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Flight Compensation by Situation - Flight Delays

AuthorThe AirHelper

Sometimes it might be a little difficult to understand which situations your flight may be covered under based on a document with a substantial amount of legal-ese. So we’ve decided to start our own series on this blog which handles the different scenarios under which you may be eligible for compensation for your disrupted flight. From this point on, the actual situation being presented is fictional – however the rights are the same.

We’ll let you know just exactly how and when your flight may be eligible for flight compensation based on a flight delay.

How and why can I get flight compensation?

Under regulation EC 261, a law that governs the EU region, passengers are provided with certain rights when their flight has been delayed, canceled or overbooked (and after the overbooking, the passenger is denied boarding). This law covers passengers departing from an airport that is a member state of the EU and passengers departing a country outside of the EU on a carrier that is a community carrier in the EU zone.

I guess that makes sense, but what does it mean in English?

I’m glad you asked!

Our friend John’s flight from Munich to NYC on Lufthansa was 3 hours late and he’s blown through all his fuses. He’s annoyed but he’s told himself that these things happen. The last time he checked the airline cited technical difficulties as the reason for the delay. They haven’t said much more since. All this wasted time means John is going to be a lot more jet lagged than he needed to be for his Monday morning meeting. Fortunately John is covered under EC 261, and would therefore be eligible for flight compensation with AirHelp! Hooray!


This is Jen. It’s really late, Jen’s flight on Jetblue to San Francisco from NYC still hasn’t boarded, even though the departure time was set for 5pm and it’s now 9pm. The airline has told Jen and the other passengers that the flight crew has still not showed up. Jen would not be eligible for flight compensation as this flight neither flies in the EU nor is it on a community carrier. However, fortunately for Jen, Jetblue is one of a few airlines that offer delay compensations in their contract of carriage. So she may just be able to collect directly from the airline anyway!

If you want to learn more about your passenger rights, check out our Know Your Rights pages.

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as $680 in compensation if your flight was delayed, canceled or overbooked within the last three years.

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