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Right to Care from Finnair

If you have to wait at the airport, you have a right to care.

In most cases, this means free food and free hotel accommodation.

Should your Finnair flight be delayed, cancelled at the last minute, or rescheduled, you have a right to certain free services. If the delay is at least 3 hours, you can expect free meals and drinks. If the delay extends overnight, Finnair is obligated to offer a hotel stay, free of charge.

Right to Care From Finnair

Under European regulations, air passengers are granted certain rights.

This means that passengers traveling on European airlines, including Finnair, have access to certain amenities. This is stipulated by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

It’s important to note that these laws also extend to certain non-European airline flights. 

Short Delays (3+ Hours)

You can get: food and refreshments.

If the delay extends to three hours or more, though it’s still relatively short and during the day, Finnair must provide you with free meals and refreshments. Two free telephone calls, emails, or faxes are also included. These are all offered in the form of vouchers.

Long Delays (Overnight)

You can get: food, drinks, hotel stay and airport transfer.

When your flight is delayed overnight, Finnair ensures free accommodation, transportation to and from the airport, and meals and drinks. If you haven’t been notified of these arrangements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Finnair at your earliest convenience.

How to Get Free Food and Free Hotel Accommodation?

In the event of a lengthy delay at the airport, Finnair should automatically offer amenities such as complimentary food, hotel accommodation and airport transfer. There’s no need to request these; they should be provided during your wait.

If these services are not offered, it’s recommended to reach out to the Finnair customer service desk and inquire about them. The airline is obligated by European law to provide these services free of charge for eligible delays.

On rare occasions, if the airline fails to arrange these services for you, you may have to take care of them yourself. Be sure to save all receipts and proofs of purchase related to meals, beverages, transportation, and hotel stays. With these in hand, you can file a reimbursement claim with Finnair, detailing your incurred expenses during the delay. Providing all necessary details will expedite the reimbursement process.

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Extraordinary Circumstances

Let’s start with its definition.

What Are Extraordinary Circumstances?

Events that are beyond the airline’s control leading to flight delays, cancellations, or changes are referred to as extraordinary circumstances. These include but are not limited to severe weather, strikes not related to the airline, security threats, political unrest, or sudden technical issues that compromise the safety of the flight.

In these instances, despite the inconvenience caused, the airline is exempt from providing compensation according to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. However, the right to care from Finnair still applies.

Are Technical Problems Considered Extraordinary Circumstances?

Mostly, technical problems do not fall under extraordinary circumstances as per Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The regulation makes it clear that technical complications arising from the airline’s regular operations aren’t extraordinary, since they are within the airline’s control.

These could involve routine maintenance or minor repairs. These issues are part of the airline’s standard duties and cannot be used as an excuse to deny passengers compensation or care.

However, if there’s a sudden and unexpected technical defect that compromises the safety of the flight—like a critical disruption in the aircraft’s flight systems—it could be categorized as an extraordinary circumstance. This is because these situations are rare, pose an immediate threat to the safe operation of the aircraft, and are not part of the airline’s regular technical responsibilities.

Right to Care in Extraordinary Circumstances

Even in extraordinary circumstances, you have a right to care.

While Finnair may not be required to offer compensation for delays or cancellations due to events beyond their control, they must still ensure your comfort during the waiting period. This includes providing food, drinks, and, in the case of significant delays, accommodation.

The same principle applies when it comes to offering alternative transportation in case of a cancelled flight – you are entitled to this.

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Right to Care: FAQ

In this section, we will answer some frequently asked questions about passengers’ right to care during flight delays and cancellations with Finnair.

What Is the Right to Care?

The right to care refers to the responsibilities Finnair has towards its passengers in the event of flight delays, overbooking, and flight cancellations. According to European law, Finnair is obligated to ensure passengers’ comfort during these circumstances, which includes providing free meals, refreshments, and accommodation in the case of significant delays.

How Do I Get My “Right to Care” If My Flight Is Delayed?

If your Finnair flight is delayed by 3 hours or more, the airline should automatically provide you with amenities such as free meals and refreshments, and necessary accommodation in the case of overnight delays.

If these services are not offered, you should contact the Finnair customer service counter at the airport to inquire about them. Alternatively, you can cover the cost of the services yourself and then file a claim for reimbursement at a later time.

Do I Have the Right to Care If My Flight Is Cancelled?

Yes, if your Finnair flight is cancelled, you are entitled to the right to care.

This means Finnair must provide you with meals, refreshments, and accommodation (if necessary), as well as an alternative method of transportation to your destination. If the cancellation is due to the airline’s negligence, you may also be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.

Read more: Last-Minute Flight Cancellation: Your Rights

Are Extraordinary Circumstances an Exception to the Right to Care?

No, even in extraordinary circumstances, which are situations beyond the control of Finnair, the right to care still applies. This means that even if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to severe weather, security risks, or strikes, you are still entitled to free meals, refreshments, and accommodation (if necessary).

How Do I Request Reimbursement If I Had to Arrange for My Accommodation and Meals?

If you had to arrange for your meals, accommodation, or airport transfers due to Finnair’s failure to do so, keep all receipts and proof of purchase. You can submit these, along with a detailed account of your expenses during the delay, to Finnair for reimbursement.

Please note that this policy only applies to essential expenses, not luxury expenditures.

Does the Right to Care Apply to All Finnair Flights?

The right to care applies to all Finnair flights to and from Europe.

As Finnair is an EU airline, the right to care under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 applies to all of its flights both departing from and arriving in Europe. However, be aware that with non-European airlines, this regulation only applies to flights that are departing from Europe.

Does All Of This Apply Only to Europeans?

No, the right to care applies to all passengers on Finnair flights, regardless of their nationality. The laws that give passengers the right to care are Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and Regulation UK261, established by the European Union and UK government, respectively.

These regulations state that any airline operating in Europe must provide care and compensation for affected passengers when applicable. Note, however, that in the case of non-European airlines, this regulation applies only to flights departing from Europe.

By Europe and EU here on this page (and on this website in general) we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

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