How To Claim Airline Compensation

If your flight was delayed, cancelled, or otherwise disrupted, you should check whether you are entitled to compensation from the airline. EU air passenger rights protect passengers on flights within the EU, departing from the EU, or arriving into an EU country on an EU-registered airline.

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Delay or Cancellation? What to Expect from Airlines

If your flight is delayed, the airline is obligated to provide food and drink, access to phone calls and emails, and accommodation if you're delayed overnight. Depending on the distance of the flight and the duration of the delay, the airline may provide reimbursement, a return flight, or financial compensation.

If your flight is cancelled, you are entitled under EU law to receive a full refund for the cost of the flight or a replacement flight to your destination. You also have a legal right to assistance with costs incurred due to the cancellation, or financial compensation, depending on specific circumstances. If you have to wait a long period for your replacement flight, you are entitled to receive access to emails and phone calls, food and drink, and accommodation overnight if necessary.

To claim compensation for your disruptions, contact the customer service department of the airline directly. Keep any written copies of your claims, or of any responses received from the airline. If you are unsuccessful in claiming the compensation you are entitled to, or you have not received a reply within 8 weeks, contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) will advise on whether you have a valid complaint, and if so, will take up the issue with the airline concerned. If you are not satisfied with the solution the CAA reaches, you can choose to take up legal action against the airline.

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?

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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