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EDIT: To clarify my original question to make it clear.

I flew with easyjet from London Gatwick to Edinburgh on the 10th of June. The flight was cancelled 3 hours before the flight. I arrived at the airport and asked for a hotel and food. I was instructed to book a hotel and pay for food and then submit a request for reimbursement of expenses directly incurred due to this. Easyjet did not provide any food or accommodation. I took the next flight provided by easyjet on the 11th of June.

I submitted two claims to easyjet.

  1. A claim for expenses incurred due to accommodation and food due to the cancelled flight (again easyjet did not provide this but said we should ask for reimbursement).

  2. A claim under EU 261 (UK 261) entitling me to 220 GBP compensation per passenger for flights under 1500km that are delayed for longer than 3 hours.

I have now Received 300GBP from easyjet for the hotel and food. But have received no compensation under EU 261.

Based on the answers provided here I have concluded the following.

  1. If a flight is cancelled the airline has a duty of care and must provide accommodation and food to passengers. Easyjet has done this by reimbursing me for my expenses.

  2. Under EU 261 passengers are entitled to 220 GBP for flights delayed over 3 hours. EasyJet has not provided this to me.

I will therefore take this claim further to see that I get the correct compensation.

I am confused what exactly the compensation in EU 261 is for. I was delayed on an easy jet flight and applied for compensation for my expenses as well as compensation under EU 261 (also applies to flights within the UK under UK 261).

However, easyjet is saying that I am not entitled the 250 euro compensation as I already claimed expenses incurred by the delay. Is this correct? Or am I entitled to both compensation for my expenses and compensation under EU 261?

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  • It depends on what kind of expenses you have claimed compensation for. You are entitled to a fixed compensation of 250€ and in some cases food and accomodation. If you had additional expenses beyond food and accomodation, the fixed compensation is supposed to cover those. Aug 25, 2022 at 11:42
  • What kind of expenses are we talking about?
    – Relaxed
    Aug 25, 2022 at 12:03
  • So I got compensation for a hotel, food and transport. I received 300 GBP of compensation for 2 people. Am I entitled to further compensation or does EU 261 only cover expenses incurred directly due to the cancelled flight? Aug 25, 2022 at 12:52
  • @MarkZurbrügg That's not quite how the regulation is structured. You get compensation on the one hand (not conditional on anything, you don't need to provide any evidence or show that you have spent the money) and a “right of care” on the other. The right of care is distinct from the “compensation” but it's not necessarily a right to claim whatever you want after the fact. Instead, it's up to the airlines to provide vouchers, organise a hotel, etc.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 25, 2022 at 13:54
  • Either way, if they don't want to pay for the hotel and do not accept that you have a right to any further compensation, GBP 300 is not enough, at least under EU rules, as you are entitled to €250 per person. There is about €145 missing.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 25, 2022 at 13:57

1 Answer 1

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Or am I entitled to both compensation for my expenses and compensation under EU 261?

You are not exactly entitled to compensation for your expenses under EU 261. Instead, you have a “right of care”. Meaning that if you are delayed for a long time (and the relevant article applies), the airline has to provide refreshments, food, possibly accommodation and transportation to the airport, and two phone calls.

The regulation doesn't say that you have a right to buy whatever you want and claim the expenses afterwards. Instead the notion is that the airline is supposed to provide all that to you. The EU Commission adds that if it was not offered and you paid for meals or drinks yourself, the airline is supposed to reimburse you provided the expenses were “necessary, reasonable and appropriate”. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

For example, if the airline was organizing busses to a specific hotel where they put other passengers on the same flight or the same day and you just didn't avail yourself of that possibility and decided to book a hotel yourself, it will be very difficult to argue that they should reimburse you.

However, easyjet is saying that I am not entitled the 250 euro compensation as I already claimed expenses incurred by the delay. Is this correct?

Under EU 261, the right of care is entirely separate from “compensation”, which is dealt with in another article and not always triggered in the same conditions. That's the source for the €250 lump sum and the amount is based on the distance and length of the delay, without any reference to potential or actual expenses you would incur. Article 12 of the regulation also covers further compensation:

  1. This Regulation shall apply without prejudice to a passenger's rights to further compensation. The compensation granted under this Regulation may be deducted from such compensation.

The question then is whether the money you already received should be considered a form of compensation. To the extent that this money was not something you were entitled to under the “right of care” but a compensation then it seems the airline would be partly right that it shouldn't be paid on top of the €250.

However since you received less than €250 per person, you would still be entitled to the difference. I do not see how article 7 and 12 can be read in any other way or how accepting partial compensation in whatever form could be construed as waiving your right to receive €250 per person. At the same time, talking about “compensation” for the hotel and claiming both can be confusing and weaken your claim.

In general, I would recommend making clear that you're asking for a reimbursement of the hotel costs as part of the “right of care“ and insists on receiving the €250 per person no matter what, even if you have to abandon the other claim.

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  • 1
    If OP was not entitled to compensation for the other expenses he claimed, it is not unlikely that easyJet will argue that paying that claim suffice as a replacement for the legally admitted higher default compensation. If the UK law is an unchanged continuation of the EU regulation, the airline may actually on request by the passenger pay the compensation 'as other services' (article 7.3) and if OP requested reimbursment for expenses he was not entitled to, it is not unlikely that easyJet will argue that way and try to wind themselves out of further legal obligations. Aug 25, 2022 at 20:33
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo It's not unlikely that they will say whatever they feel like but I still don't see any basis for this conclusion anywhere. Even invoking this “other services“ clause, which is in itself a bit of a stretch, shouldn't impact the amount.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 25, 2022 at 21:53
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Thinking about this further, the airline did not provide any other service (I think what's meant here could be flights or an upgrade for example), it provided money, just the wrong amount. I don't see how the fact the OP's claim was arguably confusing or that the amount correspond to something he paid to another business is material to the transaction between him and the airline. Again, I see no possibility to waive your right to compensation or agree on a lower amount in the logic of the regulation.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 26, 2022 at 9:40
  • thank you. Based on this I see that I have a right to care (the source of the 300GBP compensation I have received). And a Right to compensation. Aug 26, 2022 at 13:19
  • @MarkZurbrügg That is not what I wrote. You do NOT have a general right to go about, spend money on food, and pick a hotel any time there is a delay. You may or may not have a right to be reimbursed for “reasonable“ costs if the airline failed to offer help and even that is the EU Commission's interpretation, not something that's clearly laid out in the regulation (not sure about case law). So the airline may or may not agree on the source of the GBP 300 payment. And again, I wouldn't use the word “compensation” for that payment, this undermines your claim.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 26, 2022 at 14:45

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