EU Flight Delay Rights

Many airline passengers have experienced the frustration of a late or cancelled flight. Others have been turned away because their flight has been overbooked. These experiences may be familiar, but 85% of customers don't know that they are eligible for compensation from airlines that fail to deliver service expectations. Passenger rights for disrupted flights are written in law and compensation claims can be worth up to £520 per incident.

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How airline passengers are protected by the law

EU flight delay rights are protected by a piece of legislation called EC 261. This law protects customers flying from, and in certain cases to, EU airports. If you have experienced flight disruption, you may be eligible to up to £520 and you'll have at least three years in which to submit your claim. Worried about the process or understanding the details of the law? AirHelp makes it easy. We have helped millions of travellers around the world to understand their flight rights. We also manage compensation claims on behalf of our customers to save them time and to make the process as easy as possible.

Wondering whether you might be eligible for a flight delay compensation claim? Just input your details into our website and our database will tell you whether your flight was subject to delay or disruption. We can then help you to submit your claim and manage the process for you end-to-end. Don't be like the 55% of people who know that they are eligible for compensation, but who don't submit a claim because the process seems too difficult! AirHelp makes it quick, easy, and free to do - in just a few clicks.

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.

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AirHelp is a part of the Association of Passenger Rights Advocates (APRA) whose mission is to promote and protect passengers’ rights.

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