Why dont people claim flight delay compensation when they are entitled to it?

Date: 24 APR 23

Air travel has become a fundamental part of modern life, allowing people to travel around the world for both business and pleasure. However, flight delays can disrupt travel plans, cause inconvenience and sometimes lead to financial loss. Under certain circumstances, passengers are entitled to claim compensation for these delays. Yet, despite the regulations and laws in place to protect air passengers, many people still fail to claim the compensation they are entitled to. In this article, we will explore the reasons why people don't claim for flight delay compensation when they are entitled to it. 

Lack of Awareness

One of the primary reasons why people don't claim compensation for flight delays is a lack of awareness. Many people simply do not know that they are entitled to compensation in certain situations. Regulations such as the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 set out clear rules about when airlines are obliged to pay compensation to passengers for flight delays, but these regulations are not widely known.

In some cases, passengers may not even realise that their flight is delayed. They may assume that the flight is simply running late or that it will depart soon, only to find out later that they have missed their connecting flight or that they have been delayed for several hours. This lack of awareness can lead to missed opportunities to claim compensation. 

Difficulty in Understanding Regulations

Even when passengers are aware of their right to claim compensation, the regulations around flight delay compensation can be complicated and difficult to understand. Different rules apply to different situations, and airlines may have their own interpretation of the regulations.

For example, under the EU Flight Compensation Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation for delays of more than three hours, but only if the delay was the airline's fault. If the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather or strikes, then the airline is not required to pay compensation. This can be difficult for passengers to understand, and some may give up on making a claim if they feel they do not fully understand the rules. 

Time and Effort Required

Making a claim for flight delay compensation can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Passengers may need to gather evidence, such as flight tickets and boarding passes, to support their claim. They may also need to fill out complex claim forms and submit them to the airline or to a claims management company.

In some cases, passengers may need to seek legal advice or take legal action to pursue their claim. This can be a daunting prospect for many passengers, particularly if they are not familiar with the legal system or do not have the financial resources to pay for legal representation.

As a result, many passengers may decide that the effort required to make a claim is not worth the potential payout. They may also feel that the compensation they are entitled to is not significant enough to justify the time and effort required to make a claim. 

Lack of Faith in the System

Another reason why passengers may not claim compensation for flight delays is a lack of faith in the system. Some passengers may feel that airlines are not committed to honoring their obligations to pay compensation and that the claims process is designed to be difficult and time-consuming.

This lack of trust in the system can be exacerbated by negative experiences with previous attempts to make a claim. Passengers may have had their claims rejected or may have experienced long delays in receiving their compensation. This can make them hesitant to try again, particularly if they feel that the odds are stacked against them.

Perception of the Delay

Finally, passengers may not claim compensation for flight delays if they do not perceive the delay to be significant enough. For example, a delay of a few hours may not seem like a significant inconvenience to some passengers, particularly if they are not traveling for business or have no connecting flights to catch.

In some cases, passengers may also assume that the airline will offer compensation or other forms of assistance, automatically without the need to apply for it. In the UK train companies will automatically refund passengers direct to the card used to book the tickets if they encounter a delay over a certain time period.


There are many reasons why passengers don't claim compensation when they have a legal right to it, the time and effort to contact the airlines to pursue the claim can lead to endless hours on premium telephone lines or being ignored completely - both common tactics used by airlines to discourage passengers from claiming in the first place. Other passengers are against the claiming culture which is so prevalent these days and do not want to blame the airline for something that they deemed was only a minor inconvenience.  We have won thousands for passengers who had forgotten they had been delayed and were able to secure compensation of up to £520 per passenger per delay. 

If you have been delayed for over 3 hours or had a flight cancelled at short notice you may have a claim for compensation. Click the following link to see if your eligible. https://www.flightdelayclaim.com/flight-checker/

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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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