EU Airline Compensation
The provisions of the European Union legislation EC 261/2004 entitles passengers who have suffered disruption on EU airlines to claim compensation of up to £520. Thanks to this law, airlines are obliged to provide passengers financial compensation for instances of flight delays lasting more than three hours and flight cancellations which are not due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline's control. Passengers are also eligible for compensation in the event that they are denied boarding because the flight has been overbooked.
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What conditions are applied to compensation?
For the airline to be bound by the EC 261 regulation, the flight has to leave from an airport in the EU or the airline has to be registered in the EU. The compensation you are eligible for depends on the distance that the flight covers. Flights less than 930 miles (1500 km) could attract 250 EUR compensation in case of disruption. If the journey was between 930 miles (1500 km) and 2,175 miles (3500 km), then you could be entitled to up to 400 EUR. Lastly, disrupted flights longer than 2,175 miles (3500 km) can achieve the maximum compensation of £520.
The trip has to be delayed for more than three hours for the claim to be considered. The maximum compensation is 400 EUR for disrupted flights which were due to depart from and arrive in countries which were all within the European Union, even if the flight distance was more than 2,175 miles (3500 km). If a flight delay leads to a missed connection flight, then you are also eligible to claim disruption compensation from an EU airline.
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.
Claiming Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations
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:
How Much Flight Compensation?
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.
What to Do if Your Flight is Delayed or Cancelled
If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:
- Hold onto your boarding pass and other travel documents.
- Ask why the flight was delayed or cancelled.
- Request food, drinks, and if necessary, free transport and hotel accommodation.
- If you had a cancelled flight, ask for an alternative flight or a refund.
- Keep all receipts of any extra expenses you may have had, including necessary food, clothing, etc.
- Be careful not to sign any waivers or accept vouchers that will require you to waive your right to compensation.
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