We Advise against Accepting Vouchers for Cancelled or Delayed Flights
Your flight has been delayed or cancelled. You are familiar with your air passenger rights, but at the moment when you were faced with the situation, you decided to contact the airline customer service and demand compensation for the unfortunate situation.
The airlines mostly offer vouches as flight compensation…
Not what you expected, right?
If it’s not what you were hoping for, think carefully before you accept the offer; you might be entitled to something better.
Flight compensations must be paid in cash
Article 7.3 of the EU Regulation 261/2004 is very clear concerning this matter:
“The compensation from Item 1 has to be paid in cash, through electronic bank transfer, bank order or cheques, or upon signing a contract for travel vouchers and/or other services.”
In other words, unless you consent on paper to accept travel vouchers and/or other services instead of cash compensation, you are entitled to receive money.
If the airline accidentally or on purpose forgets to present this alternative and only offers you a travel voucher, insist on being compensated in cash.
What amount may you receive?
The compensation depends on the length of your flight:
- 250 euros for flights shorter than 1500 kilometers
- 400 euros for flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers
- 600 euros for flights longer than 3500 kilometers
Why you shouldn’t accept the vouchers
The decision is yours, but have in mind these things when you’re thinking about the alternative.
- Your voucher has an expiration date
It is very likely that you will miss the deadline. Often, they expire within a counple of months, up to a year. If you don’t plan to fly soon, accepting a voucher is not a good idea.
- Vouchers are good for one airline
Be aware that the voucher may be used with one airline where your flight was cancelled or delayed. For example, if your flight with Wizzair was cancelled, you will be offered a voucher that is valid only for Wizzair.
Best case scenario is that you may use the voucher for another airline within the group.
We advise you not to accept this voucher, unless you’re used to flying with one airline or you know that you will fly soon and you may use the services of the airline.
In the end, cash compensation, instead of a voucher allows for flexibility. You can spend them as you please. Even if you fly with the same airline soon, nothing stops you from using your cash compensation to pay for your ticket, just like you would with the voucher.
The only situation where a voucher is more appealing than claiming for cash compensation is when:
- The amount of the voucher is higher than the cash compensation
- You are certain that you will travel with the same airline in the near future.
What about the food voucher?
This is a different story. The airline passenger rights include “the right to care”. Accepting the food voucher does not affect your right to compensation, you may receive both.
The airline needs to provide food vouchers when your flight has been cancelled or delayed and you have to wait for a transfer. Alternatively, the airline needs to provide a meal and refreshments.
The amount of this voucher should be proportional with the length of the delay. In other words, don’t expect a big meal, even if you have to wait for a couple of hours.
If the airline does not provide a food voucher, or a meal, do not leave it to chance. Make sure you keep the receipts from all the costs. They might be useful to claim additional compensation, i.e. to add them to Your claim for a cancelled or delayed flight. Bear in mind that you shall not receive compensation for lavish meals or alcohol.
Basically, the only vouchers you need to accept are the meal vouchers.
Was your flight delayed, cancelled or overbooked? Here you can check your flight and if you are entitled to compensation. It only takes a couple of minutes.
If you have any questions about the claim or you need additional information about your air passenger rights, feel free to contact us. Claim24 is always here to help!