In connection with the increasing cases of delayed flights, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Ivaylo Shotev ordered to ensure more active awareness of the rights of travelling citizens. He reminded that if your flight lands more than 3 hours late you may be entitled to monetary compensation. This right depends on the cause of the delay — when it is beyond the airline’s control, it is exempt from the obligation to pay compensation. If the airline is from another EU country, Iceland, Norway or the UK, and you can’t manage it yourself, you can contact the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Bulgaria, who will assist you free of charge.
The amount of monetary compensation depends on the distance of the flight. For the largest flights in Europe — up to 1,500 km, it is EUR 250, and if it is between 1,500 and 3,500 km — it is EUR 400.
‘In addition to delayed or postponed flights, consumers can also contact the European Consumer Centre for other problems related to air travel, such as lost suitcases or booking problems. Together with their colleagues from the country where the trader is registered, they will do their best to assist and protect the rights of consumers,’ Deputy Minister Shotev added.
Sonia Spasova, Director of the European Consumer Centre, pointed out that one of the recent cases on which the ECC Bulgaria team has worked is related to lost luggage of a family who went on holiday. For several months, travellers have been trying to solve the problem themselves by writing to the airline, but to no avail. After filing a complaint with ECC Bulgaria and with the intervention of the centre, the citizens received more than EUR 1,600 in compensation for the lost luggage.
‘Last year, ECC Bulgaria was able to assist in the recovery or payment of compensation worth more than EUR 126,000’ she pointed out.
ECC Bulgaria is part of a network of 29 such centres, working with its counterparts in the UK, and assisting with cross-border consumer cases. Users can contact the centre via email or letter by post, by filling in the form on the website www.ecc.bg or via social networks.