Airlines offer a fast, affordable, and convenient way for millions of people to travel in comfort for business and pleasure. However, flight delays can make the experience unpleasant for many passengers. Thankfully, there are laws that uphold a broad range of rights for air travel passengers, including financial reimbursements if airlines disrupt their travel plans.
Claiming flight delay money back depends on several factors, including the time the passenger checked in for the flight and the circumstances that led to the disruption. To qualify for a flight delay compensation, air travellers must arrive for departure at least 45 minutes before takeoff. The claim also depends on the time the plane arrived at its destination. On flights departing from the European Union, passengers can claim up to £520 for flight delays. Air travellers may also be eligible for compensation for certain flights that took off outside the EU but landed in it, based on the location of the carrier's headquarters and the plane's itinerary. During flight delays, airlines have an obligation to provide passengers with everything they need to be comfortable. This includes food and refreshments, access to communication, and hotel accommodation if they have to wait for an alternative flight overnight.
Regardless of the facilities a carrier provides, passengers can still claim full or partial monetary compensation for flight delays. If they choose to, passengers can reject flight vouchers and other offers from carriers and demand financial payments instead when they suffer delays. However, the delay must meet time and destination requirements to be eligible for compensation. It is crucial to keep all documentation and evidence that will aid your compensation claim to ensure airlines honour legal commitments regarding flight delays.
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:
|All flights under 1,500 km||Up to £220 per person|
|Internal EU flights over 1,500 km||Up to £350 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km||Up to £350 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km||Up 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.
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