The European regulation known as EC 261/2004 sets out passengers' rights during any flight inconvenience. Thanks to these regulations, passengers are granted insurance in case of any flight delay of longer than three hours. This means passengers are insured against delays and can claim compensation from the airline in specific circumstances. If the delay meets all the outlined criteria in EC 261/2004, passengers will be insured for the flight and may enforce their rights. However, if the flight delay was caused by an extraordinary circumstance, then passengers will not be insured and therefore the airline cannot be held legally or financially responsible.
When it comes to flight delay insurance, passengers who experienced a flight that departed from a European airport or traveled into Europe with a European carrier and had a delay on arrival of longer than 3 hours, may claim compensation. The total amount of financial compensation that individual passengers can claim depends on the length of the delay and the distance traveled.
So, if the flight delay was less than three hours or was caused by an extraordinary circumstance then the passenger will not be insured and may not seek compensation. But if the flight delay lasted more than three hours, passengers can claim up to $700. What's more, if a flight is delayed for over five hours, passengers may claim a full or partial refund of their original ticket. AirHelp can assist with these claims.
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:
|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|
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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