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Cancelled or Delayed Flight? You Must Take Action Within The Year

Unfortunately, the current health crisis is causing more and more flights to be cancelled or severely delayed.

In such cases, you as a passenger have certain rights. These rights were established by the European legislator in a Regulation no. 261/2004, the so-called ‘Passengers Regulation’. These rights apply to passengers who depart from the European Union as well as to passengers who arrive in the European Union.

The European Regulation grants certain rights to passengers in case of the following events:

  • cancellation of a flight;
  • delay of a flight;
  • denied boarding of a flight.

A detailed overview of the rights as a passenger is covered in another of our articles.

One of the rights you can claim, is a monetary compensation.

The amount of the compensation depends on the flight distance:

The airline must pay the compensation in cash, by bank transfer or via bank cheque. A travel voucher or alternative service as compensation is only possible if the passenger agrees to this in writing. Please note: during the corona crisis, different rules were adopted concerning this subject.

Although this does not always happen, the airline is obliged to send a written notice to passengers setting out the rules for compensation and assistance, as well as the contact details of the national authority responsible for verifying compliance with the European Regulation. In Belgium, this national authority is the Directorate-General for Air Transport of the FPS Mobility and Transport.

In order to obtain compensation, you can contact the customer service department of the airline in question. If they do not reply within a reasonable period of six weeks or if you do not agree with the compensation they propose, you can contact the Passenger Rights Service of the FPS Mobility and Transport through an online complaint form.

If the compensation remains unpaid, you can enforce your rights in court. The question then arises within which timeframe your claim must be made. The European Regulation itself does not stipulate a time limit, so the national legal rules on bringing legal actions before court, the so-called ‘statute of limitations’, must be followed.

In Belgium, the statute of limitations vary widely depending on the type of legal action. In the context of this matter, the European Court of Justice has ruled that ‘the obligation to pay compensation to the passenger arises from the air transport contract itself.’ This matter is regulated by book X of the Code of Economic Law in our country.

Art. X.49 par. 3 provides that ‘legal claims arising from the contract of passenger transportation, except those arising from a criminal act, have to be brought before court within one year’.

The statute of limitation starts the day of the event that causes the legal claim. This means that passengers who wish to enforce their right to compensation, must bring their claim before the court within one year after the day of the cancellation or delay.

Given that some time will already have passed by trying to obtain compensation through the airline itself or through the FPS Mobility, the one-year statute of limitations requires fast action.

Failure to comply with the obligations imposed by the Passenger Regulation constitutes a criminal offence. This offence can give rise to a civil or criminal claim, which has a different, longer statute of limitations of 5 years. However, there is only a criminal offence if the airline 1) wrongfully refuses to pay the compensation and 2) if the passenger has submitted his request for compensation in time. This means that the mere fact that the airline doesn’t pay the compensation, is not a criminal offense. Therefore, the passenger cannot simply wait until the airline doesn’t pay and then make a claim within the five-year statute of limitations.

It is clear that passengers whose flight was cancelled or delayed, must keep an eye on the one-year timeframe.

Don’t hesitate to contact our office to verify whether you can still submit your claim for compensation and to guide you through the procedure.

An Eco-Friendly Concept For Your Business

Climate protection is the topic of the day. Companies are also realising that it’s not just the environment that benefits when their own company adopts a more sustainable approach – image and wallet gain as well.

By then it doesn’t matter if your company is small or large. You can own a manufacture, a law firm, or a casino as PlayAmo login Australia, but a real, land-based one. Every company can contribute to environmental protection, regardless of what it produces. Those who act quickly will have an advantage over their competitors.

And doing more for climate protection does not mean that a company has to convert all its products or services to organic, eco, or fair trade overnight. All that is needed is to turn-key levers that are as effective as possible: the more efficient, the smarter. Here are five measures that small and larger companies can implement right now – without turning their entire business model upside down or saddling themselves with huge investments.

Switch To Real Green Electricity

Green electricity providers don’t only deliver guaranteed clean electricity. They are also cheaper than the conventional electricity mix of many municipal utilities. So, if you switch to green electricity right now, you save money, drive the energy transition forward, and can – with a clear conscience – write on your website that you are using green electricity.

But beware: not everywhere that says green power is green power! Many self-proclaimed green power providers, for example, belong to nuclear power companies or have no credible seals of approval.

Climate Protection In Business: A Green Business Account In Eco-Bank

If you switch your business account to a sustainable bank, you rule out questionable investments from the outset. Such banks invest money in such spheres as renewable energies or ecological agriculture. Of course, switching accounts involves effort – but it pays off at the latest when you share your new banking data with impressed customers.

Business Trips By Train & Bus

Air travel is partly to blame for the climate crisis, as it emits CO2 and creates contrails. Currently, an estimated four to five percent of greenhouse gases are attributable to aviation (study), and the trend is rising. While percentages are debatable, this does not apply to the finding that rail and long-distance bus are currently the most climate-friendly means of transport available to us for longer journeys. The same cannot be said for the classic car, which has a similarly devastating environmental impact per kilometre as airplanes (at least when only one person is sitting in the car).

A company that takes climate protection seriously will therefore reward its workers who carpool, subsidise public transport tickets and railcards, offer rental bikes and charging stations for e-cars, and of course enable home offices, which save time, money, and CO2.

A sustainable company will also invest in up-to-date technology that allows video conferencing in attractive sound and image quality. There are no environmental costs for an online connection, no travel time is lost, no hotel has to be paid for, and everyone involved can be back with their families in the evening.

Why It Is A Good Idea To Make Your Business More Sustainable

Well, those companies who set up the “Sustainability” menu item on the company website not only show what contribution their own company makes to environmental protection. They also inspire customers and competitors. Anyway, there are much more effective ecological measures that ambitious companies can tackle. For example, the company can use electric cars as company vehicles, think about green health insurance for employees and use more sustainable items. It is also possible to run the company server with green hosting or set photovoltaics systems on the roof to produce own electricity.

So, the number of opportunities is great, and it is quite easy to turn your company into a modern company that supports world ecological trends and contributes to the environment.

Useful Pieces Of Advice To Help You Travel Safely With Your Motorcycle

A motorcycle ride might seem entertaining and thrilling, especially in places where the atmosphere is pleasant, like Florida; but the dangers one can encounter throughout it can be much more harmful than a car accident. If a motorist confronts an accident, they are likely to have more physical damage since motorcycles are not covered, minimising their protection against road crashes.

Hence, the risk of driving a motorcycle is higher, and we must take extra precautions before and while riding for our safety.

Examine Your Motorcycle For A Safe Ride

A safe ride does not begin when you ease off the clutch. The likelihood of a safe motorcycle ride depends on numerous factors that we must examine long before we go out on the road.

Choose the Correct Bike

The most important factor that predicts the safety of a ride is how good a bike is. We must choose the right motorcycle for a stable and safe journey throughout. A bike must have a comfortable seat to support your physical health by keeping your back upright. It must have low maintenance to save your efforts in their preservation. Do not forget to consider the fuel efficiency, power ratio, wet weight, and mileage for a healthy engine and functioning.

Regular Maintenance

Before setting out on an expedition, ensure that you have properly investigated every part of your vehicle. Fix an issue as soon as they come to light. For instance, loose brakes, clutch issues, broken lights, and the list goes on. Have a regular cleaning and maintenance service with a professional service provider to avoid risks while driving.

Some Useful Tips To Travel Safely With Your Motorcycle

Use Brakes

Utilise the brakes while you ride a motorcycle. Push your brakes as soon as you sense any situation that might lead you to danger. Brakes help a rider to have a quick stop when they encounter damaging situations while changing lanes, turning, or crossing a big vehicle. Maintain a safe distance from the other vehicle and firmly hold or press the brake when there is a chance of hitting them. Upgrade your brakes regularly and have a safe ride.

Stay Alert

Whenever you begin your journey on a motorcycle, ensure that you are alert and watchful, especially when you’re riding in the United States. Avoid driving when you feel drowsy and distracted. Due to the negligent practices of the riders, the dangers of riding a motorcycle in Florida, in particular, have increased over time. Many incidents that have been reported until now were the result of the irresponsible behaviour of the riders. The bike riders who lose their focus are more likely to face accidents. Have some coffee or tea before you ride on a bike or keep yourself mentally alert to avoid incidents that might have fatal consequences.

Check The Forecast

Motorcycles have more exposure to the outer environment. They do not have windshields to protect the riders from weather conditions like rain or storms, nor do they have extra shelter and coverage to prevent those situations. Hence, it is recommended to stay updated on the weather forecast before a bike rider leaves for their journey. Avoid riding a bike if rain or storm is predicted in your city.

The Use Of Correct Accessories

Arm yourself with the correct accessories for safe and sound transportation. The correct use of accessories will protect you against possible dangers and give you a safe and comfortable experience while riding. While purchasing a bike, do not forget to buy gloves and a jacket for protection against harsh weather. Wearing appropriate shoes will help you have a firm grip on the accelerators and brakes. Whereas, a good-quality helmet will protect you against head injuries.

The Dangers of Driving A Motorcycle

Lane Splitting

Bike riders have the dangerous practices of splitting lanes, overtaking other vehicles, and rushing through narrow spaces, which multiplies their chances of having severe accidents.

Zero Shelter

A motorcycle, as compared to a four-wheeler, is not covered and has zero protection from the outer environment, which maximises the risk of accidents for a bike rider.

Compared to cars, motorcycles are fuel-efficient, fun, and easy to ride. They help you soak the fresh breeze and engage directly with the scenery. However, motorists are prone to risk the minute they throw a leg over their bike, and this is why it is always suggested to stay aware of the potential risks to help prevent them in the best possible way. Stay on the safe side of driving whenever you get behind the wheel using this helpful guide.

Understanding the Purpose of a Golden Visa

It is not every day that you come across a visa that opens up the borders of an entire continent, but this is exactly what the Golden Visa does. It was introduced by the Portuguese government back in 2012 to attract wealthy investors from outside Europe and it has worked surprisingly well. This blog post will help you understand more about how these visas work, so if you are thinking about applying for one then read on!

What Is A Golden Visa?

A Golden Visa is a visa that provides residency in exchange for investing at least $500,000 USD into the property in the country where it was issued. The amount varies by country and depends on how much money they want to attract from international investors.

For example, Hungary requires an investment of €250k or equivalent currency while Portugal only needs €50k euros or equivalent currency for a Mercan Golden Visa. In some countries, there are no set requirements for what you can invest but most require just one non-refundable purchase of real estate with either a value greater than €300,000 euros or above 500 square meters.

Some countries allow investments such as government bonds which have different rules about how long your investment must be held before getting citizenship; usually three to five years.

Benefits

The Golden Visa offers many benefits such as:

  • Citizenship within one year after obtaining residency status
  • Freedom from visa restrictions when traveling within Europe under Schengen Area membership
  • Access to international education programs offered by many European countries including kindergarten through university-level studies with fewer tuition fees charged for EU students enrolled in higher education institutions
  • The ability to live in a diverse society with different cultures and languages

The program is an excellent opportunity for people who want to invest in real estate, have access to European citizenship, or wish to study abroad without worrying about visa restrictions under EU membership.

Why People Want To Get One

There are many reasons why someone may want to get a Golden Visa, The two main ones for people in the United States for instance are that they have enough money saved up so that they can invest at least €500,000 into the property and live there on an annual basis, or they have a relative who lives in one of these countries.

The first reason is that if you haven’t lived in Europe before then it’s difficult to qualify for residency through any other means than getting married to a European citizen and even more difficult if your family doesn’t already live inside of EU borders.

The latter reason would be used by those who wish to take care of elderly relatives outside of their home country by hosting them over while also being able to travel back and forth.

How To Apply For One

Obtaining a golden visa is not as easy as it might seem. Countries are starting to adopt more stringent requirements; Portugal requires that the applicant has invested at least 500,000 Euros in Portugal or 250,000 Euros into an approved business project.

The country also now demands proof of health insurance coverage by applicants who do not already have residency status there.

These stricter regulations may be due to recent cases where fraudsters were uncovered using fake documents and/or contacts with Portugal government representatives in order to make such investments on behalf of others without their knowledge.

To get one you’ll need proof that your wealth is legitimate; documents such as bank statements, pension plans, shares certificates, deeds of property, etc., along with evidence that you have access to sufficient funds while living abroad, such as a monthly income statement from a non-working spouse.

The Types

In order to apply for a golden visa, it is important to be aware that there are many different types and each comes with its own requirements and benefits.

The Immigrant Investor Visa

Requires applicants to have either €500 000 into real estate in their new country or at least €250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to improve their quality of life in return for an investment.

The Retirement Visa

Requires applicants to be at least 55 years old and have €400 000 invested into government bonds, or shares. They can also invest €350 000 into real estate anywhere on the Portuguese coast; this option comes with a requirement that they maintain ownership of the property during their stay (and it must remain free from any mortgages). This type of visa is good if you are looking towards retirement and wish to live close to the ocean.

The Business Investor Visa

Requires applicants to have either £200 000 into business in their new country OR £250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to set up a business and live in Portugal.

The Ph.D. Student Visa

Requires applicants to be studying, researching, or teaching at an accredited Portuguese university. This type of visa will enable you to study without any tuition fees

The Innovator’s Visa

Has not yet been released but it is expected that the requirements will include either £200 000 into research projects or £250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares).

The Entrepreneur Visa

This one is also coming soon! The entrepreneurial visa offers residence permits with minimum investments of €50k in new companies registered outside Portugal. Applicants must have control over all company decisions. The Portuguese government has been very generous in that it does not require applicants to leave Portugal for at least five years and, if they do decide to live elsewhere during this time period, they will still be able to maintain their visa status by providing proof of regular visits back home

The individual investor Visa

Requires applicants have €100k invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This is the easiest option because there are no other conditions attached to it but you should note that with all types of visas there may be restrictions on employment opportunities depending on where your investment lies. For example, an immigrant investor cannot work as a doctor while applying for residency nor can he/she take up any jobs related to Portuguese immigration.

The Immigrant Investor Visa

Requires applicants to have either €500 000 into real estate in their new country or at least €250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to improve their quality of life in return for investing in the local country’s economy.

A Golden Visa is an opportunity to live in another country without having to go through the same visa process as everyone else. Whether you’re looking for more exotic and exciting places to visit, or if you just don’t feel at home where you currently reside – there are many reasons why someone may desire this type of immigration status.

Vote Now: 2018 Awards of Excellence Ballot

Welcome to our Annual Awards of Excellence. These are Luxury Travel Advisor’s “readers’ choice awards,” where suppliers and top executives are honoured for their superb performances throughout the year.

The nominees you’ll see by clicking on the link below have been selected by our advisory board; these are the luxury travel advisors who have graced the covers of our magazine over the past 13 years. As we add new cover profiles, the advisory board grows, creating a diverse array of opinion from year to year.

Next steps? The ballot now goes out to our general readership (advisors only, please) to cast the final vote for who deserves top honours for the best in luxury travel. Please do voice your opinion, for as you know, every vote makes a difference. Voting ends Friday, March 29, 2019. The winners will be announced at the 2019 ULTRA Summit, which will take place May 21-23 at Reunion, A Salamander Resort in Kissimmee, FL.

If you would like to cast your vote, please click on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/18awardsofexcellence