EU Delay Compensation

If your flight is delayed for reasons that fall within the airline's control you are entitled to EU delay compensation under the regulations of EC 261. Passengers could be entitled to up to £520 depending on the circumstances of the delay, as well as complimentary meals or a hotel stay when it is required. Airlines are also obligated to provide information about passenger rights in the event of a delay, so if you are unsure of what your entitlements are in a given situation you should ask airline staff.

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Did you know you are entitled to money back in the event of a delay?

Compensation amounts will vary based on a number of criteria. However, any delay that exceeds three hours entitles passengers to claim financial compensation. Primary factors that affect the amount of compensation include the total length of the delay and the length of the journey, so you should always make a note of these. Business travellers or those travelling as a public official are also entitled to compensation that is paid directly to them and not to their employer or the state body they represent.

EC 261 also includes a right to care for delayed passengers where essentials such as meals, refreshments and access to communication tools such as phone, fax or email are provided. If you are rerouted but only an upgraded seat is available, it is not legal under EU law for the airline to charge you extra. If however, you are forced to downgrade on an alternate flight, you are entitled to reimbursement of between 30% and 75% of the original fee.

AirHelp is here to help you get compensation for flight delays and cancellations. Find out what you could be entitled to.

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About AirHelp

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:

Claim up to £520 in compensation if your flight has been delayed, cancelled, or overbooked within the last 3 years.

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How Much Flight Compensation?

DistanceCompensation
All flights under 1,500 kmUp to £220 per person
Internal EU flights over 1,500 kmUp to £350 per person
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 kmUp to £350 per person
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 kmUp to £520 per person

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.

Have AirHelp claim your compensation

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