In this article, I’m going to tell you what are your rights in case your Brazilian flight is delayed, canceled or you will be denied boarding. I’m going to squeeze the text and provide just essentials on what you can expect from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency ANAC Resolution 400 – the law which entitles you to compensation for the disrupted flight. Just to drag your attention – the compensation can be up to 1300$, so it’s worth to know more.
Recently I was traveling a lot in business to Brazil so I had to do this task – know more on my rights when I’m flying to Brazil. I will explain everything from the perspective of a person who is just visiting the country, focused on international flights.
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Air Travelers Law: ANAC Resolution 400
As it was said above, the law which enables you to claim the compensation for disrupted Brazilian flight is called ANAC Resolution 400. It indicates airlines’ responsibilities to passengers in case of flight delays, cancellation or denial of boarding specifying clearly what airlines should provide, and when. It was established in 2016 and is following European directive EU261 on disrupted flight compensations.
ANAC Resolution 400 is not the only law which supports you in case of issues with your flight. Under Brazil’s Consumer Law you are also entitled to remuneration up to 1300$ in compensation for moral damages. What does it mean? If your flight’s issue caused time wasted, you missed a business opportunity or suffered in any other way you are entitled to compensation.
Six Facts to Remember on ANAC Resolution 400
Time is money, so I’m going to list just essentials you should know before struggling for compensation base on ANAC Resolution 400:
1. Who Can Apply for Brazilian Flights Compensation?
ANAC Resolution 400 covers passengers from all over the world, no matter whether you are Brazilian or not, or what airline you are flying with. If your flight was:
- Brazilian domestic flight
- International flight with departure from Brazilian airport
- International flight with arrival at a Brazilian airport
- Connecting flight via Brazilian airport
- Your ticket was issued in Brazil (even if the flight is operated abroad)
and you faced any issues with this flight, you might be entitled to compensation base on ANAC Resolution 400. Moreover, you can claim flights in the past up to 5 years back for domestic and two years back for international flights.
2. You Have the Right for Information
The regulation says that you should be immediately informed about the delay with information on the new departure time with updates every 30 minutes.
The above-mentioned rule does not apply if airline informed you about changes in the flight schedule early enough which means 72 hours before the original departure time. In this case, the airline is allowed to change the departure time by +/- 30 minutes for domestic flights and +/- 1 hour for international flights. In other cases, they need to offer you an alternative flight or make a full reimbursement.
3. You Have the Right for Appropriate Care
In case of flight delay or cancellation you should receive following help depending on the time you are waiting:
- 1 hour and more – access to communication means like a telephone call or Wi-Fi access
- 2 hours and more – airline should provide food or meal vouchers
- More than 4 hours – here the magic starts as flights delayed more than 4 hours are considered as heavily delayed. This brings you to the next level of requirements towards airlines:
4. Right for Reimbursement / Re-booking and Accommodation
If your flight is delayed more than 4 hours you should receive:
Let’s start with accommodation. It applies only when you need to wait overnight for your flight (it does not apply if you are a passenger with special needs). The accommodation should be offered always with the transfer service.
Re-booking or Reimbursement
You have the right to free rebooking for another flight (including re-routing). Moreover, you can take the next available flight – this can be also the competing airline to the one you are traveling with but going to the same destination.
The last option is reimbursement which covers the full refund of the fare – including airport taxes and fees.
5. Extraordinary Circumstances
ANAC Resolution 400 was created in such a way as to protect both the airlines and passengers. Therefore, whenever the delay or cancellation is caused by the airline’s operational problems, they must hold the responsibility,
However, if the delay or cancellation is caused by something called extraordinary circumstances, you will fail by claiming such a flight issue. Just to explain in more details what exactly extraordinary circumstances mean it’s enough to say that it means an event which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. We can count on the list of extraordinary circumstances following phenomenons:
- Difficult weather conditions/nature – for example, storms, tropical storms, typhoons, blizzards, volcano eruptions
- Security check problems (for example additional checking of luggage) it also includes blockage of takeoff by the control tower
- Any medical issues – sick, heart attacks and any other occurred to the crew or passengers
- Political turmoil or terrorist attack
- Air traffic control strike
6. Keep All Documents
As you will have to file an official claim and proof all your inconveniences you need your boarding pass, ticket number, and booking reference number. Additionally, keep all the documents you received from airlines regarding the delay or cancellation including meal and accommodation vouchers. Don’t forget about receipts and bills documenting your costs caused by delayed or canceled flight.
File the Claim – Where to Start?
One option is to claim on your – ANAC encourages to file a claim directly through customer support of your airline – you can read it on page 37 in ANAC’s passenger guide available on their website. That could be painful for you. Long story short – AirHelp company states that according to their study, around 45% of valid claims are wrongfully rejected by airlines.
Honestly, I even do not try to do it on my own. I use the support from the company called AirHelp. This is so-called no win no fee flight claims management company. They take your case, fight for your compensation, and in case they win, you have to share with them ~25% of your remuneration. This is fair enough as if they will fail, they stay with no pay.
AirHelp is able to negotiate compensation on your behalf in the following cases:
- Flight cancelation
- Flight delay over 4 hours
- Lack of proper care by the airline
So if your disrupted flight landed or departed from Brazilian airport and it happened in the last 5 years in case of domestic or 2 years in case of international flights, you should check on AirHelp site if you are entitled to remuneration. What’s important, they are really effective as AirHelp got my compensation back where the airline rejected my request twice.
TLDR: ANAC Resolution 400 Flight Compensation
Time to wrap up. All the points in a nutshell:
- ANAC Resolution 400 is the law that entitles you to remuneration for the disrupted flight departed from Brazilian airport, not caused by extraordinary circumstances like extreme weather or ground staff strike.
- Base on the ANAC Resolution 400 passengers has the right to be informed and properly cared for. What should be provided and when depends on how big is the delay.
- For the flight delayed more than 4 hours the airline has to offer you the rebooking/rerouting and (if applicable) accommodation. Instead of rebooking, the passenger can opt for the full refund of the fare – including airport taxes and fees.
- Keep all your travel documents, receipts, vouchers, and bills to document and proof your travel and spendings.
- Don’t file the claim on your own as your chances to succeed are rather low. The far better option is to use the support from flight claim management company like AirHelp. This is the biggest player on the market and due to the fact that airlines know they are likely to win in court, they will pay you the compensation.
That’s all you have to know about ANAC Resolution 400 and passengers rights in Brazil. Hopefully, you will never have to use this knowledge but as I say it’s always better to be prepared.
Featured image: Lucas