London Heathrow Airport Delays and Cancellations - Your Right to Compensation


Don't despair if London Heathrow Airport Delays or cancellations keep you grounded. There are air passenger protections in place, to make sure you're treated fairly and make it to your destination. And we're here to help by ensuring that you receive any compensation you're entitled to following your delay. For example, if you were flying to or from the EU you may be owed up to €600 per person.

Click below to find out exactly what you're owed, and have our expert team help you get it.

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Air Passenger Rights Covering London Heathrow Airport

Europe's air passenger protections (a regulation called EC 261) is one of the most thorough air passenger rights laws available - and it doesn't only protect Europeans. In fact, if your flight took off in an EU airport, or you were flying to Europe on an EU airline, you're protected by EC 261 as well.

So even though London Heathrow Airport (LHR) isn't within the EU, it's still one of the most useful laws for air travelers, and worth knowing about.

EC 261 says that passengers are owed compensation when airlines cause flights to be delayed, canceled or overbooked. The compensation amounts are set by the law and could be as much as €600 per person, and you usually claim for flights from the past 3 years.

Of course, EC 261 isn't the only passenger rights law available, but unfortunately, others are not so comprehensive. Read more about the other global rights that apply at London Heathrow Airport.

Which London Heathrow Airport Flights are Protected by EC 261?

RouteEU AirlineNon-EU Airline
London Heathrow Airport to any EU airport ✔️ Yes ❌ No
Any EU airport to London Heathrow Airport ✔️ Yes ✔️ Yes
Flights not to or from the EU ❌ No ❌ No

Delayed or canceled flight at London Heathrow Airport? You could be owed compensation

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London Heathrow Airport Delays Eligible for Compensation

Regardless of whether you’re flying for business or leisure, on your own or with the family — EU Regulation EC 261 means that all paying passengers can claim up to €600 compensation when flights are delayed by 3 hours or more.

To work out if your delay is eligible you need to work out how late your flight was when it arrived at your final destination. That's because EC 261 is based on how delayed you were reaching your destination, compared to the scheduled time. It's not necessarily about the hours waiting because of delays in London Heathrow Airport.

EC 261 is about airlines fairly compensating passengers when they cause them to be delayed. Because of this, there's one fairly important exception where they don't have to pay compensation: extraordinary circumstances. These are situations outside of an airlines' control. For example, an issue at London Heathrow Airport, or unsafe flying conditions. Because the airline isn't responsible for these circumstances, they don't have to compensate for them — however, they still need to take steps to avoid delayed flights from London Heathrow Airport taking off later than necessary.

Read more about flight delay compensation.

London Heathrow Airport Flight Cancellations Compensation

We know London Heathrow Airport canceled flights cause real travel chaos, especially when they happen at the last minute. That's why it's important to be aware of air passenger rights like Europe's EC 261, so you know what you're entitled to.

Firstly, the airline must offer you an alternative flight to your destination, or a refund, if that's what you'd prefer.

If your flight was canceled at late notice — anything under 14 days before you were due to depart — you may also be entitled to up to €600 per person for the inconvenience.

The airline can avoid paying compensation if they were able to offer you an alternative flight which would get you to your destination at a very similar time to your original arrival time.

Airlines also don't have to pay compensation if they were forced to make cancellations as a result of a situation outside of their control. This is referred to as extraordinary circumstances, and includes situations such as unsafe flying conditions and incidents at airports like drone sightings or airport staff strikes.

Flight delay or cancellation at London Heathrow? Find out your compensation for free.

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EC 261: How Much Compensation?

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

The law is complex, and there are always exceptions and special cases, so the easiest way to be sure how much compensation you’re owed, is to use our free compensation check.

Delays in London Heathrow Airport - What to Do

Unfortunately we can't always avoid delays or London Heathrow Airport cancellations — but we can tell you exactly what to do to improve your chances of getting compensated under EU law:

  • Collect proof of the delay or flight cancellation (e.g. emails from the airline, photos of the departure board).

  • Keep all your travel documents.

  • Ask your airline why your flight's been affected.

  • Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.

  • Pay attention to what the airline offers you — don't sign anything that would waive your right to compensation.

  • Keep all receipts that prove the disruption cost you extra money.

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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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