Travel

Maximizing Your Compensation: Tips for Finnair Passengers

Joanna Horanin

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Navigating the complexities of air travel can be daunting, especially when confronted with flight disruptions such as flight postponements or cancellations. For those flying with Finnair, grasping your entitlements and the recompense you’re qualified for can transform a taxing ordeal into a more tolerable one. In this guide, we’ll equip you with crucial strategies on how to optimize your compensation as a Finnair traveler.

Finnair is a pretty popular airline when travelling from Europe to Thailand. It’s famous among passengers for its great customer service and good prices. I have taken a flight with Finnair to the Land of Smiles once. I didn’t have a problem with the flight at all and it was a smooth trip. However, I know that many of you, dear readers, travel with Finnair. This article is for those that would like to know what to do if they have a problem with a Finnair flight and would like to ask for compensation.

Understanding Compensation Rights for Finnair Passengers

Per Finnair’s official site, travelers have specific airline passenger rights and reimbursements in instances of flight delays, cancellations, or overbooking. These entitlements align with EU Regulation 261/2004, which obliges airlines to furnish aid and, in certain scenarios, financial recompense to impacted passengers.

Finnair specifies that when flight delays surpass two hours, travelers are eligible for food and beverages, two complimentary phone calls, emails, or faxes, and lodging if an overnight stay is required.

Regarding flight cancellations, Finnair will either re-accommodate you on the next accessible flight or provide a complete refund if you opt not to proceed with your journey. Moreover, contingent on the situation, you might qualify for financial compensation ranging from €250 to €600, depending on the flight’s distance and the duration of the delay.

Flight Cancellation and Delay Compensation

No one likes cancellations or delays. It definitely can ruin your plan for an ideal holiday in Thailand, or other exotic and long-awaited vacations. In the event of flight disruptions, Finnair is committed to providing assistance and compensation to affected passengers in accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004. This regulation stipulates that passengers are entitled to Finnair compensation if their flight is delayed for more than three hours, canceled without prior notice of at least 14 days, or if they are denied boarding due to overbooking. 

The amount of compensation varies depending on the distance of the flight and the duration of the delay:

  • Short-haul Flights (up to 1,500 km): €250
  • Medium-haul Flights (between 1,500 km and 3,500 km): €400
  • Long-haul Flights (more than 3,500 km) with delays less than 4 hours: €300
  • Long-distance Flights (exceeding 3,500 km) with delays of 4 hours or more: €600

It’s crucial to acknowledge that compensation is not assured in every scenario. As per EU guidelines, carriers are not required to offer compensation if the delay or annulment is prompted by “exceptional circumstances” beyond the airline’s influence, such as severe weather, air traffic control limitations, or security hazards. In such instances, Finnair will still strive to supply meals, beverages, and lodging as needed, but financial recompense may not be applicable.

Denied Boarding Compensation

Denied boarding compensation is another area covered under EU Regulation 261/2004. If you are unwillingly refused a seat on a Finnair flight owing to overbooking or other factors under the airline’s jurisdiction, you qualify for recompense akin to that of flight annulments. Moreover, airlines are mandated to provide alternate transit to your ultimate destination or a complete refund for the unused segment of your ticket, in addition to conveniences such as meals and lodging as required.

Lost or Damaged Baggage Compensation

For Finnair passengers, the airline adheres to the Montreal Convention, which sets the liability limit for lost or damaged baggage. As of 2022, the limit is approximately 1,288 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per passenger, which equates to around €1,600 or $1,800 USD depending on current exchange rates. It’s crucial to report the issue to Finnair immediately upon discovering the loss or damage, as failure to do so within stipulated timeframes may result in the forfeiture of any compensation claims.

In addition to the monetary compensation, Finnair may also offer immediate necessities like toiletries and clothing if your baggage is delayed. The airline usually requires passengers to fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) at the airport to initiate the claim process. Keep all your travel documents and any receipts for items you had to purchase due to the loss or delay, as these will be necessary when filing for compensation.

A finnair airplane on a runway in the snow. Behind the plane we see trees covered in snow.

Overbooking Compensation

Overbooking is a prevalent strategy in the aviation sector to offset the anticipated quantity of absentees. Nevertheless, this can occasionally lead to a surplus of travelers arriving compared to available seating. In these instances, carriers like Finnair typically request volunteers to relinquish their spots in return for specific perks, such as coupons for subsequent journeys, sustenance, and lodging. If there aren’t enough volunteers and you are involuntarily denied boarding, you are entitled to compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. 

Finnair is one of the better airlines to travel to Thailand from Europe. You might spend a bit more, but at least you can be sure that you will be covered if your flight is delayed or cancelled. That’s my philosophy at least. Read here why I don’t want to save money on flights anymore.

Disruptions like delays, cancellations, and overbooking are almost inevitable. However, passengers flying with Finnair have specific airline passenger rights and entitlements under EU regulations that provide a safety net in these situations. So the next time you find yourself in a less-than-ideal travel situation, remember that you have rights and don’t hesitate to assert them. Safe travels!

This article was written in cooperation with Skycop.