Organizing a business trip can be stressful. On top of the costs and decisions, you’re also worried about the worst-case scenarios, such as flight cancellations. Here is a rundown on your rights as a customer, and how you should go about preparing a trip.
What are the regulations regarding cancelled flights?
Business flights aren’t cheap, so it’s important to know your rights in the event of a flight being cancelled or delayed. There is a platform to help you know the EU air passenger regulation called Flightright, which highlights the EU regulation 261/2004. What is the 261/2004 regulation in Europe? It explains that there are common rules regarding compensation for delayed or lengthy delays of flights. So, the good news is there is regulatory protection for travellers – how much will depend on the circumstance.
A short distance flight (under 1500km trip) will entitle you to €250; a medium distance trip up to 3500km will entitle you to €400, and a 3500km+ trip will entitle you to €600. Airlines must inform the customer of these rights, though they can often hide them well so you forget!
Rights during a flight delay
It’s also important to know: are there regulations regarding cancelled or delayed flights? Whilst a lengthy delay (i.e. 9 hours) can often entitle you to the full compensation stated above, you can still get something out of a shorter delay. For short-distance flights (the kilometre definitions remain consistent with the ones above) delayed over 2 hours, you can receive free food and drinks along with 2 phone calls/emails. Medium distance flights must be delayed for over 3 hours for you to be entitled to the same food, drink, and communication rights. Finally, long-haul flights must be delayed for 4 hours, in which you again receive the same rights.
These rights only usually apply when it’s the airline’s fault. Though, it’s best to look at it the other way round and see what’s included in the extenuating circumstances. Some of these circumstances include airport/airspace closure, security risks, weather, strikes, among others.
Research your destination and plan in advance
It’s very important to factor in the risks of travelling to a new place, whether it be scam artists, pickpocketers, or strict laws. Places such as the UK Govt website do a good write up on the safety of each country, commenting on common issues. Again, even just cultural differences should be researched, as these can become even more important in a business setting.
Booking accommodation is half the battle of preparing a business trip. Whilst some may be swayed by luxury, the most important thing is location. Being far enough away to have to ride public transport or book a taxi to get to your meeting, for example, can be stressful. Check the hotel policies and see if there are any deals. Of course, you’ll likely need WiFi, power points, and perhaps 24-hour room service. When viewing the reviews, look closely at the business trip reviews too.
Planning in advance can cut down on costs, but just make sure you’re insured in case there are any interruptions or cancellations. Plus this way you can prepare your itinerary more carefully, allowing for enough space for some relaxing and possible tours.
Last but certainly not least, keep a very close eye on COVID-19 border policy changes. Whilst business trips are often exempt from self-isolation rules, they’re still under threat of being changed often and depend heavily on the country in question.
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