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Right to Care (from Bulgaria Air)

“Right to care” means that passengers are entitled to receive assistance and support in case of any flight disruptions. This encompasses essential services such as accommodation, meals, refreshments, and access to communications. The main objective of this regulation is to safeguard passengers’ rights and enhance their overall travel experience.

If you have to wait at the airport due to flight delay or cancellation, you have a right to care.

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

Right to Care From Bulgaria Air

According European law, air passengers are provided protection.

This is mandated by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The regulation ensures that air passengers traveling on European airlines are entitled to receive care. Bulgaria Air extends this provision to most of its flights to and from the European Union, guaranteeing necessary assistance and support to passengers facing flight disruptions.

Short Delays (3+ Hours)

You can get: food and refreshments.

For short delays lasting three or more hours during the daytime, Bulgaria Air is obligated to provide passengers with complimentary meals and refreshments according to the regulations. Additionally, passengers are entitled to access to communications – two free phone calls, emails, or faxes. These provisions are offered in the form of coupons to ensure passengers are adequately cared for during their wait.

Long Delays (Overnight)

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

In the event of an overnight flight delay, Bulgaria Air will offer complimentary accommodation, airport transfers, food, and refreshments to affected passengers. If you have not been informed about these arrangements, it is advisable to promptly contact Bulgaria Air for assistance.

How to Get Complimentary Meals and Hotel Stays from Bulgaria Air?

Bulgaria Air, following the obligations of European law, is committed to making your delay at the airport as comfortable as possible. The airline should automatically offer you benefits such as complimentary meals, hotel stays and airport transfers during extended waits at the airport.

There’s no need to specifically ask for these services as they should be presented to you during your delay.

If these facilities are not presented, it is advisable to approach the Bulgaria Air customer service desk and ask about them. As per European law, the airline is obligated to deliver these services free of cost for eligible delays.

In exceptional situations, if the airline doesn’t coordinate these services for you, you might have to make arrangements yourself. Keep all receipts and proof of purchases related to food, drinks, airport transfers, and hotel stays. Once you have these, you can submit a claim for reimbursement to Bulgaria Air, detailing your expenditures during the delay. Make sure to provide all necessary information to ease the reimbursement process.

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Exceptional Circumstances

Let’s first understand what they are.

What Are Exceptional Circumstances?

Exceptional circumstances refer to any unforeseen events that the airline has no control over.

These instances could include severe weather situations, strikes not related to the airline, security threats, political unrest, or hidden technical issues that impact flight safety.

Despite the inconvenience, the airline is not required to provide compensation in such scenarios, as they are exempt under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. Nonetheless, the right to care, as discussed earlier, continues to apply.

Are Technical Problems Considered Exceptional Circumstances?

In general, technical issues are not recognized as exceptional circumstances under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The regulation explicitly mentions that technical problems that arise from the regular operation of an airline aren’t deemed exceptional, as they are matters the airline can control.

These could encompass routine maintenance or minor repairs. As such issues fall under the standard responsibilities of an airline, they cannot serve as an exception to providing passengers with compensation or care.

However, if it’s a hidden manufacturing defect which jeopardizes flight safety, this might be classified as exceptional. This is due to the fact that these situations are infrequent, immediately hazard the safe operation of the aircraft, and do not fall under the airline’s regular technical operations.

Right to Care during Exceptional Circumstances

Even in exceptional circumstances, passengers have the right to care.

Although Bulgaria Air may not be obligated to provide compensation for delays or cancellations caused by situations beyond their control, they remain obligated to cater to your comfort during the wait. This includes providing food, refreshments, and accommodation in case of significant delays.

The same rule applies when it comes to offering an alternate mode of travel if the flight gets cancelled – you have a right to that. You have a right to that new flight.

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Right to Care: FAQ

In this section, we will delve into some of the most frequently asked questions about passengers’ right to care during flight delays and cancellations with Bulgaria Air.

What Is the Right to Care?

The right to care refers to the responsibilities airlines owe to their passengers in the event of flight delays, overbooking, and flight cancellations. As per European legislation, airlines, including Bulgaria Air, must ensure passengers’ comfort during these circumstances. This commitment includes delivering free meals, refreshments, and arranging for accommodation in case of significant delays.

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

If your flight is delayed by 3 hours or more, Bulgaria Air should proactively provide amenities like free meals and refreshments, and necessary accommodation in the case of overnight delays.

If these services are not offered, reach out to the Bulgaria Air customer service desk at the airport to inquire about them. If need be, you can personally cover the cost of the services and then submit a claim for reimbursement later. It’s advisable to do this as promptly as possible.

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

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

This implies that Bulgaria Air is obligated to provide you with meals, refreshments, and accommodation (if necessary), as well as an alternate mode of transportation to your destination. If the cancellation results from the airline’s fault, you also have a right to European flight cancellation compensation.

Are Extraordinary Circumstances an Exception to the Right to Care?

No, extraordinary circumstances, which refer to situations beyond the airline’s control, do not exempt the right to care. This means that even if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to serious weather conditions, security threats, or labor strikes, you still have the right 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 ended up arranging for your meals, accommodation, or airport transfers due to Bulgaria Air’s failure to provide these services, keep all receipts and proof of purchase.

You can submit these, along with a detailed account of your expenses during the delay, to Bulgaria Air for reimbursement. Please keep in mind that this policy only covers necessary expenses, not extras. Don’t expect to have a lavish meal and get reimbursement from the airline.

Does the Right to Care Apply to All Bulgaria Air Flights?

The right to care applies to all Bulgaria Air flights to and from Europe.

Since Bulgaria Air 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, it’s important to note that with non-European airlines, this regulation only applies to flights that are departing from Europe. Flights on non-European airlines that are arriving in Europe from other parts of the world are not covered under this European law.

Does This Only Apply to Europeans?

No, this right to care extends to all passengers on Bulgaria Air flights, irrespective of their nationality.

The laws mandating the right to care are Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and Regulation UK261, enacted by the European Union and UK government. This legislation states that any airline operating in Europe must offer care and compensation to affected passengers when required. Hence, the right to care applies to all passengers on Bulgaria Air flights, regardless of their nationality.

The only exception is in the case of non-European airlines, where this regulation applies only to flights departing from Europe and not those arriving in Europe from other parts of the world.

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.

Featured photo by Pixabay from Pexels