cancellations, provided they are flying FROM or WITHIN the EU. Non-EU-registered airlines flying from a non-EU country TO the EU are not covered by EU laws. However, EU-registered planes flying from a non-EU country to an EU country ARE covered and liable.