How To Get Compensation When Your Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled?

How To Get Compensation When Your Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled – Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were ready to board the plane and enjoy the trip you planned, but your flight got delayed or cancelled?  Such situations can be infuriating, stressful, and disruptive to travel plans, especially when you are left in the airport waiting for hours.

However, being aware of your rights can help alleviate these burdens.

The EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 defines the norms and guidelines on compensation, assistance, and passenger rights in case of flight delays, cancellations, or denied boarding. 

The EU regulation for flight compensation aims to ensure fair treatment of air passengers and encourage airlines to uphold their obligations, providing travellers with recourse and protection when faced with flight disruptions.

What Are My Rights if the Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled?

How To Get Compensation When Your Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled?

According to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, if your flight is delayed or cancelled, you have certain rights as an air passenger, such as the following:

  • You have the right to financial compensation for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation or delay of your flight.
  • You have the right to be reimbursed or re-routed.
  • You have the right to care free of charge (hotel accommodation, meals, and refreshments, transportation between airports and place of accommodation, etc.).

When Are You Entitled To EU Flight Delay Compensation?

You are entitled to EU air passenger rights in the following situations:

  • If an EU airline or a non-EU airline is operating your flight within the EU.
  • If an airline from the EU operates your flight and it originates from outside the EU.
  • If an EU or non-EU airline operates your flight from the EU to a non-EU country.
  • If you haven’t already been compensated, rerouted, or obtained airline assistance for this trip’s flight-related issues under the relevant law of a non-EU nation.

Who Is Eligible for Flight Delay Compensation?

How To Get Compensation When Your Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled?

To be eligible for compensation, passengers must have a confirmed reservation for the specific flight and must adhere to the following check-in requirements:

  • Arrive for check-in at the designated time communicated in advance and in writing (including electronically) by the airline, tour operator, authorised travel agent, or
  • Arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, if no specific time is provided.

Passengers who were transferred by an airline or tour operator from their originally booked flight to a different flight, regardless of the reason, are also eligible for compensation.

How Much Can You Get In Compensation For Delayed Flight?

The amount of compensation you receive for your delayed/cancelled flight depends on the distance your flight would have covered. 

The distance is based on the last destination where the denial of boarding or cancellation causes a delay in the passenger’s arrival beyond the scheduled time, for example:

  • Compensation of EUR 250 applies to flights covering distances of 1500 kilometres or less.
  • For flights within the European Union (intra-Community flights) that exceed 1500 kilometres, as well as flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres, the compensation is EUR 400.
  • Flights that do not fall under the previous categories (a) or (b) qualify for a compensation of EUR 600.

The compensation shall be paid in cash, electronic bank transfer, bank orders, bank cheques, or, with the passenger’s consent, in the form of travel vouchers and/or other services.

How Much Does a Flight Have to Be Delayed to Get Compensation?

The specific duration of the delay required to be eligible for compensation varies depending on the regulations and policies in place. 

However, in general, to qualify for compensation, a flight delay usually needs to exceed a certain minimum duration, typically ranging from 3 to 5 hours

The precise threshold for compensation eligibility may also vary depending on the length of the flight and any regional or airline-specific laws.

However, there are “extraordinary circumstances” in which case an airline is exempt from having to make a monetary payment if there is a flight issue because the delay was regarded to be beyond their control.

What Are ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’ for Flight Delay?

‘Extraordinary circumstances’ are unforeseeable events or situations that are deemed exceptional or extraordinary and are beyond the control of the airline. 

These circumstances can release airlines from the obligation of providing compensation for flight delays or cancellations according to specific air passenger rights regulations like Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 in the European Union. 

The definition of extraordinary circumstances can vary depending on the particular jurisdiction. Some typical examples of such circumstances include:

  1. Extreme weather conditions:
  • Thunderstorms
  • Hurricanes
  • Blizzards
  • Heavy fog
  • Strong winds, etc.
  1. Natural disasters:
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Tsunamis
  • Severe storms
  • Volcanic eruptions, etc
  • Bird strikes.
  • Air traffic control restrictions.
  • Political or security issues.
  • Medical emergency landings.

If the flight delay is due to “extraordinary circumstances,” the airline has the right not to compensate you.

If the flight delay is due to “extraordinary circumstances,” the airline has the right not to compensate you.

How to Make a Compensation Claim for a Delayed Flight?

There are several forms you can use to make a compensation claim, such as the following:

Complain to the Airline

The first thing you need to do is send a complaint to the airline using their complaint form or the EU air passenger rights form. The form requires your personal details, such as:

  • Your full name.
  • Email address.
  • Nationality.
  • Country of residence, etc.

You will also need to provide details of the incident and a description of how it happened.

Once you fill out the form, you should print and sign it. You can also send it via mail, but it is more advisable to scan it and send it via email. However, you should always carry a copy of the complaint form for your own records.

Complain to National Authorities

If the airline you submitted the complaint to takes longer than 2 months to reach out to you, or if you are not happy with their reply, you can lodge a complaint with the relevant national authority in the country where the incident took place.

You should send an email with the complaint you already submitted and explain what happened with the airline.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I get compensation for a delayed flight? 

If it’s the fault of the airline then yes you should but It’s an extraordinary circumstance, then the airline owes you no compensation. 


That’s all you should know for now about this article and if you still need more information, you can always reach out to us here through the comment section. 

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