If your flight is delayed, EU Regulation 261/2004 states that a passenger is entitled to compensation from the airline in addition to basic services, such as food, drinks and accommodation.
Does the law apply to my flight?
The Air Passenger Rights Regulation applies to all flights departing from inside the EU. It also applies to all flights that land in the EU even if arriving from a non-EU country, providing the airline’s head office is located in the EU.
Am I entitled to compensation?
You will be entitled to compensation if the airline is responsible for your flight being delayed. (For example, if the aircraft suffers technical problems then liability will fall directly to the airline involved, but strikes and weather-related delays will be deemed beyond the airline’s control and therefore you will not be eligible to make a claim) You will also only be eligible to make a claim if your waiting time exceeds three hours or if your flight is cancelled.
But in order to be eligible for compensation, you must have checked-in at least 45 minutes prior to their scheduled flight (even if you are aware it has been delayed) and you must also be able to present a valid ticket.
How much compensation can I expect?
If the airline is found responsible, you could be eligible to receive a compensation payment of up to $ 710. The amount depends solely on the distance of the flight, not the amount paid for the ticket. The regulation states that a passenger, who has experienced a four-hour delay on a flight 3500 kilometres or longer, is eligible for $ 710 in compensation. For delays on flights within a range of 1500-3500 kilometres, $ 472 will be payable from the airline. If the length of the flight is below 1500 kilometres, $ 295 in compensation is to be paid to the passenger.
When can’t I make a claim?
You will not be entitled to compensation if the reason(s) for the delay are beyond the airline’s control. Strikes, bad weather, airport closures and airspace restrictions all fall into the ‘exceptional circumstances’ category meaning you will be unable to claim compensation, although we do evaluate each claim on a case-by-case basis. For example, in the case of weather-related delays, you may still be eligible for compensation if the airline has failed to prepare adequately enough.
Meanwhile, if your flight is delayed by more than five hours it is your full right to withdraw from the flight and receive a full refund from the airline. Alternatively, you will also be entitled to replacement transport to either the destination or the starting point of your journey.
You can check if you are eligible for compensation by using our compensation calculator.