The EC 261 regulation exists to ensure that passengers give passengers rights during delays and cancellations and that they receive appropriate compensation. You are eligible for flight delay compensation regardless of whether the airline provided you with refreshments or travel vouchers while you waited for your delayed flight.
A traveller will be eligible for compensation if they checked in for their flight on time (at least 45 minutes before takeoff) and the plane departed from the EU (with any global airline) or landed in the EU (if the airline is registered in the EU). Additionally, the plane needs to have reached its destination 3 hours later than the original arrival time.
The reason for the delay also has to have been within the airline's control, so not down to things such as bad weather or security risks. The sum of your delay compensation is dependent on a pair of factors - the amount of time you were late to your destination and the distance of your journey. If you were more than 3 hours late to your destination, and your delayed flight travelled less than 932 miles (1,500km), the airline could owe you up to 250 EUR. Or it could owe you up to 400 EUR for EU flights over 932 miles (1,500km) and non-internal EU flights less than 2,175 miles (3,500km). For non-internal EU flights over 2,175 miles (3,500km), a delay of 3-4 hours could entitle you to up to 300 EUR in compensation, while more than 4 hours could earn up to £520.
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.
If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:
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