Which law provisions entitle me to receive compensation if my flight has been delayed?
Receiving compensation for a delayed flight pertains to EU Regulation 261/2004 (the Regulation). This EU law that establishes the rights of air passengers in case of flight incidents states that, under certain conditions, you are entitled to receive a refund of up to £475* .
In order to be covered by the EU law, your flight must be either departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline OR arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline.
Airports in Iceland, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and Norway also qualify as EU airports under these particular EU provisions.
It is important to keep in mind that you don’t have to be European citizen to be entitled to receive compensation.
How much am I entitled to receive (as compensation) from the airline company?
If the arrival delay at your final destination exceeds 3 hours, then you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can be as much as £475 per each individual passenger and it is calculated based on the distance of the flight rather than on the price of the flight. The further it is the larger the compensation.
Additionally, it is good to know that the flight operator has also an obligation of care towards his passengers if he expects to have a delay of at least 2 hours for a certain flight. This care should consist in at least two free telephone calls, email, telexes of faxes, refreshments and a meal.
The table below can help you establish exactly what you are entitled to:
|Flight Distance||Flights of 1500km or less|
e.g. London to Madrid
|Longer flights within the EU or 1500km to 3500km|
e.g. London to Moscow
|Flights over 3500km outside the EU
e.g. London to New York
|Delay||2 hours or more||3 hours or more||3 hours or more||3 hours or more||4 hours or more|
If my flight enters the scope of the EU Regulation, when can the airline company legitimately refuse my claim?
It is important to keep in mind that whether you are entitled to compensation or not depends also on the reason for the delay. If that reason qualifies as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’* in the light of the Regulation, you are not entitled to receive compensation.
‘circumstances that are not considered to be extraordinary‘
How soon after the flight incident should I file the complaint?
For England and Wales, you can claim compensation for a delayed flight that goes as far back as 6 years. For Scotland, the flight date can go as far back as 5 years.
The time interval varies from state to state, depending on each national law’s relevant provisions.
How long does it take before I receive my compensation?
A regular complaint usually takes about 2 or 3 months’ time to be solved.
However, if you take your case to the Small Claims Court, we estimate that your compensation will be paid within 6 months from the moment you first submit your claim to the airline company.