Despite Brexit, EU regulation 261 will continue to protect the air passenger rights of UK citizens. If a flight that you booked was delayed and it was the fault of the airline, you could be entitled to compensation. A ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2012, makes the rules about compensation clear for long delays on flights departing from European airports. The legislation also applies to flights arriving in European airports, as long as the flight's carrier is headquartered inside the EU. Airlines are obliged to recognize rights that protect travellers and honour claims for flight delay compensation for UK citizens.
You are entitled to information, so after making sure that you have the right flight number, departure time and boarding terminal, ask anyone on the airline's check-in desk or customer support office what the cause for delay is. The airline carrier will have a website or social media account where they post information on flight delays and other disruptions. It doesn't matter what the holdup is, the airline is mandated to provide dining and drinking if they were part of the flight service.
Carriers should provide delayed passengers with meals or meal vouchers if the delay has continued for at least two hours for UK domestic, three hours for EU regional and four hours for long haul flights. If the airline doesn't provide food, buy your own and retain receipts for reimbursement claims. If you have been delayed overnight, your airline must provide accommodation in a standard hotel and supply shuttle transportation. If no sleeping arrangements are made by the airline, find a reasonably priced hotel nearby and retain all receipts for compensation.
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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:
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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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