Flight Delay Compensation

Flight delay or cancellation isn’t the best experience in the world. In fact, it can be very frustrating because you can’t do anything about it.

But according to EC 261, you can claim compensation of up to €600. That should be enough to compensate for the frustration you’ve been through.

So if you’re interested in getting compensated for a delayed flight, keep on reading!

Are You Eligible For Flight Delay Compensation?

Before you go marching in to get your compensation, it would be safe to know if you are one of those who are eligible.

You are entitled to compensation if:

  • Your arrival is 3 hours late than the anticipated/announced time.
  • The flight was within the EU or at least landed in the EU.
  • You checked in well before the flight, as 45-minute is the standard.
  • The flight delay happened within the last three years.
  • The airline company is responsible for the flight delay, and there was nothing you could do.

How Much Compensation Are You Entitled To?

Flight delay compensation follows the same EC 261 as mentioned above, so you are entitled to a certain compensation if there was a delay, and you are within the above-mentioned constraints.

You will be paid anything between €250 to €600 depending upon a number of factors that include your flight delay time, flight distance, etc.

To make it easier to comprehend, we’ve shown these factors in a table form below:

Delay Of Less than 3 hours Delay Of 3 – 4 hours Delay Of More than 4 hours The Flight Never arrived Distance
€ – €250 €250 €250 All flights within 1,500 km or less
€ – €400 €400 €400 All flights within EU 1,500+ km
€ – €400 €400 €400 All flights outside EU between 1,500-3,500 km
€ – €300 €600 €600 All flights outside EU 3,500+ km

Compensation For Businesses and Officials

If you were travelling for a business meeting or an official task, and there was a flight delay, your company/employer won’t be compensated.

It’s EU law that you, the one who actually suffered due to the flight delay, be compensated and not the company/employer that hired you and paid for your ticket.

So if you had a flight delay or flight cancellation, you are entitled to the compensation and not your employer. And that includes both private and public sector employers as they’re not the ones who are directly affected by the delay.

You Will Get Refreshments Like Food

If you had a delay and the flight included refreshments like meals or snacks, you’re entitled to them without any reduction in your flight compensation.

EC 261 explicitly mentions that any EU based flight, or a flight whose headquarters are in EU, is to provide flight essentials like food, meals, and drinks to the customers in case of a delay. This includes the delay, and you will be given proper refreshments.

In fact, the flight company is to provide the proper stay, like a hotel room, in case of an overnight delay of the flight. In addition, you will also get a ride to and from the hotel without any extra charges.

What else are you entitled to in case of a delayed flight?

In addition to the refreshments, hotel stay, and the paid compensation, you are entitled to a number of perks like:

  • You can get a full reimbursement or re-route your flight: If your flight delay is more than 5 hours, you are entitled to a reimbursement. This can be a partial or a full reimbursement, depending upon the conditions. In addition, you can also get a return ticket without any extra charges.
  • You can upgrade your flight: If the delay has occurred, you can be offered an upgraded flight. You won’t have to pay a single dime for the up-gradation as the law covers it too. It’s like getting a three-course meal for the price of a hamburger. However, this can be reversed, and your seat can be downgraded. Even then, you’re in luck. The company will pay you 30-75% of the previous ticket’s price in case your seat is downgraded.
  • Further compensation: Further compensations are for those who demand. If you voluntarily let go of these compensations, the flight won’t have to compensate you. However, if you decide to take these extra compensations, your actual flight delay compensation can be reduced depending upon the amount of further compensation you get.

Flight Vouchers Instead Of Cash Compensation

If your flight is delayed, you can be offered a flight voucher instead of the cash compensation you’re legally entitled to.

In such a scenario, it’s up to you to choose the one. You can go with flight vouchers, like most of the customers, or you can insist on cash compensation. The airline company will be legally required to pay cash compensation if you insist on getting one.

You may be owed more than you think!

What EU Flights Are Covered By EC 261?

When it comes to European airlines, almost all flights are covered. You will be provided proper compensation in case of a delay because the airline has its headquarters in the EU and thus falls under its regulations.

If you’re travelling within the EU, your flight delay is almost guaranteed to have proper compensation under EC 261. In addition, most of the flights outside the EU are also compensated. You can rest assured as your flight delay compensation will be available in case of a delay, no matter where you are.

How Much Was Your Flight Delayed?

One thing that you must understand is that delay time is calculated not from the take-off time, but arrival time.

You can’t be compensated if your flight somehow manages to reach the destination on time, even after a substantial delay in taking off. Similarly, you will be compensated for a delay in arrival time, even if the flight took off without any delay.

In proper terms, arrival time is the time your flight touches the ground, and one of its doors opened for passengers.

Extraordinary Conditions Will Take Away Your Compensation

There are certain conditions that are considered extraordinary because of their nature. In such conditions, you won’t be entitled to compensation even if the delay was more than three hours. These conditions include a medical emergency, lightning strike, strikes like air control staff’s strike, malfunctioning in the aeroplane, or any other condition that is involuntary and cannot be avoided.

Snow Can Be An Extraordinary Condition

Adverse weather is another extraordinary condition, and snow can fall into this category.

However, a delay due to snow can also be compensated if the flight doesn’t follow certain rules like having a proper amount of de-icers in case of snowy weather. If that’s the case, you can ask for your legal compensation, and the company will pay.

Airlines Strikes Are Not Extraordinary

Airlines can be on strike from time to time, but that’s not an extraordinary issue. This is because a 2018 ruling says that airline strikes won’t exempt them from paying legal compensations, and that included strikes.

You can ask for your flight compensation without any hesitation as it’s airline’s fault and not a technical or extraordinary one.

What About Connecting Flights?

If you’re travelling on a route that requires a connecting flight, you can miss that because of the delay in your flight. It’s a scenario that many face when travelling to faraway parts of the world.

In case you miss your connecting flight due to a delay in the original flight, the company is to provide a proper replacement for the connecting flight and ensure you reach your final destination without any extra charges.

You will also be paid cash compensation if you decide to take it. This is because the original flight was 3+ hours late.

With all of this, you must make sure that you booked the whole journey together, including the connecting flight. If you booked connecting flights separately, then the company won’t be obligated to provide you with the replacement flight, but you will still get the compensation money.

Do This In Case Of A Flight Delay

  • In case you face a flight delay and expect to be compensated, don’t rush anything. It won’t help you at all as a rushed-decision can make your compensation claim invalid. So follow these steps to safely retain your compensation rights.
    • Don’t let go of your belongings and other documents. This should be obvious because if you lost them, you wouldn’t be able to claim compensation.
    • Formally ask the reason for the delay. If it isn’t an extraordinary situation, you can be compensated.
    • Get the proof of the delay, like photos of the arrival time on your ticket and the actual arrival time to draw a comparison.
    • Don’t hesitate and ask for meals and refreshments as you’ve already paid for them. This won’t affect your compensation claim.
    • Read everything carefully before signing it. If you can’t understand it, just don’t sign it.
    • In case of a 5+ hour delay, you can either choose to wait for the flight or call the flight off without any problem with your claim.
    • In case of an overnight delay, ask the airline for a hotel room. They are obligated to provide this.
    • Always keep your receipts with you in case the delayed flight cost you more than it should’ve.

How To Claim A Flight Delay Compensation

  • First of all, don’t panic. There’s nothing to worry about as everything is under control. You can relax and let us handle the burden for you. We’re professionals and know all the procedures like:

    You’re not the one at risk, all you need to do keep the receipts and documents with you, and we’ll do all the work for you. (We charge a small fee for our efforts).

What Documents Do You Need To File For Compensation?

The company can require a number of documents like proof of identity, your ticket, and other flight-related documents. So don’t let go of anything related to your flight.

Once you know that you have every document, we can help you get your flight compensation without any hassle. We know exactly how to approach the claim and what will make your claim hard to reject.

If you’re going solo, bear in mind that a lot of unseen issues can arise that can complicate your claim, and you may end up with no compensation at all.

Free Tools To Check Your Eligibility

We’ve got you covered with our array of free tools that will help you determine if you’re eligible and how to approach the claim.

You can use our eligibility calculator to see if your flight’s delay can be compensated or not. You can do this on the web or use our App. Both have the required set of features that will make this whole experience a lot easier and fast.

Once you know that you’re eligible, you can use our boarding pass scanner to scan the barcode. That way, you won’t have to remember everything manually, as we’ll do it for you.

With everything under control, you can rest assured as we’ll do everything in our power to take care of your eligibility criteria.

You can be an American and still claim for compensation

If you’re not a European citizen, you can claim compensation. This is to say that the law covers everyone who’s been travelling with a European company or inside Europe.

Here’s a chart to show exactly what we mean by that:

Itinerary EU Air Carrier Non-EU Air Carrier
From inside the EU to inside the EU Covered Covered
From inside the EU to outside the EU Covered Covered
From outside the EU to inside the EU Covered Not Covered
From outside the EU to outside the EU Not Covered Not Covered

What About Global Passengers?

If you’re a US citizen or belong to any other country, you can still claim for the compensation. That is to say; if you’re travelling via a European companu, you can still get compensated under EC 261.

In addition to EC 261, there’s Montreal Convention, which ensures international flights follow a set of certain rules. These include the delay compensations. For example, if you had to pay for extra because of a delayed flight, you’re entitled to compensation by the airline no matter where it is. This is one of the international laws that protect the rights of passengers all over the world.

We Can Help You Get Your Compensation!

  • Flight delay compensation is your right, and we’re here to ensure that you get it without any hassle. You don’t have to worry about anything, as our team of experts will handle everything for you. We can enforce your compensation rights because:
    • We, at AirFlightClaim, have been helping people get their flight compensations for years, with a success rate of more than 98%.
    • We know exactly how to approach the situation, in a way that makes it easier for you to comprehend it.
    • AirFlightClaim has been rated highly by our esteemed clients who are happy with their compensations.
    • Numbers don’t lie, and we have millions of satisfied customers all over Europe.
    • Our team knows the ins and outs of the system and will provide comprehensive guidance through legal complexities.
    • We never back down and ensure that you get your money no matter what!

We Never Leave You Alone

When you’re filing a claim for compensation, you’re basically going against a corporation that has deep-rooted ties with the justice department. The justice system, although fairly neutral, will be tilted towards the ones who have the best approach. And in a flight delayed or cancelled compensation or any other delay compensation, you alone won’t be able to come up with a better approach. AirFlightClaim will ensure that the decision is in your favor because we know exactly how the system works and how to approach your case in the best manner possible.

You don’t have anything to lose; we’ll take the burden from you and work on your behalf. We never discriminate between our clients as every client deserves to be dealt with in a way that’s best for their claim.

So if you’re looking for the best way to file a compensation claim, get in touch with us. We’ll take a look at your scenario and discuss how we’ll approach it.

If you like it, we can move forward with the claim. We only charge a small fee for our efforts and the compensation money is all yours!


These are some of the most common questions that we get from our clients. We’ve answered them in a way that’s easily understandable and helps you get the right answers.

• Does the compensation apply per person?

Yes, all European Airlines are required to pay compensation per person. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for your ticket, as long as your flight was delayed, you can get compensated.

• I’m not sure about the 3-hour delay. What do I do?

Sometimes it’s practically impossible to know if you’re 3 hours late or not. Maybe your flight took off three hours late, but the arrival wasn’t that late. Even if you’re not sure, contact us. We’ll handle the situation for you.