AirHelp is the Top Flight Delay Compensation Claims Service in the World
It’s quick and easy to see if you’re eligible for any flight you’ve taken in the last five years.
How it works
It’s simple. Submit your flight details online, or via the AirHelp mobile app, to start your claim for flight delay compensation. We do the rest.
Check the eligibility of your flight delay claim
First, we check your flight details to see if your delay qualifies. We look at factors like the weather and technical issues to determine if, and how much, you could qualify for in compensation.
We enforce your right to compensation from the airline
Next, you give us the OK to fight on your behalf, and we legally represent you in your case against the airline. Some claims are very quick, and we send you updates throughout the process.
You get paid for your flight delay
Lastly, and most importantly, you get paid. We appreciate speed matters, so AirHelp offers several payment methods to receive your compensation claim, and setting up your account is simple.
Why use AirHelp?
Trusted, Legal Industry Experts
98% Success Rate in Court
No Win, No Fee
With AirHelp, it’s simple.
Submit your flight details, receive updates, get paid for your flight delay.
Our team of trusted, industry experts simplify the compensation claims process for air passengers who have experienced flight delays by taking legal action on their behalf in order to get the highest compensation amount they are entitled to.Check compensation
AirHelp vs Doing it yourself
AirHelp has done this for over two million passengers. Our team knows the law inside-and-out, and how to navigate the legal process of claiming compensation to get you the money you deserve. That’s precious time you don’t have to waste going back-and-forth with the airline, or having to go to a small claims court to make your case.vs
Doing it yourself
Airlines would rather give you a voucher to quiet your complaint than give you the money you deserve, so more often than not they will deny your initial claim, or they may ignore your claim request entirely. Either way, the burden of time and navigating the complex legal system is placed on you.
Flight Delay Compensation
- Flight delay checklist
- Is your flight eligible? You are entitled to cash compensation if…
- How much you could be owed when your flight is delayed?
- Are all flight delays covered?
- How is the delay calculated?
- How do I apply for compensation if my flight is delayed?
- What sort of paperwork do I need for my claim?
- Are there any other rights that come with EC261?
- I’m stranded on the tarmac - what should I do?
- Business travellers and public officials are also entitled to compensation
- Additional entitlement to food, refreshments and other benefits
- More useful information about air travel disruption
- How to claim your flight delay compensation with major UK airlines
Flight delay checklist
Is your flight eligible? You are entitled to cash compensation if…
– You arrive at your destination more than three hours later than planned.
– You have checked in for your flight on time (generally no less than 45 minutes before departure).
– You encountered these problems on a flight operated no more than three years ago.
– The airline is responsible for the delay (e.g. technical fault or sick crew).
– The flight took off in the EU (from any airline) or landed in the EU (provided that the airline is headquartered in the EU).
It doesn’t matter whether the airline has already provided you with food, refreshment or travel vouchers.
How much you could be owed when your flight is delayed?
Length of delay Less than 3 hours 3 – 4 hours More than 4 hours Never arrived Distance € – €250 €250 €250 All flights 1,500 km or less € – €400 €400 €400 Internal EU flights over 1,500 km € – €400 €400 €400 Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km € – €300 €600 €600 Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km
Are all flight delays covered?
Only delays longer than three hours are covered.
The arrival time is not when the wheels touch down on the runway, but when the plane is parked at the gate and the door is opened. This can sometimes be a difference of 15 minutes or more, so it’s important to be precise. How long can a flight be delayed without compensation? Three full hours.
Extraordinary circumstances are not covered.
The airline can also avoid liability if the delay was due to what is known as “extraordinary circumstances.” These include situations like lightning strikes, medical emergencies, labour strikes, serious adverse weather conditions, Air Traffic Control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, acts of sabotage, political unrest, acts of terrorism… you get the idea.
Does snow count as a ‘serious adverse weather condition’?
It depends whether or not the airline could have prevented the problem. If, for example, the airline failed to ensure that there were sufficient supplies of de-icer before the onset of winter, it could be held responsible for the delay – especially if flights operated by other airlines were able to depart on time.
Not-so-extraordinary circumstances should be covered.
Airlines often cite “technical difficulties” or “operational circumstances” as reasons for delays. The good news is that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has repeatedly stated that those don’t qualify as “extraordinary circumstances,” which means they are not sufficient to relieve the airline of its obligations under EC 261.
Are all flights covered by EC261?
Almost all routes within Europe are covered. This includes not only EU airspace, but also Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the so-called “outermost-regions” (French Guiana and Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion, Saint-Martin, Madeira and the Azores, and the Canary Islands).
A common misconception is that EC 261 only applies to flights within Europe, but that’s not the case. If your flight departs from any airport in the EU, it’s covered. And it’s also covered if your flight departs from outside the EU but is with an EU airline. Like so:
Itinerary EU Air Carrier Non-EU Air Carrier From inside the EU to inside the EU Covered Covered From inside the EU to outside the EU Covered Covered From outside the EU to inside the EU Covered Not Covered From outside the EU to outside the EU Not Covered Not Covered
How is the delay calculated?
It is important to remember that delays are calculated based on the time of arrival, not the departure time. But what exactly is a flight’s “arrival time”? In September 2014, the European Court of Justice (case C-425/13) defined “arrival time ” to be the moment at which the aircraft has reached its final destination and one of its doors is open. This is based on the assumption that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft.
How do I apply for compensation if my flight is delayed?
The first thing you have to do is to determine whether or not you’re entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, finding out this information isn’t as easy as it sounds. You don’t have any access to flight databases, you can’t can’t refer to any similar cases and you don’t have the legal expertise to check whether the Air Passenger Rights Regulation applies.
But don’t worry, as experts for air passenger rights, this is exactly our area of expertise. We can tell you in a matter of minutes whether you are entitled to compensation or not. Simply enter your flight details into our specially designed compensation calculator. It analyses hundreds of thousands of flight movements and weather data and verifies in detail whether the Air Passenger Rights Regulation applies. We will provide you with an immediate initial evaluation free-of-charge.
Check your claim in 2 minutes
If the compensation calculator shows that you’re entitled to compensation, you can instruct us to start asserting your rights straight away. By choosing us, you are opting for the support of a partner that has been successfully asserting air passenger rights for years. We know how to negotiate with airlines and what sort of tricks they have up their sleeve. This allows us to interact with them on an equal footing. We’ll make sure that you get the compensation you are entitled to, even if that means going to court. Incidentally, when cases go to court, we have a success rate of 98%.
What sort of paperwork do I need for my claim?
If you’re filing a claim with AirHelp, you just need to know your flight number. If you’re going to file directly with an airline, you can expect some pushback. Even with EC 261 on your side, they might not be enthusiastic – or quick – about paying you. To give your claim the best chance of succeeding, here are a few pointers:
– Hold onto any documents related to the disrupted flight and any alternative flights offered such as e-tickets and boarding passes.
– Ask the ground crew for information about what is causing the issue.
– Keep a few notes, perhaps on your phone, about the disruption.
– Make a note of the actual arrival time at your final destination. Any information you can collect, such as photos of the departures board at the airport or any communications from the airline confirming the disruption. If you file directly with the airline, they’ll be useful for your claim.
Are there any other rights that come with EC261?
Right to reimbursement or re-routing
In addition to compensation for your loss of time, if your delay exceeds five hours, you are entitled to a full or partial refund of your original ticket and a return flight to your point of departure, if needed.
Right to care
When you’re stuck waiting for the airline to get you back on track toward your destination, you’re entitled to a number of free perks, depending on your flight details. The carrier must provide you with meals and refreshments during the delay as well as access to communications, including two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, and emails.
But here’s the problem with flight delay vouchers
Flight delay vouchers are not what they seem. And of course when you’re tired and hungry and someone is offering you a voucher for free pizza, it’s very hard to say ‘no’.
However the regulations clearly state that compensation should be paid in cash, electronic transfer or checks, unless the passenger chooses to accept travel vouchers instead. Essentially, it’s your choice as to whether to accept the vouchers or not. The data says that most people do.
But you must remember that it’s worth finding out what you might be entitled to if you refuse the airline’s offer and insist on cash instead.
Most people don’t know their rights on what compensation they’re owed. We estimate that even though 8 million people around the world are eligible for compensation, less than 2% will ever get the money they’re entitled to.
I’m stranded on the tarmac - what should I do?
It’s important to take note of the time when the plane doors are closed. Then, if the wait feels like it’s getting a bit longer than normal, you can measure how much time you’ve been sitting on the tarmac. If the wait is too long, there’s something you can do.
European tarmac delays are eligible for compensation just the same way a flight delay is eligible for compensation in Europe. However, if you’re not someone who likes sitting on a busy plane for longer than necessary, it’s a bad situation. While supplying air conditioning, access to lavatories and water is mandatory, the law doesn’t require giving passengers the option to deplane until the tarmac delay reaches five hours.
Business travellers and public officials are also entitled to compensation
Many people think that their employer will be entitled to any compensation for a delay during a business trip but that’s not the case. In fact, it is the passenger who has suffered the inconvenience that is entitled to compensation, not the person who paid for the ticket. This is the general principle set out in the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation for major flight delays, cancellations and cases of overbooking. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an employee of a private-sector company or a public official.
Additional entitlement to food, refreshments and other benefits
If overnight accommodation is necessary, they must provide you with a hotel room and transportation to and from the airport.
Upgrading and downgrading
If you are offered an alternative flight and are lucky enough to get an upgrade, the airline isn’t allowed to charge you anything extra. On the other hand, if the class of the alternative flight is lower, you can get a reimbursement of between 30-75% of the price you originally paid.
Even if you are compensated under EC 261, this doesn’t affect your right to request further compensation. This rule doesn’t apply in cases where passengers have voluntarily surrendered their reservations. But bear in mind that the amount you are entitled to under EC 261 may be deducted from whatever additional compensation you receive.
Obligation to inform passengers of their rights
Airlines are obliged to inform passengers about their rights and the content of EC 261. This means that every airline has to display information on passenger’s rights at check-in counters. You can find the full text of the regulation on this link.
More useful information about air travel disruption
How to claim your flight delay compensation with major UK airlines
European Commission Regulation EC261 covers flight delay compensation on all UK airlines: