Flight Delay Compensation

I Had A Flight Delay, Can I Get Compensation?

You are legally entitled to receive compensation for a flight delay if the delay is the airline’s responsibility and if your flight was delayed by more than three hours or cancelled. This is possible under EU rule 261/2004.

If your flight is delayed, you could be entitled to compensation or a refund so don’t be left out of pocket – make sure you know your rights.

Flight delays and cancellations can wreck holidays and other travel plans – yet one in three of those affected never complains or claim the compensation that could be due to them.

Why? Mainly because many remain unaware of their rights.

How Much Compensation Can You Get For A Flight Delay?

The compensation that you will receive for a flight delay is fixed and dependant on the length of the delay and the distance that you have travelled. Some airlines may try to offer compensation in the form of vouchers but you do not have to accept this. The compensation for a flight delay is always given in euros, therefore the amount that you receive for a flight delay is based on the exchange rate at the time of being offered the compensation from the airline.

Examples of Flight length, Arrival delay and Compensation due:

Up to 1,500km / 932 miles (eg UK to Paris)
3 hours or more
€250 (£200) Per Person.

1,500 to 3,500km (eg UK to Istanbul)
3 hours or more
€400 (£318)

3,500km plus (eg UK to New York)
3 to 4 hours
€300 (£240) Per Person.

3,500km plus (eg UK to New York)
4 hours or more
€600 (£478) Per Person.

The above information was submitted by the Telegraph in August 2014 and can be found at the following link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/money-saving-tips/11025583/Flight-delays-are-you-due-480.html

How Is Flight Delay Compensation Calculated?

If the airline is responsible for the delay, you have the right to compensation. The amount you are owed is calculated based on the flight route, rather than the price of the flight.

Flight destinations within the EU
250 euros compensation for a delayed flight of up to 1,500 km
400 euros compensation for a delayed flight of over 1,500 km

Flight destinations outside the EU
250 euros compensation for a delayed flight of up to 1,500 km
400 euros compensation for a delayed flight of over 1,500 km up to 3,500 km
600 euros compensation for a delayed flight of over 3,500 km

Which Airlines Can You Claim For Flight Delays With?

While you can be affected by a flight delay when travelling with any airline, we find that there are a number of airlines that are more commonly mentioned in relation to flight delays and flight delay compensation.

Aer Lingus

American Airlines

British Airways






Monarch Airlines



Thomas Cook Airlines

Thomson Airways

Virgin Atlantic


This is not a list of every airline that may have affected clients with flight delays, and if an airline that you have previously travelled with within the last 6 years is not listed above then it does not necessarily mean that you cannot claim for flight delay compensation. Please contact us for any further information or assistance with claiming.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible To Receive Flight Delay Compensation?

If a flight under 932 miles (for example, London to Venice) is delayed for at least two hours
•If a flight within the EU that is more than 932 miles (for example, London to Athens) is delayed for at least three hours
•If a flight that isn’t within the EU but is between 932 and 2,174 miles is delayed for at least three hours
•If any other flight is delayed for at least four hours

Providing you qualify in one of the above categories you are entitled to:

Two free phone calls, faxes or e-mails
•Free meals and refreshments appropriate to the delay
•Free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required
•You can also choose not to travel, and get a refund of your ticket cost if the delay lasts for five hours or more (but the flight is not cancelled).

What Is The The Denied Boarding Regulation 2004?

According to the Denied Boarding Regulation which was passed by the EU in 2004, anyone travelling to or from an EU airport (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) is entitled to compensation should their flight be delayed by more than three hours. The compensation only covers delays caused by instances such as under booking of the flight, or a technical problem that was not picked up on during routine maintenance.

Extraordinary circumstances like severe weather conditions or security risks are not normally covered by flight delay compensation and the airlines regularly try to reject flight delay complaints by making reference to “extraordinary circumstances” such as these, even though the airline in question was actually responsible for the delay and not an extraordinary circumstance.

If you’re travelling with an airline based in the EU or with a non-EU based airline flying from an EU airport, then you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation.

The regulation states that the airline has an obligation to offer you assistance if your flight delay is expected to go beyond a certain point.

If you’re travelling with a non-EU based airline flying from a non-EU destination, the airline doesn’t have the same duty to look after you. We can help you to check the airline’s Condition of Carriage to see if you may be eligible to receive compensation or what type of compensation you are entitled to.

The Denied Boarding Regulation applies if

You have a confirmed booking
•You checked in on time, or if no check-in time was given, then at least 45 minutes before your flight was scheduled to depart
•You’re departing from an EU airport, or from a non-EU airport and flying into an EU airport on a ‘community carrier’ (an airline with its headquarters and main place of business within the EU. That includes all European discount and no-frills airlines)

Key Rules For Claiming

It’s only for EU regulated flights you can claim for
It must be the airline’s fault to claim
Delays must be over three hours to claim compensation
The compensation is fixed regardless of flight cost
Compensation is also per person
Your flight departed after 17 February 2005 (However in the UK under UK law the Statute of limitations will apply meaning that you only have 6 years in which to take a company/ persons to court to claim any monies you think are owed.)

What Is The Court Ruling on Flight Delay Compensation?

This right to compensation is not set out specifically by the Denied Boarding Regulation, but was upheld by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 23 October 2012.

The 2012 ruling upheld an earlier ECJ decision of 19 November 2009 and stated that the Denied Boarding Regulation must be interpreted as giving passengers the right to compensation for delays of three or more hours.

Three British companies – British Airways, EasyJet and Tui Travel – had disputed the 2009 decision and claims from UK customers were put on hold, meaning airlines could not be compelled to pay compensation for delays.

Cases that were on hold should now be dealt with, and airlines should no longer argue they do not have to pay out if you claim for compensation after a flight delay of three or more hours.

However, they can still argue that they do not have to pay compensation as a result of extraordinary circumstances in the same way they can with cancelled flights.

In the first test case since the 2012 ECJ decision, in January 2013, Stoke-on-Trent county court ruled that Thomas Cook must pay compensation to passengers who, in 2009, had experienced a 22-hour delay caused by a mechanical fault.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 established common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91.

When You Can Not Claim For A Flight Delay

You are not entitled to flight delay compensation if the delay was due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as severe weather.

Compensation for delayed flights is dependent on the reason for the delay.

If the airline can prove the delay was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’, then no compensation is payable.

Extraordinary circumstances are situations beyond the control of the airline, for example, security risk, political instability or severe weather that makes flying dangerous. Strikes are also usually included in this category.

Technical problems can be ‘extraordinary circumstances’ but not where the problem should have been picked up by routine maintenance.

Although you are not entitled to financial compensation for flight delays in these circumstances, you are entitled to meals, refreshments, accommodation and hotel transfers, depending on the length of your flight and delay (as explained below).

What Is The Civil Aviation Authority?

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is responsible for the regulation of aviation in the UK, If you raise a complaint with an airline for flight delay compensation and you are not happy with the airlines final response or the airline fails to respond to you, then you can take your complaint to the CAA for them to investigate.

Contact us for further information and to discuss any potential flight delay compensation claims.

Apply now for our risk-free assessment.

We charge 25% + VAT of whatever we reclaim for you, so if we successfully reclaim £3,000 our fee is £900 (inclusive of VAT), and £2100 goes to you. Please remember that we work on a No Win No Fee Basis, which basically means that if your claim is unsuccessful we will not make any money from your claim. We only charge you if your claim is successful.

Start Your Flight Delay Claim

To check if you may be eligible to claim for a Flight Delay Claim fill out our short form to request a call back, telephone us directly on 0161 872 7874