Did you know that you can claim compensation for airline delays when flying in and out of airports in the European Union? Many people are unaware of their compensation options when flight mishaps occur but it's possible to make substantial claims. Here's what you need to know about the process.
The reason why we're talking about making an airline delay claim is due to a regulation known as EC 261/2004. That might sound like just a series of numbers, but it's a vitally important resource for frequent flyers. Passed by the European Union, the regulation stipulates that airlines must pay compensation when flights are delayed for over three hours - something which most of us have encountered at some stage in our lives. Thanks to the regulation, we don't need to accept it when airlines let us down. Under EC 261/2004, we can submit claims for financial compensation, totalling up to £520 per ticket.
However, some rules apply before these claims are approved. For example, the delay applies to your arrival time, not departure time. So if flights make up time in transit, claims may be inapplicable. Passengers must have checked in on time, their flight must have occurred within the last three years, and the airline must be responsible for causing the delay. So strike action or acts of God like intense storms won't result in successful claims. Flights must also leave from or fly into airports within the European Union or the European Economic Area, which includes Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland. All in all, it's a comprehensive set of compensation measures, and AirHelp is here to assist when delays occur.
AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organisation, here to help air travellers secure compensation for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights .
We make claiming compensation easy and stress-free. Whether you are unsure of your rights, lack the time, or simply want an expert to handle your entire claim for you, AirHelp can help you get what you are rightfully owed.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis, so you can check your compensation risk-free.
How do you know when you should claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight? Though the law can be complicated, we're here to break it down for you:
Delayed flights: you may be able to claim compensation if your flight arrived 3 hours or more late.
Cancelled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was cancelled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
Overbookings: you are owed compensation any time you are denied boarding through no fault of your own — so long as you didn't voluntarily give up your seat.
We should note that if extraordinary circumstances were involved, arirlines are under no obligation to pay compensation. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include bad weather, travel restrictions, and air traffic control strikes. Though these situations cause delays and cancellations, the airline isn't at fault, so can't be expected to offer compensation.
Remember these are European flight regulations and so only apply to flights departing from an EU airport, or flights landing in the EU with a European airline. The table below makes it clear which flights are covered:
Table shows values in € as specified in EC 261
In some circumstances the compensation amount may differ from the standard amounts shown above. The easiest way to find out what you’re owed is to use our Compensation Check.
If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:
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