If your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to flight delay reimbursement or compensation under the EC 261/2004 regulation. To be eligible, the delay must be the fault of the airline and not because of any extraordinary circumstances.
According to the regulations outlined in the EC 241/2004, passengers can claim reimbursement if their flight delay meets the following criteria: the flight arrived at the final destination more than three hours after the originally designated schedule, the flight took off from the EU with any airline or landed in the EU with an airline headquartered in Europe, the passenger checked in for the flight on time, and the specific flight was less than three years ago.
However, EC 261/2004 states that if the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather, terrorism or medical emergencies, the airline is not responsible. If this sounds like a flight experience you had, and the airline did not face any extraordinary circumstances, you may be eligible for compensation.
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:
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.
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