How To Get Compensation For Delayed Flight

Under the EC 261/2004 regulation, you are entitled to financial compensation for a delayed flight. If your flight has been delayed for longer than three hours, you may be entitled to enforce your passenger's rights for your journey. Unless the delay was created by extraordinary circumstances, you may want to know how to get compensation for a delayed flight from the airline that was responsible for the flight.

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Regulations on getting compensation for a delayed flight

If you want to know how to get compensation for delayed flight, you must follow a few steps. Make sure you have your boarding pass and any other travel documents you may need to file the complaint. Ask the airline for further information regarding the delay of the flight. Try to gather as much proof of the delay (photos of the departure board or of the communication from the airline confirming the delay). Keep a note of the original arrival time and the actual arrival time at your final destination. Request the responsible airline to pay for your meals and refreshments during your delay and, if needed, to provide you with a hotel room. Refuse to sign or accept any offers that may waiver your passenger's rights for compensation. After the five-hour delay mark, choose whether you want to wait it out or call off your flight. If your delayed flight ends up costing you more than your original ticket, keep all the extra receipts to file with your complaint.

With all these documents ready, you may use AirHelp in order to claim the compensation you are owed. AirHelp will handle all the communications with the airline, only holding a charge fee if the compensation is successful.

AirHelp is here to help you get compensation for flight delays and cancellations. Find out what you could be entitled to.

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About AirHelp

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.


Claiming Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations

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:

Claim up to $700 in compensation if your flight has been delayed, canceled, or overbooked within the last 3 years.

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How Much Flight Compensation?

DistanceCompensation
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

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.


What to Do if Your Flight is Delayed or Canceled

If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:

  • Hold onto your boarding pass and other travel documents.
  • Ask why the flight was delayed or canceled.
  • Request food, drinks, and if necessary, free transport and hotel accommodation.
  • If you had a canceled flight, ask for an alternative flight or a refund.
  • Keep all receipts of any extra expenses you may have had, including necessary food, clothing, etc.
  • Be careful not to sign any waivers or accept vouchers that will require you to waive your right to compensation.

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