Q&A about flight cancellations

3/4/2015

The airline company Norwegian stepped up their strike on Wednesday, and cancelled all flights within and between the Scandinavian countries. Here are the answers to the most common questions for anyone afflicted.

QUESTION: I'm stuck abroad since my flight has been cancelled because of the strike. How do I get back home?

ANSWER: The airline has an obligation to rebook you to your destination. The rebooking will take place under comparable transport conditions.

QUESTION: The airline has not offered to rebook my flight. Can I make a new reservation myself?

ANSWER: The airline has an obligation to reschedule you. If the company does not meet the requirement, you can get compensation for single-handedly been forced to book a return flight. Remember to contact the airline before booking a new flight on your own.

QUESTION: My flight is cancelled and the airline has told me to arrange for hotel and food on my own, and that I will be reimbursed later. Is this okay?

ANSWER: The airline are obligated to provide passengers with food, drinks and hotel accommodation in proportion to the estimated waiting time. There are no time limits or other exceptions. The general rule is that the airline is responsible for the expenses. If the airline does not follow this, they are liable to pay damages to the passengers. Remember to save receipts for any of your expenses while stranded because of a cancelled flight.

QUESTION: Am I entitled to any compensation when my flight is cancelled or delayed?

ANSWER: As a general rule, passengers are always entitled to compensation if their flight is cancelled. But there is one exception. The airline does not have to pay compensation when a cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken. Strike can be an extraordinary circumstance, but it is important to remember that the company also must take all reasonable measures to avoid the cancellation. An assessment is made in each case, and it is up to the airline to prove that the exemption applies. A reasonable action to take under the law of the Swedish consumer complaints board (Allmänna reklamationsnämnden/ARN) is that the airline reschedule your flight, no matter the airline company. An assessment is made in each case.

QUESTION: I have cancelled my flight, but I had already paid for the hotel at the destination. Can I get compensation for my hotel stay from the airline?

ANSWER: As a general rule, you may be entitled to compensation, but there is an exception. The exception is when it has proven impossible for the airline to take measures to avoid the damage. An assessment is made in each case.

QUESTION: The extra expenditure caused by my cancelled flight has grown quite big, mainly because of loss in income, missed hotel nights and missed connections to the airport. Am I entitled to any compensation?

ANSWER: As a general rule, you may be entitled to compensation, but there is an exception. The exception is when it has proven impossible for the airline to take measures to avoid the damage. An assessment is made in each case.

QUESTION: How can I possibly remember all of my rights?

The airline has an obligation to provide you with information about your rights. If you have not already received information, ask for a written copy of your rights at the airport.