Are You Entitled to Flight Delay Compensation? Find Out Here

Date: 07 MAY 24

Traveling by air can be stressful, especially when faced with flight delays. Fortunately, if you're flying in or out of the European Union or UK, you might be entitled to compensation under the EU Regulation 261/2004 (EU261). This regulation ensures that passengers are protected and can claim compensation if their travel plans are disrupted. Here’s a clear breakdown of what you need to know to determine if you can claim flight delay compensation.

Understanding EU261

EU261 applies to passengers:

  • Departing from any airport within the EU, regardless of the airline
  • Arriving in the EU from outside the EU, if they are flying with an EU-based airline
  • Notably, this includes not only EU member states but also Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.


Conditions for Claiming Compensation

To claim compensation under EU261, several conditions must be met:

  • Significant Delay: Your flight must be delayed at the destination by more than three hours. It's essential to note that the delay is measured upon arrival, not departure, which means you should check the time you actually reach the gate, not when you land.
  • Flight Distance: Flights under 1,500 km: If delayed more than 3 hours, you may be entitled to €250.
  • Flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km: Delays over 3 hours can entitle you to €400.
  • Flights over 3,500 km: Delays between 3-4 hours at your final destination can entitle you to €300; delays over 4 hours can go up to €600.
  • Non-Extraordinary Circumstances: The delay must be caused by something within the airline’s control, such as operational issues or maintenance delays. You are not entitled to compensation if the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances like severe weather, security risks, or air traffic control decisions.


Additional Rights Under EU261

Beyond compensation for delays, EU261 also ensures that passengers receive:

  • Right to Information: Airlines must inform passengers of their rights under EU261, including how to file a compensation claim.
  • Right to Care: For delays of over two hours (depending on the flight distance), passengers are entitled to meals, refreshments, and, if necessary, accommodation.
  • Right to Reimbursement or Rerouting: If you are delayed at the airport for more than five hours, you have the option to request a full refund of your ticket or be rerouted under comparable conditions.

How to Claim Your Compensation

If you believe you are entitled to compensation:

  • Contact the Airline: Provide details of your flight, the length of the delay, and request compensation in accordance with EU261.
  • Keep Documentation: Save boarding passes, receipts, and any communications with the airline.
  • Follow up: If the airline does not respond or you are unsatisfied with their response, you can escalate your claim to the ADR (alternate dispute resolution) or let us fight your claim for you: Click the link to start your flight delay claim.

Flight delays are frustrating, but EU261 is there to ensure that passengers are not left disadvantaged. Understanding your rights is the first step to ensuring you receive any compensation you're entitled to. So next time your flight is significantly delayed, remember these guidelines and take the necessary steps to claim what you deser

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Have you had a flight delay, missed connection, cancelled flight or have been denied boarding in the last 6 years? If so try our free flight checker to see how much you may be entitled to in compensation for you AND your fellow travellers.

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