How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flight

The European regulation (EC 261) gives information on how to claim compensation for delayed flights and cancelled bookings. This law came into force in 2005 and is binding in the EU states. The main objective of EC 261 is to ensure passenger rights when it comes to denied boarding, delays, cancellations, and downgraded flights.

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Actions to Take When a Flight is Delayed

If you believe you have a case, input your details to the AirHelp compensation check. Each airline has a specific process to follow which may involve filling in a claim form, but if you are eligible, AirHelp can do the paperwork for you. Under the EC 261/2004 passenger rights, anyone who has been denied boarding of a flight in any EU airport due to overbooking is entitled to a reimbursement of up to £510, regardless of their destination or airline. Similarly, the compensation for a delayed flight guarantees up to £510 for any flight that is postponed by at least three hours.

This law only applies to airports in the European Union. However, Norway and Switzerland have signed in to the regulation for the benefit of their citizens. Flight delay compensation applies to any traveller, no matter their nationality or age, taking off from an EU-based airport or landing in an EU country with an EU-based airline. All flights departing from and landing into the United Kingdom on EU airlines are covered by the EC 261/2004 regulation. Asian, American, and Middle Eastern airlines must comply with this law when departing from EU airports.

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?

 
Distance Compensation
All flights under 1,500 km Up to €250 per person
Internal EU flights over 1,500 km Up to €400 per person
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km Up to €400 per person
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km Up to €600 per person

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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