Flight Delay Compensation
Was your flight delayed, cancelled or overbooked?
You may be entitled to flight delay compensation of £540 per person.
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Flight Delay Compensation
I think you’ll have to agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY frustrating when you have a flight delayed.
Sitting there waiting (that’s if you’re lucky enough to get a seat). Screaming kids in one ear. The airline is announcing further flight delays in the other.
Uncomfortable and irritated. Probably not what you had hoped for on your trip away?
The worst part:
The airline is going to do nothing about it.
Or is it?
Well, it turns out, under EU regulations 261/2004 you are entitled to both care and financial flight delay compensation in a variety of circumstances from delayed flight to those that are cancelled or even if you are denied boarding due to overbooking. Don’t let that fool you. Why would the airlines want to pay out £100’s and £1,000’s? The airlines themselves will at every turn try to fob you off with “extraordinary circumstances” or ignore it altogether.
What’s the bottom line?
In just 3 simple steps you could have £540 per passenger in your party. Use our claim system today.
Guess the best part? Today you have come across the best place to dramatically improving both the chances of successfully getting you compensation and increasing how much you get. I’m going to show you, with the help of our custom built delayed flight compensation system exactly how much you are due. More importantly, we will make sure your claim is successful where airlines simply ignore over 70% of claim applicants.
For flight delay compensation. Here’s the deal:
- Super Easy Step: Submit your details (in 5 minutes or less). Our system will both check compensation amounts and if you have an eligible claim.
- Even Easier Step: Our team of travel delay experts will write a personalised claim letter to the airlines on your behalf. We will fight for your EU rights, and escalate to the regulator if necessary. We will even take your claim against the airline to court for you and cover all the costs of doing it.
- The Final (and best) Step: Receive your flight delay compensation!
What are you waiting for?
See if you are able to claim for your flight delay today! Submit your claim.
Flight Delay Compensation – The Rules
(Don’t worry, our flight delay system automatically see’s if you qualify according to these rules)
When delayed by more than three hours or your flight’s cancelled, under EU regulation 261/2004 you are entitled to between £198.07 and £540 in compensation – as a result, compensation can be paid out by the airline.
Use our online web form to make your claim and we will handle the entire claim for you. We know how to stop the airlines squirming out of paying and have all the latest on the court cases surrounding claims just like yours with the first-hand experience.
- It is only for EU regulated flights
But what exactly does that mean? An EU flight is when the flight departed from an EU airport. Or the flight arrived at an EU airport on an EU carrier. Also included; airports in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
So if your flight was delayed Heathrow to New York flight, this qualifies, regardless of the airline. For New York to Heathrow, you are entitled to compensation from the airline flying British Airways or Thomas Cook, but not on Emirates. This is because Thomas Cook and British Airways are EU based carriers.
2. You can make a flight delay claim back till 2010
EU Regulation 261/2004 came into force in February 2005. Theoretically, you can claim back that far – in practice; it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be able to go back further than 2010.
Due to the statute of limitations in the United Kingdom, if we need to take the airline to court to get the cash for you, then you can only go back six years.
3. It must be the airline’s fault
Now here’s the tricky one. You are only eligible to the flight delay compensation if the delay was something within the airline’s control. Consequently staffing problems and underbooking all count. Political unrest in a country or terrorism doesn’t count.
For example, staff illness is out of the airline’s control, while having the staff to cover such circumstances is within their control!
Guidelines created by European regulators outline scenarios where they believe passengers can claim compensation. New case law may invalidate some scenarios. Therefore it’s best to leave the work to us. Just use our flight delay compensation webpage and complete the forms.
4. To Claim: Delays must be over 3 hours. Announcement of cancellations must be within seven days or less of the scheduled departure
Compensation for delays is only due on flights arriving over three hours or more late. How much you are entitled to be determined by how long the delay is.
Importantly it’s about when you arrive, and the plane doors are open for passengers to disembark. Not when the wheels touch the tarmac and not when you leave.
Follows a ruling by the European Court of Justice in September 2014. Germanwings tried to argue that as its plane had touched down in aa time under three hours late. The passenger had no right to compensation. Their argument was unsuccessful.
Hence, if you’re on a flight that takes off 3 hours 30 minutes late. But land 2 hours 58 minutes late, you’re not over the 3-hour delay needed. As a result, you would not be eligible for flight delay compensation.
Flight delay compensation is available for every passenger on the flight. So a family of four, quadruple any claim amount. Although where a passenger travels free of charge, they cannot claim. A young child who has only paid a penny for their ticket can claim. The amount you’ll get in Sterling may fluctuate. Since flight delay compensation is an EU law it is calculated euros. Therefore, the exchange rate at the time the payment is made will affect it.
The length of the delay is actually measured on the time of arrival at your final destination. Not the time you departed the airport. This means two things. Firstly, the pilot could in theory make up time in the air. Having said that, it also means if the crew are slow at opening the doors and letting you off, then this time is counted too.
Secondly, it’s all about when you arrive at your final destination. Whilst when you are reaching your final destination might be quite apparent, the airline has tried to dispute this for many years. For example, if you have a connecting flight, and your first flight was delayed, it’s about what time your 2nd flight lands. If it arrived in more than 3 hours late, or your missed your connection and a replacement flight got you there more than 3 hours late, again, you qualify. Airlines often try to dispute this, and will even state the entire claim for compensation is invalid because the second leg was outside the EU – this is not the case! And leads into our next point…
Because the carrier rejects your claim, it doesn’t mean it is correct. Who in their right mind would want to be paying out £540 per passenger for a fully booked typical Boeing 747 of 524 passengers?
The bottom line:
We wouldn’t make a claim on your behalf if we didn’t believe you were eligible. Many claimants get fobbed off when they have a legitimate complaint. Most noteworthy, we will take your case to the relevant regulator or ombudsman to investigate if it goes that far, even covering the cost.
Another avenue we can pursue on your behalf: We can complain to an ombudsman in the United Kingdom.
In February 2015, the CAA, the Civil Aviation Authority, revealed plans to launch a new ombudsman-style scheme with binding powers for dispute resolution, and in October 2015, the Ombudsman Services became the first body to be approved by the CAA to take on aviation complaints. All costs incurred to use this service will be covered by ourselves.
The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has also now been approved by the CAA to take on aviation complaints and an alternative dispute resolution option, and it launched its scheme on 1 February. If a passenger’s claim, for either themselves or a group, is unsuccessful they will be asked to pay a £25 fee, but if they are awarded any amount of compensation this fee will be waived.
7. Don’t meet these conditions? Don’t panic; you may still be entitled to claim
There are some circumstances where you may not meet the conditions of EU Regulation 261/2004 as outlined. However, it may still be worth trying to claim for some compensation. The Montreal Convention is another set of rules. The airlines have signed up to these and therefore you may be able to get compensation under that. So use our claim system today and one of our helpful team members can assist you.
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We have accurate flight tracker data so we can impartially check the flight status and airport status, whether it is flight cancellations or airport delays, helping secure your flight delay compensation
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You don’t have to make a new application for every passenger, we handle all claims for you.
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We make keeping up to date with your claim a breeze. At all key steps of the way our agents will keep you up to date with any changes in the status of your case. We send you a nice brief summary via email so you can focus on enjoying life.
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Airlines have their “go to excuses”, we counteract that with detailed weather data.
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Our team fights for you! Don’t you think its funny how the airlines handle claims themselves so have a financial interest in declining you? We fight for your rights.
No Win, No Fee
It’s as simple as that.
What if the airline still says no to your flight delay compensation claim?
Some airlines are playing hardball with claims. Many reject claimants even when the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) or other regulators state that you have a claim. The issue is, the airlines know the law, and claimants do not. It is also the airlines who investigate themselves. So may have an extremely biased view. Who wants to pay out of their pocket? Not the airlines that’s for sure!
- If the carrier rejects your initial claim, we will then take it to the regulator. Unfortunately, the next step is to take it to the small claims court. Don’t worry. Going to court isn’t all about judges and wigs, though – Judges are people too and usually very fair. You will not need to attend court and do not pay a penny to claim. We do that all for you as part of our flight delay compensation service.
- If the airline is ignoring your claim: The best way to force the carrier to deal with your request is to take it to court. It could be your claim has been delayed due to the ongoing legal battles. We may have a similar case to yours going to court where we expect a positive ruling, and it will help assist your claim, we may decide it’s best waiting for them. However, if your application is nearing the six-year time limit for taking court action, we will consider filing proceedings fast. Court claims which go over the 6-year limit while on hold will still be heard, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.
Unfortunately for delayed flights, there’s no central database collating why. It’s the airline’s word against yours. However, the onus is on the airline to prove the cause of the delay. As a result, to back up your claim, try and recall whether the pilot told you anything. Or even by the airline and airport staff at the time of the delay. If you don’t think the airline has cited the exact cause of the delay, it may be worth challenging in court.
How we can take your case to court:
If your flight delay compensation claim is legitimate and the airlines are not cooperating, we will look to proceed to take the airline to court to find a favourable ruling.
- Booked flights in the UK? We can take your case through the courts in the relevant country you’re based in, regardless of where the carrier is based.
- Got a UK address for the airline? The European Consumer Centre states you can take an airline to court here, even if the head office is based elsewhere.
- The flight departed or arrived in the UK? The ECJ ruled in a flight cancellations case that you can take a carrier to court in the country the plane was due to depart or arrive. Regardless of where the airline is based.
If none of the above apply:
You can use the European Small Claims Procedure for cross-border complaints of claims for under €2,000.
You can only appeal a court decision within 21 days of it being made should it not go in your favour.
Flight Delay Compensation – Latest Landmark Ruling
I’ve never understood why they wear wigs in court.
One thing I do know is the bliss of a summer holiday. And the sad end to it.
Your walking across the warm pavement, the sun beating down on your back as it begins to set. Leaving the coach and the heavenly air con, the heat hits you as you casually stroll with your baggage in tow gliding across to the large sliding glass doors that effortlessly open. You can see your families smiling faces looking back at you; your golden glow is still apparent. The perfect holiday.
Or is it?
You then arrive in the queue to check-in for your return trip. You wait.
You are told to abandon the queue after an hour. Due to your flight delayed for a whopping 5 hours. 5 hours in which you turn into a hot sticky mess (though it takes less than 1). Uncomfortable and frustrated, the airline does little to explain.
This is how Michael Evans and his partner Julie Lee experienced travelling home from a beautiful holiday, only to have it swiftly ruined by a flight delay. Due to lighting striking the plane on an earlier flight.
After the lighting had hit, the plane landed in Gatwick safely. Basic repairs needed to be made to the wingtip before the flight could take off again. Monarch again safely made the full flight from Gatwick to Egypt after already completing the previous trip without issue.
In Evans vs. Monarch Airlines, January 2016. A judge ruled that lightning strikes are NOT a valid excuse. Often used by airlines to avoid paying flight delay compensation.
Judge Clarke ruled in favour of passengers Michael Evans and Julie Lee. The appeal case of Evans v Monarch Airlines Ltd at Reading County Court. The Judge awarded the passengers €600 (£450) each for the five-hour flight delay.
It follows an appeal hearing at Luton County Court and is the leading case on the issue of lightning strikes.
The design of planes is such that when lightning mid-air hits them it is not considered a danger to passengers. The vast majority of aircraft that are struck by lightning arrive safely and on time without issue.
This results in delays when the plane lands. It is subject to mandatory safety checks. Also, the airline does not have relief aircraft in place to ensure passengers on any subsequent flights are not delayed.
In this case, Monarch did not have spare aircraft available at Gatwick or Egypt. Meaning passengers had to wait for the plane that had been struck by lightning to go through safety procedures in Gatwick.
- Judge ruled that lightning strikes are NOT an ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that may excuse airlines from paying flight delay compensation
- European Flight Delay Regulation EC 261/2004 dictates that €600 compensation is repaid to passengers delayed by three hours or more in the last six years.
- The Regulation does not provide an accurate list of extraordinary circumstances, leading to long court battles between airlines and passengers
How the judgement was made:
Mr Evans legal representative Matthew Mawdsley successfully argued:
“Aircraft fly through the skies. On rare occasion, they are struck by lightning. However, they are designed to withstand such lightning strikes, continue operating, reach their destination and then be investigated. Any repairs can then be carried out according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
“This isn’t extraordinary. It is entirely inherent in the normal exercise of the carrier’s activity, and that is what happened in this case.”
The Judge stated, “Damage caused by a lightning strike may well be an unexpected flight safety shortcoming, but that does not make it an exceptional circumstance… it is only an exceptional circumstance if it is not inherent in the ordinary exercise of the carrier’s activity.”
What does this mean for airlines?
With another case, added clarity. Flight delay law is relatively new. Case law has pushed direction as guidelines initially set up were far from explicit and detailed. Inevitably Evans vs. Monarch will be a much-cited case.
But really, has it taught us anything new?
No. While a situation may not be an airlines fault, they are expected to plan and deal with it accordingly in a reasonable manner.
- Should safety checks be mandatory? Yes.
- Was it made? Yes.
- Was it within Monarch’s power to mitigate such circumstances? Yes.
Monarch had two opportunities in which they could make up the delay time. They dictated the turnaround times of their aircraft at the airport. First after the lightning strike, and again when the plane landed in Egypt but they failed to do so. Not because they are slow and lacklustre, nor because the airport let them down.
In the world where competition is good for customers. Service quality is going up with prices going down. Monarch is trying to compete, as do all airlines. As such they have imposed a ridiculous turn around time on themselves that they are just failing to meet.
What is the solution to this you may ask?
Some would argue we are heading down a compensation culture route. Airlines will hedge their bets and ticket prices will soar. Any logical person would probably agree. Reading through with a fine tooth comb the terms and conditions. Not something the average person typically does.
The Statute of Limitation in the UK states that individuals have a 6-year time frame in which to make claims for legal proceedings, like flight delay compensation claims.
What the likes of Ryanair are doing is asking you to sign a contract that completely contradicts your rights under The Limitations Act 1980.
Some airlines have even added a surcharge to what you pay! Airlines are enormous, making millions of pounds each and every year. They feel they need to add a surcharge to the price of tickets to cover the cost of flight delay compensation claims. They then don’t pay out all of the surcharges made, as they stack it in their favour and deny eligible claims pocketing the difference as pure profit.
Ryanair charges passengers €2.50/£2.50 per ticket and states on its website: “The EU261 rules are clearly discriminatory in the way they are applied to airlines. By making airlines responsible for delays, cancellations and right of care expenses during force majeure events. It is unfair that airlines are obliged to provide meals and accommodation for passengers. Because governments close their airspace, or air traffic controllers walk off the job, or airports fail to clear their runways of snow.”
Ryanair fails to mention that the force majeure-clause provides them with an excuse never to pay out compensation! If a volcanic eruption or strike causes delays, compensation is simply not due.
What this means for you:
Airlines are one step closer to real accountability. In a market, where 241 million passengers flew out of the UK in the last year. Having a limited number of options on who to fly with, this can only be a good thing for consumers.
If you pop down your major local supermarket this weekend, and they have a single cashier called Lucy sitting behind their checkout, and 467 shoppers (the capacity of a Boeing 747) waiting in a queue, progress is going to be slow!
Now imagine they have the facilities, 20 shiny new tills. They have 15 staff members stacking the various shelves from frozen to dry, an army of security guards patrolling, along with a whole team of experienced fishmongers and butchers, yet they still only have little lonely Lucy on the till.
Taking time off ill or exhausted is inevitable for Lucy. Without being mean, Lucy is an airplane!
This is exactly what airlines are doing, working their planes like donkeys with little or no downtime. With such tight turnarounds, they have little time for repairs or checks. Having no backup plan or plane doesn’t help. Resulting in your infuriating flight delays. How long would you wait for lonely Lucy to get through the waves of people to finally serve you?
These flight claims aren’t the math terrorist incident. A math professor’s equation caused a scare.
It’s the expected and every day. It’s the delays and dilemmas of running a business, short staffing and illness. Wear and tear of machines. And weather.
Here’s the deal:
- Flight delay compensation is like an insurance policy, and you’re already paying for it.
- So why wouldn’t you claim? Submit your complaint and get paid.
- This ruling makes airlines more accountable. The more they pay out, the more they are given a sharp incentive to give passengers a service they deserve.
Flight Delay Compensation – Court challenges (They help your claim)
Some airlines have been fighting tooth and nail in court to try to reduce the number of passengers that can claim. Even putting claims on hold while they went to court. There are two big issues – whether you can claim for technical faults and how far back you can claim.
Here’s the latest:
The “technical fault is an extraordinary circumstance” argument – highest EU court confirms you CAN claim
Mechanical failures have long been an area of dispute for both passengers and airlines. A landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice in September 2015 appears to have finally handed victory to passengers.
The key point:
You CAN claim for technical problems; if extraordinary circumstances haven’t caused them. Component failure or general wear and tear should be considered normal technical difficulties. Not “extraordinary”.
However, you CAN’T claim if a manufacturer discovers a hidden defect, as this is outside the airline’s control.
The major developments:
- Jun 2014: In Huzar v Jet2 The UK Court of Appeal ruled that you can claim for a technical problem that hasn’t been caused by “extraordinary circumstances.” It ruled if reasons of a technical problem were “inherent in the standard exercise of the activity of the airline”; then it was within the airline’s control, therefore, pay compensation.
- Oct 2014: The Supreme Court – the highest court in the UK – refused to hear the Huzar v Jet2 after Jet2 tried to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision.
- Feb 2015: Many airlines are known to put cases on hold pending the outcome of a similar case. Van der Lans v KLM was being heard at the European Court of Justice. Whether carriers could put claims on hold pending this was tested at Liverpool County Court where the court ruled the three carriers involved in the claims – Jet2, Ryanair, and Wizz Air – couldn’t put them on hold.
- Sept 2015: In van der Lans v KLM the European Court of Justice confirmed that technical problems are not classed as “extraordinary circumstances,”. Therefore, passengers are entitled to claim compensation. The judgement cannot be appealed.
- Also in Sept 2015: The CAA considered taking legal action against Ryanair. The CAA stated it was “not satisfied” the airline was paying compensation for claims prompted by routine technical failures. The CAA has since stated Ryanair has given legal undertakings it will pay compensation for disruption caused by routine mechanical failures.
2. The “You can only go back two years” excuse from airlines
The key point here is under UK law:
You can claim for delays going back at least six years. Don’t listen if an airline says you can only go back two years.
Here’s what’s happened to date:
- Aug 2015: The CAA states Jet2 has agreed not to impose a two-year limit for passengers to make compensation claims. For refusing to consider claims regarding flight delays over two years old. Wizz Air has been referred to the Hungarian regulator.Jun 2014: In the Dawson v Thomson case The UK Court of Appeal ruled that you can claim for delayed flights going back at least six years in England and Wales. The Montreal Convention is what Thomson used to argue it should only be two years.
- Oct 2014: The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of Dawson v Thomson.
- Aug 2015: Ryanair has been arguing separately that under its terms and conditions, passengers only have two years to claim. Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair this was put to the test where the judge ruled against Ryanair.
Sept 2015: The CAA announced it was taking legal action against Ryanair. The airline is attempting to impose a contractual two-year time limit for passengers to issue compensation claims at court. The CAA has said Ryanair has given legal undertakings that it will not impose a period of two years for claims.
The ‘extraordinary circumstances/lightning strike’ issue
Sept 2013: Jager v easyJet Airline Company Limited
In the case of Jager, the Claimant was flying between Gatwick and Nice. Her flight was delayed by 4 hours due to the aftermath of a flight that was diverted and delayed earlier in the day due to bad weather in Milan, Italy.
The claimant argued that the regulations quite clearly state that poor weather is only an extraordinary circumstance where it affects the operation of the flight in question.
Bad weather occurred earlier in the day, in Milan and did not influence any part of the Claimant’s actual flight. The Judge maintained that it was not extraordinary. Compensation in full plus interest and costs were awarded to the Claimant.
It’s also worth noting a separate court challenge on what exactly constitutes an extraordinary circumstance – this relates to the disruption caused following a lightning strike. A ruling by Reading County Court in Jan 2016, though not binding, could be persuasive in other cases.
It was argued; disruption following a lightning strike should not count as an extraordinary circumstance. Evans v Monarch Airlines Ltd. Passengers Michael Evans and Julie Lee were awarded €600 (£450) each. After lightning hit a flight earlier in the day, resulting in a five-hour delay after the disruption caused. To see our full analysis of this case you can view it here; latest landmark flight delay compensation ruling
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What compensation have you received, and how did you effectively request it?
You can request compensation by.
How much can I claim in compensation for my delayed flight?
You can claim compensation to the amount of.
How much compensation are you entitled to for a delayed flight?
You are entitled to the following amounts for compensation.
Air Passenger Rights
Passengers’ rights vary based on geographical location, and with the obvious fact, flights have no fixed location it can be confusing. There are different rules all over the world, the most in favour of passengers’ rights, is EU 261. This is for European flights, and it doesn’t matter on your own nationality or place of residence, whether you are an EU citizen or not. If your flight departed or arrived in the EU, you could be due money.
flight is delayed
flight delays and cancellations
flight is cancelled
flight was cancelled
The time of arrival of a delayed flight must be in excess of the scheduled time of arrival by 3 hours. The departure time is irrelevant. So, in theory, a flight could leave 3 hours and 10 minutes late, but if it can make up 11 minutes in flight, then it will arrive 2 hours 59 minutes late, and within the 3-hour threshold.
If your flight was cancelled then the airline is still obliged to get you to your destination. They will often put you on an alternative flight. It is a reasonable expectation for them to do so at the earliest possible opportunity even if it means the alternative flight is via a different airline, at their own cost. If your alternative flight gets you to your final destination over 3 hours late, you are still entitled to compensation.
Refund of Flights
In a case where a flight was cancelled without notice for 14 days before departure, you may be entitled to a refund on the flight. In addition to this, if you required a replacement flight, the airline may be responsible for the cost of the alternative flight, even if it is with another carrier. If you get a refund or your expenses covered in this scenario, it does not remove your ability to get compensation in addition. It is the airlines’ responsibility to ensure you are reaching your final destination at the earliest opportunity.
If your flight was cancelled or you suffered a long delay, the airline is duty bound to look after you. That can often mean covering expenses. These are not limited to but can include food and drink as well as hotel accommodations if required. Expenses should only be reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the delay. So that doesn’t mean you can expect them to foot the bill for car hire for your own excursion whilst waiting for a replacement flight.
Overbooked flights can result in passengers being denied boarding which is sometimes called being “bumped”. This is simply denied boarding due to overbooking the flight and selling more tickets than seats. It is still the airlines’ duty to get you to your final destination within 3 hours of your original flight’s scheduled time of arrival, if it can not do this they are required to pay compensation. Airlines will try to avoid paying you at all costs, often saying paying for the replacement flight was enough, along with a couple of food and drink vouchers.
Am I eligible to make a flight delay compensation?
Under EC 261, you are entitled to file a claim for cash compensation if;
- You arrive at your destination more than three hours later than planned.
- You have checked in for your flight on time (generally no less than 45 minutes before departure).
- You encountered these problems on a flight operated no more than three years ago.
- The airline is responsible for the delay (e.g. operational circumstances and technical difficulties).
- The flight took off in the EU (from any airline) or landed in the EU (provided that the airline is headquartered in the EU).
- It doesn’t matter whether the airline has already provided you with food, refreshment or travel vouchers.
Delayed flight compensation: under which circumstances are flight delays not covered under EC 261?
Delays less than three hours long.
The official time of arrival is not when the wheels touch down on the runway, but when the plane is parked at the gate and at least one door is open.
This can sometimes be a difference of 15 minutes or more, so it’s important to be precise.
How long can a flight be delayed without compensation? Three full hours.
Extraordinary circumstances are not covered.
An EU airline can avoid liability if the delay is caused by “extraordinary circumstances”.
These include situations like lightning strikes, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, serious adverse weather conditions, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, acts of sabotage, political unrest, acts of terrorism… you get the idea.
Does snow count as a ‘serious adverse weather condition’?
It depends whether or not the airline could have prevented the problem.
If, for example, the airline failed to ensure that there were sufficient supplies of de-icer before the onset of winter, it could be held responsible for the delay – especially if flights operated by other airlines were able to depart on time.
Also, think about the location of the airports in question. If you’re flying to a ski resort, it wouldn’t be unexpected for there to be snow so they should plan for this. However, snow in a hot climate, like Africa or the Caribbean, it may be quite extraordinary.
Airline strikes do not fall under extraordinary circumstances
In April 2018, the ECJ made a ruling stating that internal ‘wildcat strikes’ by flight staff do not constitute as ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
Therefore, EU airlines must now compensate air passengers for cancellation or delay, when an airline strike is to blame.
Airlines will frequently try to fob off passengers with incorrect denials or claiming a certain situation was extraordinary. Why do they do this? Because they do not want to pay.
Delayed flights: Are all flights covered by EC 261?
Almost all routes within Europe are covered. This includes not only EU airspace, and any of the EU countries, but also Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the so-called “outermost-regions” (French Guiana and Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion, Saint-Martin, Madeira and the Azores, and the Canary Islands).
A common misconception is that EC 261 only applies to flights within Europe, but that’s not the case.
If your flight departs from any airport in the EU, it’s covered. And it’s also covered if your flight departs from outside the EU but is with an EU airline. Like so:
|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|
How much could you be owed when your flight is delayed?
|Length of delay|
|Less than 3 hours||3 – 4 hours||More than 4 hours||Never arrived||Distance|
|€ –||€250||€250||€250||All flights 1,500 km or less|
|€ –||€400||€400||€400||Internal EU flights over 1,500 km|
|€ –||€400||€400||€400||Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km|
|€ –||€300||€600||€600||Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km|
How is the delay calculated?
Factors that affect your compensation include the delay length, the flight distance between the airports in question and the exchange rate when payment was made.
It is important to remember that delays are calculated based on the time of arrival, not the departure time. But what exactly is a flight’s “arrival time”?
In September 2014, the European Court of Justice (case C-425/13) defined “arrival time ” to be the moment at which the aircraft has reached its final destination and one of its doors is open.
This is based on the assumption that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft.
Also, here we have a free flight delay compensation calculator:
What sort of paperwork do I need for my flight delay claim?
You just need to know your flight number. If you’re going to file directly with an airline, you can expect a lot of resistance.
It’s always best to provide flight documents, ideally your booking confirmation and also boarding passes.
Even with EC 261 on your side, airlines don’t want to pay. Even when they do pay – its not usually quick. To give your claim the best chance of succeeding, here are a few pointers:
- Hold onto any travel documents related to the disrupted flight and any alternative flights offered such as e-tickets and boarding passes.
- Ask the ground crew for information about what is causing the issue.
- Keep a few notes, perhaps on your phone, about the disruption.
- Make a note of the actual time the flight arrived at your final destination. Any information you can collect, such as photos of the departures board at the airport or any communications from the airline confirming the disruption. If you file directly with the airline, they’ll be useful for your claim.
- Make a voice recording or video of any announcements from staff, or photos of letters distributed to passengers.
Flight Delays — how to claim compensation
With a few clicks of your finger, you can transform your delayed or cancelled flight into a reimbursement claim.
After you have gone through our eligibility checklist and qualify to seek compensation, the good news is you can make a delayed flight claim.
We understand how frustrating it is to suffer a flight delay or cancellation.
After you enter your flight details into our free compensation calculator, within seconds you are notified if you are eligible or not to make a claim for your delayed, canceled or overbooked flight.
Factors that influence if you qualify for compensation and by how much include weather and technical issues.
If the compensation calculator shows you’re entitled to compensation, you are given the option to permit us to start asserting your rights away.
Throughout this process, we give you regular updates to keep you informed if you are claiming via ourselves.
EU flight delays: what to do
Suffered, whether it was from flight delays or cancellations recently? Don’t stress, follow our easy step-by-step guide on how to make the best out of the situation.
- Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents, ideally the full booking confirmation, which will normally be sent to you via email at the time of booking.
- Ask why the flight was delayed. Write it down, even as a note on your phone.
- Make a note of the time when reaching your final destination.
- Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments. It’s your right.
- Don’t sign anything or accept any offers that may waive your rights.
- Choose to wait it out or call it off if your delay is more than five hours.
- Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room. If you have to source one yourself, keep the receipt.
- Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.
- See if your flight delay is eligible for compensation.
How to claim your flight delay compensation with major UK airlines
European Commission Regulation EC 261 covers flight delay compensation on all UK airlines.
For the most part, when British Airways cancels a flight, the airline is willing to book passengers onto another flight at no extra charge.
When cancelled flights occur, the BA systems will automatically rebook you. If you decide the flight isn’t suitable or you no longer wish to travel, you can make a change.
We enter the picture when BA cancels a flight but doesn’t give you 14 days’ notice or offer to re-route you. When this happens, EC 261 entitles you to flight cancellation compensation as part of your rights as an air passenger within the European Union.
If you are not sure if you are eligible for flight delay compensation, we can help.
Yearly, Easyjet carries millions of passengers. Approximately 1.17% of Easyjet’s flights are heavily delayed or cancelled.
This means you’re likely to arrive at your destination on time. However, there are some routes that are affected more often than others.
If you have suffered a fight mishap with Easyjet claim today.
If you’ve experienced flight delays or cancellation with Flybe, we can assist you in getting compensation.
Just enter your flight details and as long as the flight has been delayed for more than three hours or cancelled in the last three years, we will let you know if you can be reimbursed for your flight inconvenience.
Business travellers and public officials are also entitled to compensation
Many people think that their employer will be entitled to any compensation for a delay during a business trip but that’s not the case.
In fact, it is the passenger who has suffered the inconvenience that is entitled to flight delay compensation, not the person who paid for the ticket.
This is the general principle set out in the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation for major flight delays, cancellations and cases of overbooking. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an employee of a private-sector company or a public official.
Are there any other rights that come with EC 261?
Right to reimbursement or re-routing
In addition to compensation for your loss of time, if your delay exceeds five hours, you are entitled to a full or partial refund of your original ticket and a return flight to your point of departure, if needed.
Right to care
When you’re stuck waiting for the airline to get you back on track toward your destination, you’re entitled to a number of free perks, depending on your flight details.
The carrier must provide you with meals and refreshments during the delay as well as access to communications, including two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, and emails.
But here’s the problem with flight delay vouchers
Flight delay vouchers are not always what they seem. And of course when you’re tired and confused and someone is offering you a voucher for a new flight, it’s very hard to say ‘no’.
However, you should check that by accepting a voucher, you’re not waiving your right to claim for the compensation you’re legally entitled to. EU regulations clearly state that compensation should be paid in cash, electronic transfer or checks, unless the passenger chooses to accept travel vouchers instead.
Essentially, it’s your choice as to whether to accept the vouchers or not. The data says that most people do.
But you must remember that it’s worth finding out what you might be entitled to if you refuse the airline’s offer and insist on cash instead.
Most people don’t know their rights on what compensation they’re owed. We surveyed European air travellers and found that 85% don’t know their rights, and globally 13 million passengers miss out on more than €5 billion in compensation every year.
Additional entitlement to food, refreshments and other benefits
If overnight accommodation is necessary, they must provide you with a hotel room and transportation to and from the airport.
Upgrading and downgrading
If you are offered an alternative flight and are lucky enough to get an upgrade, the airline isn’t allowed to charge you anything extra. On the other hand, if the class of the alternative flight is lower, you can get a reimbursement of between 30-75% of the price you originally paid.
Even if you are compensated under EC 261, this doesn’t affect your right to request further compensation.
This rule doesn’t apply in cases where passengers have voluntarily surrendered their reservations. But bear in mind that the amount you are entitled to under EC 261 may be deducted from whatever additional compensation you receive.
Obligation to inform passengers of their rights
Airlines are obliged to inform passengers about their rights and the content of EC 261. This means that every airline has to display information on passenger’s rights at check-in counters.
I’m stranded on the tarmac – what should I do?
It’s important to take note of the time when the plane doors are closed. Then, if the wait feels like it’s getting a bit longer than normal, you can measure how much time you’ve been sitting on the tarmac.
If the wait is too long, there’s something you can do.
European tarmac delays are eligible for compensation just the same way a flight delay is eligible for compensation in Europe. However, if you’re not someone who likes sitting on a busy plane for longer than necessary, it’s a bad situation.
While supplying air conditioning, access to lavatories and water is mandatory, the law doesn’t require giving passengers the option to deplane until the tarmac delay reaches five hours.
EU and UK flight delay compensation — what about Brexit?
These flight delay rules fall under the regulations for EU flight delay compensation. Consequently, they apply until the UK officially leaves the union in March 2019.
Time will tell how this impacts the UK but until then, the regulations stated above are the current law.
I’ve written to the airline and they aren’t responding?
There are many template letters online, and airlines receive these every day. They will usually be able to recognise template letters and spot passengers trying to claim themselves and letters from professional services like ours. This could simply be why they are ignoring you. With our service, we WILL take the airline to court if needed. They know most passengers won’t be willing to take the cost risk of proceeding at court against a multimillion pound company like themselves.
For best results, instruct Flight Delay Claims Team to pursue your case for you.
Once we have won the case, we will send you a cheque you can pay into your bank account.