Flight Delay Compensation

Get up to €600 for flight delays of more than 3 hours under EU 261 Rule

If your flight is delayed for over 3 hours you are entitled to compensation up to €600 (or £530) under EC Regulation 261/2004. In addition, you can claim for flights delayed back up to 6 years.

The rule says that the flight should have been delayed at the final destination for 3+ hours to file the claim. It should have either departed from EU airport or arrived at an EU airport with an EU regulated airline.

With our free flight delay compensation calculator, you can easily find the amount to claim. The amount varies depending on the route distance and duration of the delay. Which is why our calculator is so helpful.

We understand that flight delays are frustrating. But this step-by-step guide can help you to get the reimbursement fast.

If you don't want to read the whole thing, use the following links to jump straight to a topic.

EU Air Passenger Rights

According to EU 261 Rule, passengers are entitled to compensation of up to €600 for longer flight delays, flight cancellations without prior notice and denied boarding due to overbooking.

Airlines are not liable to compensate for flight problems due to exceptional circumstances (like the strike, bad weather, etc.). Which is fair.

There are different kinds of flight delays. There are short ones that cause some frustration. Then there are really long ones that cause agitation. The law tries to treat passengers according to the length of delay.

If the delay is more than 2 hours, airlines should provide free meals, refreshments, two phone calls and access to emails or fax.

Hotel accommodation and transport facility (between airport and hotel) should be the airline's responsibility during an overnight delay.

If the airlines do not provide these services, ask them. It's your right, as long as you have a valid ticket. Hotel, travel, and meals are not cheap. Under the law, the airlines should pay for these, not you.

Here is how this works. The airline should give you vouchers for food, hotel etc. If they don’t, go ahead and ask someone who works for the airline.

If they still don’t help you, get creative. Pay the bills but keep the receipts. Then show these when filing claim. But be reasonable with expenses.

Airlines are not obligated to pay for fancy things. If you handover receipts for alcohol, luxury hotels or expensive meals, you won’t get back any money.

Here is great news. Even when the delay is due to bad weather you still have the right to these services. Now you know why it pays to know your rights.

European air passengers also have travel rights under the Montreal Convention and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

What to do if your airline delays flight?

When the delay exceeds 3 hours, you are eligible for compensation. It's even valid for connecting flights if booked under the same leg. Before filing the claim make sure that the airline cannot prove the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.

Look at it this way, it is you versus the airline. They would prefer not to compensate you. But their delay messed up your plans. So, think of it as building a court case. The airline needs to be 'found guilty'. Ok, enough of court language.

You get the point. The airline will reject the claim in extraordinary circumstances. So, make sure that the airline was responsible for the delay. In most cases, it is not that difficult to establish.

Plane delayed for more than 5 hours

For delays of more than 5 hours, you should get free meals, drinks, two phone calls and access to emails. In addition, you should be re-routed to the earliest available flight. Alternatively, you can ask for a refund of ticket cost if you are not willing to travel.

You may also be eligible for compensation if you travelled with the scheduled or replacement flight but arrived 3 hours late.

We just mentioned that airlines are reluctant in returning your money. So, you need to be a little clever to get it.

And there are some easy ways to do that. Have confirmation of the delay in writing. If possible, collect evidence for your claim.

When filing delayed flight claim keep the following in mind:

  • Have the document of planned departure and arrival time
  • Note the exact arrival time, i.e., when the aircraft doors were opened after landing
  • Check-in on time (2 hours before the scheduled departure time so that the airline cannot prove that you were absent)
  • Stay at the airport and carefully listen to the announcements
  • Try to collect additional evidence (e.g. take photos of the departure/arrival board)
  • Ask airline customer services for the reason behind the delay
  • Find out exactly "Why was your flight delayed?"
  • Exchange contact info with co-passengers who can act as witnesses if necessary
  • Keep your boarding pass and other travel documents with you
flight arrivals

When are you eligible for EU flight delay compensation?

You need to meet the following conditions to be eligible for compensation under the EU Law:

  1. Flight should have been delayed for more than 3 hours on arrival.
  2. You must have travelled within the EU Member States, or you should have been departed from an EU airport.
  3. The claim is valid even if the departure was from a Non-EU airport. Provided that it lands at an EU airport with an EU-registered airline.
  4. You can claim for flights delayed 6 years ago or less in the United Kingdom.
  5. EU law is even valid for Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, although these countries are outside of the EU.
  6. For Germany, the claim eligibility extends back up to 3 years. Spain, Italy, France, and the other EU Member States, allow claims back up to 2 years. However, in Poland, it is only valid up to one year.
delayed flight stranded passen

Note: Even after Brexit, the EU Law still applies in the UK, until it completely leaves the EU, i.e., by March 2019. We will keep you updated on it.

Is EU 261 Rule applicable to air passengers outside of EU?

The EU 261 Rule holds even outside of the EU. If the flight departs from any airport in the EU and lands anywhere in the world, the rule covers it. Also, the flight that arrived into the EU Member States registered as an EU-regulated airline, is covered.

To summarize:

Origin and Destination EU Airline Non-EU Airline
From Inside EU To Inside EU Yes Yes
From Inside EU To Outside EU Yes Yes
From Outside EU To Inside EU Yes No
From Outside EU To Outside EU No No

Examples:

  • Flight from the UK to the US. British Airways flight from London (LHR) to Los Angeles (LAX) delayed for 3 or more hours makes you eligible for compensation.
  • Both airports inside the EU. Even the EasyJet airline will be liable to pay compensation for a delayed flight from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Malaga (AGP).
  • Both locations are outside of EU country. Passengers CANNOT claim for a delay with Ryanair airlines if travelling from Tel Aviv Yafo (TLV) to Agadir (AGA), as both the airports are outside of EU.

Knowing your rights can make a huge difference. You will know exactly what to expect at airports. Frankly, if you sound like someone who knows their rights, the airline crew will pay special attention. No one likes to get in trouble with the law.

Amount of Compensation for Flight Delays

How much compensation for a delayed flight can be claimed?

The compensation amount depends on the duration, route distance and reason behind the delay. The following table shows the reimbursement amount that you are entitled to under the EU Regulation 261/2004:

Delay On Arrival Distance Flight Delay Claim
Up to 2 hours - 59 minutes All None
3 hours or more* <= 1,500 km € 250
1,500 - 3,500 km € 400
> = 3,500 km € 600

*If you take off from Europe and face a delay outside, you get up to €600 in compensation.

Explained with examples:

  1. If your flight was delayed for more than 3 hours and the route distance was less than 1500 km (e.g. London to Madrid), you can request compensation of up to 250 Euros.
  2. If your flight was delayed for more than 3 hours and the route distance was between 1501 km and 3500 km. (e.g. Paris to Istanbul), you can demand compensation of up to 400 Euros.
  3. If your flight has a 3 hours delay and the route distance was more than 3500 km (e.g. Frankfurt to Beijing), you can claim compensation of up to 600 Euros.

You can measure the distance of your route with great circle mapper tool. Simply enter the names of departure and arrival airports. To calculate the compensation from the airline, use our free compensation calculator.

What Our Customers Rated Us

Outstanding

Rating star

Claim Flights helped many airlines passengers for their compensation claims and they are happy with us. See what our customers rated us: 9.4 from 10 star based on 283 Reviews..

TRUSTPILOT
Flight Delay Compensation Calculator
E.g., 18.10.2018
Flight Delay Compensation Calculator
E.g., 18.10.2018
Flight Delay Compensation Calculator
E.g., 18.10.2018

The calculation of the delay takes place from the so-called "WOG Wheel off Ground" to the door opening (from lift off to when the flight crew opens the door after landing). The airlines may try to interpret this scheme in their favour.

Compensation for Holiday Packages

Do airlines have to compensate for delayed flights on package holidays?

European Union Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 provides protection for tour packages, travel packages, vacation packages, and holiday packages. Your travel destination can be anywhere in the world. But the package must be purchased within the EU member states.

Your travel itinerary should clearly state the original and final destinations, route and transport facility. Before the trip, the tour operator should inform you about the time, the location of any stopovers and flight connections.

The tour operator is responsible solely for any breach of terms and conditions. Airlines might amend the price if they have mentioned it in their terms.

The tour organizer shall file the claim on passenger's behalf for travel delays. Your tour organizer should ask for reimbursement and you should get the full refund of flight ticket cost within 7 days. Repayment can be in cash, check or electronic bank transfer.

Another form of reimbursement would be to re-route you to your final destination. The airline should arrange the earliest available flight for you. Alternatively, you can choose the most convenient flight according to your travel plans.

Business Travelers' Rights

Recent European court ruling confirms that only the flight passenger can claim compensation, not the one who paid for the ticket.

Counting business trips under working hours will affect your compensation. Reimbursement for flight delay or cancellation during working hours mostly goes to the employer. And compensation during private and unpaid hours goes to the passenger.

Can you claim for delays due to Extraordinary Circumstances?

Extraordinary circumstances are the conditions - beyond the control of airlines - that cause flight disruption, despite taking reasonable preventive measures.

Some examples of exceptional circumstances are:

  1. Earthquake, volcanic eruption, extremely bad weather, Tsunami, etc.
  2. Crew member's strike causing all the flights with other airlines to fly late.
  3. Unseen technical problems, like a bird hitting the plane engine.
  4. The destined country is into political unrest.

'Extraordinary circumstances' are considered 'Acts of God', which absolve the airlines from paying monetary compensation. However, you may still claim if other airlines were able to operate under the same conditions.

Strike Acts Of God Technical Problem
Extraordinary Circumstances(you cannot claim compensation) A strike is considered as an exceptional circumstance which cannot be avoided and thus you cannot claim compensation. Volcanic eruption, Tsunami, Hurricane and Hailstones are 'Acts of God '; you are not eligible for compensation. Fall under exceptional circumstances if the airline could not have avoided the technical problem.
Not an Extraordinary Circumstance(you can claim compensation) You might get compensation if the flight delay was avoidable and other airlines were able to fly during the strike. You are eligible to claim if the airline could have prevented it, for example, by cleaning the runway correctly. It is not an exceptional circumstance if was preventable. For example, by catching birds on the runway, or keeping spare parts.

How to claim compensation for a delayed flight?

With Claim Flights, it is very simple. Enter flight information, i.e. flight number and flight date, into the free delayed flight compensation calculator. Then, enter the reason behind delay or cancellation in the online compensation checker tool.

Within 2 minutes you will find the amount that you can ask from the airline.

You can also Do It Yourself (DIY) using our free flight delay compensation template letter. If the airlines don't help you, we are always here to fight for your rights.

Flight Delay Compensation Calculator

We offer free of charge "delayed flight compensation calculator". In just 2 minutes, you can check for free the amount that you can receive for your delayed flight.

It is easy to use and quite handy. Just open our compensation calculator and find out how much does the airline owe you. You can do this in a couple of minutes.

Knowing that you will get money for putting up with the delay will ease your frustration. At least a little.

Why Choose "Claim Flights"?

Claim Flights follows "No Win No Fee" policy. You do not pay any fee for using our service until we 'win' the compensation. Our team of experts know how to get the airlines' attention when they ignore passengers' claims.

Simply provide us with your flight details and let us claim on your behalf. We charge less than other claim companies. Our customers are not just satisfied but thrilled to claim with us. We have a proven track record; 95% who claim with us, win compensation.

You only pay 25% of the compensation plus VAT, which is much less than the other claim companies. While processing claims, we send you regular updates of your case. Transparency is key!

Our 3 Steps Claim Process:

Step 1
Enter Your Flight Details

Enter the Flight number and date to check your case for free.

It only takes 2 minutes to enter all the desired information and to sign the digital contract.

Step 2
Let Us Work

Our claim experts will research your case with the help of our comprehensive database and begin the process.

We bring your claim through.

Step 3
Get Paid

We send compensation (minus our commission + VAT) directly to your bank account.

On request, we will send you a digital .pdf invoice.

Flight Delay Compensation Calculator
E.g., 18.10.2018
Flight Delay Compensation Calculator
E.g., 18.10.2018