If you're traveling by air within the EU, did you know that you may be entitled to an airline refund if you experience flight disruptions? EC 261, a flight compensation regulation, was created to make sure passengers get the compensation they deserve if their flight is disrupted.
EC 261 was established to cover air travelers in cases where their flights may have been canceled, delayed, overbooked or otherwise disrupted, making it the responsibility of the airline to refund or compensate its passengers. You are covered under EC 261 if you fly out of any of the 28 EU countries (the French Antilles, the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands are included under EC 261 jurisdiction). You are also covered in many cases if you fly into the EU with an EU-based carrier. Check out the AirHelp Eligibility Check to see if you are covered before your flight.
Operating air carriers are not legally obligated to offer a refund if disruptions are caused by what EC 261 cites as extraordinary circumstances. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, flight delays caused by security concerns, inclement weather, or airport strikes. However, you are eligible for an airline refund or compensation if the air carrier cannot show that they have taken reasonable measures to prevent delays.
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AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organization, here to help air travelers secure compensation for delayed, canceled, 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 canceled 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.
Canceled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was canceled 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:
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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 Calculator.
If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:
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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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