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Right to Care (from SmartLynx)

When you experience a delay at the airport, you have a right to care.

In most instances, this translates to complimentary meals and accommodation.

If your SmartLynx flight experiences a delay, last-minute cancellation, or overbooking, you are entitled to several free services. If you have to wait for 3 hours or more, you will receive complimentary meals and beverages. In the case of an overnight delay, SmartLynx will provide a hotel room and hotel transfers at no cost to you.

Right to Care From SmartLynx

European law provides protection to air passengers.

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

According to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, EU-based airlines have to provide care on all their flights. Non-EU airlines have to provide care only if the disrupted flight departs from a European airport.

Short Delays (3+ Hours)

You can get: food and drinks.

If your delay lasts for three hours or more during the day and is relatively minor, SmartLynx will provide you with free meals and drinks. Additionally, you will have the option to make two complimentary phone calls and send emails, or faxes. These services are provided in the form of vouchers.

Long Delays (Overnight)

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

If you experience an overnight delay, SmartLynx will ensure you have access to complimentary accommodation, airport transfers, meals, and beverages. If you haven’t received any information regarding these provisions, we recommend you reach out to SmartLynx promptly.

How to Get Free Food and Free Hotel Accommodation?

If you experience a long delay at the airport, SmartLynx will proactively offer you complimentary amenities like food, accommodation, and transportation. These benefits will be automatically provided to you during your delay.

If these services are not available, it becomes essential for you to make your way to the SmartLynx customer service desk and ask about them. European law requires that the airline provides these services at no cost for eligible delays.

There may be rare instances where the airline does not arrange these services for you, requiring you to organize them on your own. Keep all receipts and proof of purchase for meals, beverages, transfers, and hotel accommodation. Collect these important documents and send a detailed refund request to SmartLynx. Clearly state your expenses during the delay and provide all necessary details for a smooth reimbursement process.

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Extraordinary Circumstances

Let’s start with defining this term.

What Are Extraordinary Circumstances?

Extraordinary circumstances refer to unexpected events beyond the airline’s control that result in-flight changes, delays, or cancellations. This includes severe weather, strikes unrelated to the airline’s staff, security concerns, political unrest, or hidden manufacturing defects that jeopardise flight safety.

In these circumstances, although passengers may experience inconvenience, the airline is not required to provide compensation under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

However, the right to care mentioned earlier still applies.

Are Technical Problems Considered Extraordinary Circumstances?

In most cases, technical issues are not considered unforeseen circumstances under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The regulation clearly states that technical problems that occur during normal airline operations are not classified as extraordinary, as they are within the control of the airline.

Routine maintenance or minor repairs are included in this category. Typically, these matters are the airline’s responsibility and cannot be used as an excuse to avoid providing compensation or care to passengers.

However, if there is a hidden manufacturing defect that compromises the safety of the flight, it could be considered extraordinary. These cases 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 During Extraordinary Circumstances

Passengers maintain the right to care even during extraordinary circumstances.

Although SmartLynx may not be responsible for compensating disruptions caused by events beyond their control, they are still obligated to address your needs during the delay. This includes offering meals, beverages, and, if necessary due to a substantial delay, accommodation.

The same rule applies when alternative transport needs to be arranged due to a cancelled flight – you are entitled to this service.

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Right to Care: FAQ

In this portion, we address some of the frequently asked questions about passengers’ right to care during flight delays and cancellations with SmartLynx.

What Does “Right to Care” Mean?

The term ‘right to care’ pertains to the obligations that airlines, including SmartLynx, have to meet towards their passengers when faced with flight delays, overbooking (denied boarding), and cancellations.

As per European legislation, airlines are mandated to ensure passengers’ comfort during such instances, by providing free meals, drinks, and lodging in scenarios of substantial holdups.

Do I Have a Right to Care if My SmartLynx Flight Is Delayed?

If your SmartLynx flight is delayed for 3 hours or longer, the airline is expected to provide you with amenities like complimentary meals, beverages, and necessary accommodations for overnight delays.

If you don’t receive these services, go to the SmartLynx customer service counter at the airport and ask. Another option is to pay for the services yourself and then submit a compensation claim. It’s recommended to start this process as soon as possible.

If My SmartLynx Flight is Cancelled, Do I Still Have the Right to Care?

Certainly, even if your flight gets cancelled, you still have the right to care and assistance.

This means that SmartLynx is responsible for providing you with food, drinks, and accommodation (if needed), as well as arranging an alternate mode of transportation to your destination. If the cancellation is due to the airline’s mistake, you have the right to claim compensation for the flight cancellation.

Can I Get Care if My Flight Is Cancelled/Delayed Due to Extraordinary Circumstances?

Indeed, even in the face of extraordinary circumstances, which are scenarios beyond the control of the airline, your right to care remains effective.

This means that regardless of flight delays or cancellations caused by severe weather events, security threats, or labour disputes, you have the right to receive complimentary meals, drinks, and accommodation if needed.

How Do I Request Reimbursement If I Had to Pay for My Own Food and Accommodation?

If SmartLynx fails to provide you with meals, accommodation, or airport transport, you can seek reimbursement for your essential expenses. Keep all receipts and proof of purchase for these costs.

Submit them, along with a description of your expenses during the disruption, to SmartLynx for a refund. Please note that this policy only covers necessary costs, so avoid overspending on extravagant meals and anticipate a refund.

Is the Right to Care Valid on All SmartLynx Flights?

The right to care applies to all SmartLynx flights.

As SmartLynx operates under EU regulation, Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 grants the right to care for all flights departing from or arriving in Europe.

However, it’s crucial to note that with non-European airlines, this regulation only applies to flights that are departing from Europe. 

Does This Only Apply to European Passengers?

No, the right to care is applicable to all passengers on SmartLynx flights, irrespective of nationality. European Union and UK government regulations—Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and Regulation UK261—ensure that airlines operating within Europe provide care and compensation to passengers in relevant circumstances.

Therefore, all passengers on SmartLynx flights are protected, regardless of their nationality.

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.