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EU Vacation: How To Handle The Problems Of Canceled Flights & Lost Baggage

Canceled flights and lost baggage
Canceled flights and lost baggage [Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay]
Traveling the world is a true adventure, visiting foreign lands, different cuisines and cultures. Some people even travel for the weather, with Americans heading to Mexico and the British flying to sunny Spain. Enjoy adventure travel, hiking rainforests, climbing mountains, or paddling white-water rapids. Moreover, heading to Africa can offer an exciting safari in the bush, or a great beach experience. However, no matter how well you plan that longed-for vacation, sometimes things go wrong. In fact, this year, thousands of flights have been canceled, messing up your travel plans. Alternatively, your baggage gets lost. What should you do to handle these situations when they happen?

Flight delays and cancellations

Flight schedule
Flight schedule [Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay]
Just imagine – you have booked flights for the family, organized your accommodations and even packed a week ahead of the flight. Moreover, your work has allowed you to go on leave, despite staffing pressures. Of course, the children are totally excited and parents are also looking forward to their family vacation.

While you are ready and waiting to go on vacation, this is when one of the worst travel problems can arise. Those flights you booked are delayed or even canceled until further notice. Meanwhile, not being able to fly on time messes up your hotel bookings and your arranged leave from work.

Even worse, the kids have only a few days left of their school break, which means this was the only time you could travel together.

Saved by EU regulation No. 261/2004

If you are heading to Europe, there is one thing many people in the EU don’t know themselves. Under EU regulation No. 261/2004, you are entitled to receive compensation for flight cancellations. The regulation was set by the EU Parliament and lays out the details of compensation and assistance for travelers whose flights have either been canceled or delayed.

However, EU261 doesn’t only protect passengers, it also holds airlines accountable for every flight disruption they cause. Moreover, it gives airlines a major incentive to improve their customer service.

In what situations does EU261 apply?

Flight delays or flights cancelled
Waiting at the airport [Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay]
To get a better idea of the regulation, passengers are due to receive compensation in certain situations. Among these are travelers being denied boarding due to overbooking of the flight. Reportedly, this is a common problem, while airlines try to protect their bottom line. However, it also applies when a flight is canceled and you haven’t received at least 14 days’ warning in advance.

Moreover, the regulation also applies where the flight did take off as planned but caused lengthy delays by landing at your destination more than three hours late.

Lost baggage while traveling to Europe

Lost baggage
Lost baggage [Image by djedj from Pixabay]
You probably know that horrible feeling when you stand at the baggage carousel, watching the occasional suitcase doing the rounds over and over again. However, there is no sign of your own baggage. Meanwhile, that suitcase has everything you need for your vacation, including your clothing, toiletries, books and more. Even worse, if it is lost on your return trip, all your carefully selected souvenirs of your trip are lost too.

According to travel experts, approximately 85 percent of lost baggage does eventually find its way back to its owner. However, there is that dreaded 15 percent that doesn’t. According to the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, the airline has 21 days to find your baggage and return it safely to you. Due to this, as long as you report the lost bag in time, you can receive compensation from the airline.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of things you can do to help your baggage travel safely with you. Make sure the suitcase is firmly locked and clearly labeled with your name and flight number. However, should nothing help, ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover the loss of your baggage and its contents.

Happy travels in Europe this year and we hope that everything runs smoothly for you. However, if things do go wrong, at least you are aware of what can be done.


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