Q. Our fight several days ago from Frankfurt to Philadelphia, PA was cancelled (mechanical problems they said) and we had to spend the night and couldn't leave until the next day. The airline did provide meals and hotel accommodations at no cost to us. Someone, however, told us we are also due an inconvenience fee that is little known when traveling on US Airways within the European Union. Is this the case? This person said she has received as much as 600 euros for a similar situation from the airline. Before I go ahead and look into the compensation I wanted to see if the information we were given is correct. If we accepted vouchers for meals and an overnight stay, are we still owed additional compensation if so, is this per person?
A. Yes, you are entitled to compensation when a flight leaving from a European airport is delayed due to circumstances reasonably within the airline’s control, and this includes mechanical problems. This is over and above hotel and meal reimbursement. The amount owed varies depending on the length of the flight and the delay, and the maximum is indeed 600 euros, which applies to long haul flights such as yours, when the delay is over four hours. These rules apply to all airlines, not just US Airways, and you don’t have to be an E.U. citizen to qualify. Several companies based in Europe will fill out the paperwork for you (one can be found at www.euclaim.co.uk), for a fee, but you can also do the work yourself.