Whether you go to business trips often or you hire people that travel across Europe, the following will spark your interest. You have a business trip today. It’s an important meeting and your boss wants you on field, so you cannot organize a video call. Your boss reserved the ticket and paid with company money. For some reason, your flight is delayed. You arrive at your destination 3 hours later than expected.
Good news: Passengers may receive 600 euros compensation in accordance with the EU Regulation ЕУ 261/2004. But who gets the money, your employer, who paid for the ticket, or do you?
Flight disruption on a business trip: Who claims for compensation?
Pursuant to EU Regulation ЕУ 261/2004 (EU 261), only the passenger can file a claim for compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight. It’s irrelevant who reserves and pays for the ticket, whether it’s an employee, the boss or somebody else in the company. The claim for compensation for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked business trip is filed by the person that flew (or was supposed to fly). Have you encountered something similar in the past 5 years? Fill in the details on our calculator and find out if you are entitled to compensation.
More importantly: Who gets the money?
Again, EU 261 states that it is the passenger who flew or was supposed to travel with the disrupted flight. Even if the company paid for the ticket. What does it mean to you as an employer? Your employee receives compensation, not you or your company.
Compensation is not reimbursement
This may seem unfair if you’re the employer. But bear in mind that the purpose of the compensation is to make up for the passenger’s damage. The compensation is not the same as a reimbursement, since the amount is fixed and does not depend on the cost of the air ticket. Regardless whether the ticket is economy or business class, it’s irrelevant to determine the amount of the compensation and who has the right to it. Does the employee need to reimburse the company? No, the money is for the employee who travelled and it compensates for the stressful and troublesome experience with flight delay.
In accordance with the contract with the employer, the employee might be forced to pay the company the compensation. That is, if there is a clause in the employment contract which states that if they receive compensation pursuant to the EU Regulation 261/2004 for a disrupted business trip, they need to give it to the company, they should do so.
How much are you entitled to?
The amount of the compensation depends on the flight distance:
- 250 euros for flights less than 1500 km
- 400 euros for flights between 1500 and 3500 km and flights within the community
- 600 euros for flights longer than 3500 km
There are several situations that affect the amount. For example, if the first flight is cancelled, but the airline provides an alternative flight to the destination with a delay shorter than 2 hours, you are entitled to only 50% of the compensation.
Business trips: If the flight was cancelled, the companies can get their money back
The Regulation stipulates that in the event of a cancelled flight, the airlines are obliged to provide an alternative flight or refund the amount of the ticket. If the transfer arrangements are not suitable for a business trip (for example, the passenger doesn’t get to a meeting), the employee is entitled to ask for their money back, in addition to claiming for compensation. In this situation, the company is entitled to a reimbursement for the ticket, and the compensation is for the passenger.
Who pays for the costs incurred due to the delayed flight?
The airline, not the company, needs to reimburse additional costs incurred by the delayed, cancelled or rescheduled flight.
In most cases, the procedure goes as follows:
The employee needs to pay with their own money, keep the receipts and ask for a refund from the airline. This includes meals, refreshments, and if necessary, transport to and from a hotel near the airport, as well as the room costs.
If the airline doesn’t provide arrangements, you need to do this yourselves. Don’t go booking a room in a five-star hotel at the other side of town, the airline shall compensate for reasonable costs only.
What you need to remember
Business travelers are entitled to compensation as any other passenger. Although they haven’t reserved or paid for the tickets, they receive the compensation. If you’ve been in a similar situation, Claim24 is always here to help. Submit your claim and find out if you are entitled to compensation.