May 22, 2024


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Flight Delay Compensation: All You Need to Know

Flight Delay Compensation

Flight delays are a common occurrence in air travel, and they can lead to significant inconveniences. Fortunately, in the European Union, passengers have certain rights when it comes to flight delays. In this comprehensive guide, we will share key information on how to manage and claim compensation for a flight delay.

Understanding Your Rights for Flight Delay Compensation

The highlight of your rights as an air passenger in the EU is EU Regulation 261/2004. This regulation is designed to protect passengers in the event of flight delays, cancelations, and denied boarding. It applies to all flights departing from airports within the EU, as well as flights arriving in the EU operated by an EU-based airline.


When Are You Entitled to Compensation?

You are entitled to flight delay compensation if:

  • Your flight is delayed by more than three hours.
  • The delay is not caused by extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather conditions, political instability, or security risks.
  • The flight is within the EU or is an EU airline flying from or to an EU airport.

How Much Compensation Can You Claim?

The amount of compensation depends on the distance of your flight and the length of the delay:

  • For flights up to 1500 kilometers, you are entitled to €250.
  • For flights within the EU over 1500 kilometers, and all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers, the compensation is €400.
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  • For flights not under the above categories (mainly long-haul flights), the compensation can be up to €600.

In addition to monetary compensation, you can also benefit from your right to care and assistance, which includes complimentary meals and refreshments, telephone calls, and hotel accommodation where necessary. 

Steps to Claim Flight Delay Compensation

Follow these steps to claim compensation for a delayed flight: 

Step 1: Document the Delay

Keep a record of your flight details, including the scheduled and actual departure times. Save your boarding pass and any other relevant travel documents.

Step 2: Inquire About the Reason for Delay

Ask the airline staff about the reason for the delay. This information is crucial as compensation is not provided for delays caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Step 3: Collect Evidence

If possible, gather evidence that supports your claim. This can include your valid booking ticket, communication from the airline about the delay, and receipts of any additional expenses incurred due to the delay.

Step 4: File a Claim with the Airline

Contact the airline to file a compensation claim. Provide them with all the necessary information and documents. Be clear that you are seeking compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004.

Step 5: Follow Up

Airlines might take time to respond. Follow up regularly and keep a record of all communications.

Step 6: Seek Legal Advice if Necessary

If the airline refuses to pay the compensation or does not respond within a reasonable time frame, consider seeking legal advice or contacting a national enforcement body.

Bottom Line

Flight delays can disrupt your plans, but knowing your rights regarding flight delay compensation can make the situation more manageable. Under EU law, passengers are entitled to compensation and assistance for significant delays, provided certain conditions are met.