EU Flight Delay

Once in a while, a traveller experiences a frustrating flight delay which may have a domino effect and cause other inconveniences. EU regulation 261 protects passengers by ensuring that airlines are held responsible in the event of flight delays. The EC 261 law provides up to £520 per traveller as compensation for delayed flights. However, the law is not applicable in all cases and travellers should be familiar with the provisions of the legislation so that their rights are upheld.

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How the EU protects passengers through the EC 261 regulation

At AirHelp, we help passengers claim their compensation in case of delays experienced in their journey. AirHelp specializes in assisting passengers in understanding their rights and securing their payment quickly. To start with, though, passengers need to be sure about which circumstances make them eligible for compensation. This is because airlines are unlikely to take the initiative and inform you when they owe you money.

Passengers should note the specific details of their flight delay as airlines compensate delays according to the time the passenger waited for the flight and the length of the flight journey. The EU regulation covers all flights within the EU. It also covers flights that arrive in or depart from the EU, as long as the airline in question is based in the EU. Additionally, if the delayed flight causes you to miss a second flight, you may claim missed connection compensation based on the distance between the two stages.

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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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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