UK/EU flight delay compensation

This is a guide to UK/EU flight delay compensation rules.

Flight delays can be a big problem. And these things are happening every day. Every single day some flight gets delayed. However, the good thing is that in many situations we are all protected by law. If your flight is delayed, and it's a delay due to airline’s fault - it includes technical problems - you may be entitled to European flight delay compensation (up to €600).

This applies to most flights to and from Europe.

Check your compensation online.

Had an issue with a flight recently? You might be eligible for up to 600€ compensation Check your compensation

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UK/EU air passenger rights

Air passenger rights are almost identical in the EU, EEA and UK.

That's why we may refer to them simply as European air passenger rights, and use terms like European flight compensation and European flight compensation regulation. We may also use a word Europe to refer to this whole region, where the flight compensation regulations EC 261/2004 and UK261 are in effect (both of them are almost identical).

  • With European airlines these rules apply to all flights to and from Europe
  • With non-European airlines - flights departing from Europe

1. UK/EU flight delay compensation: Rules

The compensation rules are very simple.

If you're flying to or from Europe, your flight is delayed for more than 3 hours, and it's due to the airline's fault - you are entitled to UK/EU flight delay compensation up to €600.

EU flight compensation basics:

  1. It applies to all flights with European airlines. If your flight is with a European airline, these rules apply to all flights to and from Europe. You can get compensation also when flying, for example, from Bangkok to Paris. The same rules apply to all UK airlines.
  2. It applies also to many flights with non-EU airlines. If you're flying with a non-EU airline, it applies to flights departing from Europe. If an airline is registered in a country outside of the EU, it's considered a non-EU airline.
  3. All passengers are equally protected. These rules apply to all passengers on all flights that fall under the European flight regulation. It includes also tourists travelling to, from or within Europe. You don’t have to be a citizen of the European Union to be entitled to European flight compensation.
  4. All commercial airlines have to follow these rules. These rules apply to all commercial airlines in Europe. If the airline is operating to, from or within Europe, it has to follow these guidelines. It includes also charter airlines.
  5. All of this applies to EU, EEA and UK.
Find out if you are eligible for EU / UK flight delay compensation Check your flight

EU Flight Compensation Rules - SUMMARY

1.1 When you can't get compensation from airline?

Situations such as extreme weather conditions and airport staff strikes are exempt from compensation. You can't get European flight delay compensation in these situations. At the same time you should remember that not all airport strikes are the same -- in some situations you will be entitled to compensation.

Remember - you still have a right to care.

Even in the worst cases you have a right to care.

More on this further below.

Check compensation online.

Had an issue with a flight recently? You might be eligible for compensation Check your compensation

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1.2 How long was the flight delay?

What matters is the time of arrival to destination.

Not the time of departure. But the time of arrival to your final destination. And more exactly - when the doors of the airplane are being opened, and passengers are allowed to leave the airplane. If it has happened 3 or more hours after the original arrival time, then you may be entitled to EU flight compensation up to €600.

When in doubts, fill in our claim form.

And we'll take it from there.

We'll check the flight on your behalf.

1.3 What if it's a 2-hour flight delay?

In short, in some situations you can get a compensation.

Everyone always talks about the "3 hour flight delay compensation". But what if it’s a 2-hour flight delay? What if your flight is only 2 hours late? Not 3 or more hours late. Can you claim for a 2 hour flight delay? Could you be entitled to EU flight compensation?

In some situations, yes, you could be entitled to compensation.

Here are two scenarios, when you could get compensation:

1. Connecting flights. Your first flight is delayed and you miss the next flight. You are given a new flight. In a situation like this, sometimes even a 1-hour delay is enough for you to miss the connecting flight. If the new flight arrives 3 or more hours late, you will be entitled to compensation. As long as the delay is due to airline's fault.

2. Cancelled flights. If an airline cancels a flight, it has to give you a new, alternative flight. If this has happened not more than 7 days before the departure, your new flight has to reach the destination with a maximum of 1h 59 min delay. If the flight is 2 hours late, and it's due to airline's fault, you will be entitled to UK/EU flight delay compensation (technically it will be flight cancellation compensation).

1.4 Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?

Can I claim compensation for a delayed flight?

If your flight falls under the above mentioned description - yes. That means you might be entitled to compensation. But you still have to file a claim. You have to request compensation from airline -- either yourself or by handing the case to a flight compensation company. We offer such service. We can help you to get your airline delay compensation.

If you do nothing, in 99% of situations you will get nothing.

Find out if you are eligible for EU / UK flight delay compensation Check your flight

2. Flight delay compensation: How to claim delay compensation in the EU/UK/EEA?

This is the most important step in getting compensation.

You have to claim it. To contact the airline and request the compensation. Because, as we have already mentioned, if you do nothing, you will get nothing. Unfortunately, but at the moment it isn't happening automatically, even though it would make so much sense.

How to claim EU flight delay compensation?

2.1 How to claim compensation for a delayed flight?

How to claim delayed flight compensation in the EU?

One of the options is to contact the airline directly.

In a perfect world you would send an email to your airline and receive compensation soon afterwards. Unfortunately, but mostly this is not how it works. Mostly it's more difficult. And also way more time-consuming.

Another option - to seek legal representation.

To put it simply, ask someone more experienced to do it on your behalf. Does it sound difficult and expensive? It isn't. We offer such a service. All you need is your passport or ID and boarding pass or flight confirmation.

Calculate your flight compensation for free! It takes less than 2 minutes Calculate compensation

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When working with us, here is all you will have to do:

  1. Go to this page;
  2. Fill in the details about yourself and your flight delay;
  3. Upload your boarding pass and passport copy;
  4. Sign the claim online.

And that’s it. We’ll take it from there.

At first we don't ask your bank account details. We will ask this, when the process will be approaching the final step, when the airline will approve the payment of flight compensation. If we'll need anything else from you, our flight delay specialists will contact you via e-mail. When the process is finished, you'll receive the money.

You'll receive compensation in your bank account.

As easy as that.

How much can you claim - Refundor - ENG

3. How much can you claim for delay?

The exact amount of flight delay compensation varies.

Mostly it's based only on the distance of your flight.

You can claim up to 600 euro for delay.

3.1 How much exactly is your claim worth?

Mostly the answer will be one of these: €250, €400 or €600.

Here is how you can calculate it.

When your destination is within the EU/UK/EEA:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres;
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the EU/UK/EEA:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres;
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is between 1500 - 3500 kilometres;
  • €600 - if the distance of your flight is more than 3500 kilometres.

The rules are the same for all passengers. No matter the age, nationality, airline, price of the ticket or travel insurance. Your under 2 years old can receive full flight compensation, too. That's right, even infants have a right to full flight compensation in the European Union.

Occasionally some other factors come into play. However, the amount of compensation is not affected by the price of the flight or airline you are flying with. So your Wizz Air flight delay compensation is going to be the same as someone’s British Airways compensation. That's assuming, that you’re flying on the same route, your flights are delayed for the same length of time and because of the same reason.

All of this is possible thanks to UK / EU flight delay compensation rules - Europe's Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 (EC 261).

You don't need travel insurance for this.

3.2 Exception (you can receive only 50%)

There is one exception when it comes to compensation amounts.

This applies to long-haul flights, usually at least 4-5 hours long. If the distance of your flight is 3500 kilometres or more, and you reach your destination with a delay between 3 to 4 hours, you'll be receiving €300 not €600.

Had an issue with a flight recently? You might be eligible for up to 600€ compensation Check your compensation

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4. Why work with Refundor?

Because working with Refundor makes things much easier.

Here is how it makes everything easier.

4.1 It saves your time. Significantly

First of all, it saves your time.

In most situations with us, all you have to do is to submit your flight information once, and wait for the money. Just fill in our EU flight delay compensation form, and wait. We do the rest. One compensation claim form, and that’s it.

No negotiations. No emails from airline. No wasted time looking for the right EU flight delay compensation claim form.

Only one form - and that's it.

4.2 It saves your money

Secondly, we have a simple and honest pricing.

Working with airlines is hard. And legal services are costly. Would you sooner or later decide to search for legal advice to claim flight delay compensation from the airline, you’ll have to cover all the expenses yourself. No matter the outcome. With us you pay only in the case of success.

Our fee is only €25 + 25% of the amount of the compensation. No any hidden fees. No upfront fees. You pay nothing unless you are receiving the compensation from airline. With us you know exactly what you are paying. It's not the same with all flight compensation companies on the market right now.

4.3 It saves your nerves

Last but not least, it's zero risk for you.

We do the job, and you don't have to worry about anything. It will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. No win, no fees.

Let's work together?

Click here. This is our compensation claim form.

Fill in this one form, and we’ll get the ball rolling. When we finish the job, you’ll just tell us your bank account details. And we’ll make the money transfer. You will receive compensation in your bank account.


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5. Claiming compensation for a delayed flight in the EU/UK/EEA: Frequently asked questions

Most of the following is gonna be more relevant if you work with us.

If you decide to make a claim yourself, it will depend from situation to situation, your experience with law, and also from your experience in dealing with similar matters. Here are some of the most popular questions we're receiving from our clients.

5.1 How long does it take?

When will you receive compensation?

On average it takes around 3 months until you receive flight delay compensation. But it may take longer if the airline isn't cooperative. It will take longer than that, if we have to take the case to National Enforcement Body or court, and then it will depend from them. In some countries these things happen faster than in other.

But you can rest assured, because we do finish every case we start. And whenever there will be any news regarding your claim, we will let you know. And if you'll have questions during the process, you can always contact our customer support team via email or Facebook.

Why does it take so long?

Because there are no strict regulations regarding that. No one has told airlines how quickly they should respond to such claims. There are only recommendations that it should be done within 2 months.

So, yes, it may take a while.

Speaking of the factors we can control, to achieve the best and fastest results at Refundor we use a computer system that allows us to automate one big part of the process. Meaning that your claim can be processed much faster than if the whole process would be done by a human.

5.2 Will you take my flight delay compensation case to court on my behalf?

Yes, we do that as well.

The whole process usually looks like this - we first start by reaching out to an airline and initiating a negotiation process; if it doesn't work, we take a case to NEB; and the last step is court. The sooner airline agrees and actually makes a compensation payment, the sooner you receive the money.

5.3 My flight was extra-late, I had to book an accommodation for the night. Can I claim extra expenses with you?

Yes, you can claim extra expenses with us.

As you may already know, in some situations airlines are obliged to take care of their passengers. That includes also long flight delays and last-minute flight cancellations. And if they fail to deliver that, you can cover these extra expenses yourself, and later file a claim.

We talk more about right to care further below.

5.4 What airlines does Refundor work with?

We work with following types of airlines (from around the world):

  • Low-cost airlines (airlines like Ryanair, Wizz Air, easyJet)
  • Full-service traditional airlines
  • Public charter airlines (airlines like TUI)

Here's a list of some of the most popular airlines that we work with. We work also with airlines not listed on this page. Just fill in our claim form and we'll get back to you. EU regulations applies to all airlines operating flights from or to Europe.

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5.5 How much does it cost?

We pursue flight compensations for a €25 + 25% fee.

No hidden administration fees or tax expenses. No upfront fees. For example, if we'll win a 400 EUR compensation for you, we'll transfer you 275 EUR and keep 125 EUR for our services. You pay only if you're receiving the EU delayed flight compensation.

At the same time it will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation. We take that risk on ourselves. No win, no fees.

5.6 What if you can’t get my compensation?

It’s a possibility.

As already mentioned, it will cost you nothing.

No matter the reason.

5.7 How far back can you claim flight compensation?

It varies from country to country.

There is no one answer to the question how far back can you claim for flight delays. However, on average it's between 2 to 3 years after the date of delay. It depends from the local laws of the country that your flight is from.

Entering a hotel room

6. Right to care from airline

If you have to wait at the airport, you have a right to care.

Most of the above mentioned on this page is possible thanks to the EU regulation 261/2004. The same regulation gives you right to care from airlines whenever there's a long waiting at the airport. In this case it doesn't matter what is the reason of this waiting -- airline's mistake or something unavoidable like extreme weather conditions.

Generally speaking (there are exceptions):

  • If it's a 3-hour wait, you have a right to free food and free drink. Mostly it's provided in a form of coupons that you can exchange at the airport.
  • If it's more than 3 hours and overnight, you have a right to free accommodation. Airline has to provide both a room and free transfer to and from the hotel.

Contact your airline to request this.

Or, if it's impossible, pay for the services yourself and then request a reimbursement. Take into account, that it's supposed to be necessities. You won't get a reimbursement for a lavish dinner and a luxury hotel stay. We can help you claim extra expenses too - just mention that when making a claim for compensation.

Flight information screen at the airport

7. What to do if your flight is delayed?

So, you have arrived at the airport in time.

You are looking at the flight information display and there it is. Your flight is going to be delayed. It's going to depart a few hours later than planned. Or maybe you haven't yet experience that -- in that case, save this step by step guide for later.

What to do when your flight is delayed?

Step 1 - Don’t stress over it

Flight delays happen every day.

Everything will be fine.

Step 2 - Do you have another flight?

Do you have a next flight that you can’t miss?

If it’s a connecting flight, and because of this flight delay you are going to miss the connecting flight, don’t worry. Because the airline will take care of that, and most probably will put you on another flight for free. You will have to contact the airline at the next airport (after missing connecting flight). If, however, you have a very strict schedule, look for an alternative flight or flights to your destination. And if you decide so, book a new flight now.

Note, that two separately booked flights isn't a “connecting flight”. It's a self transfer flight. If you miss a self transfer, this is your responsibility, not airline's.

Step 3 - Check in for your flight

There's no reason to postpone check in.

If the flight check in has already started and you aren’t going to book another flight, proceed as usual. Head over to the check in counter. Check in for your flight. Then proceed through airport security, and go to your gate.

If you have checked in online, proceed to your gate.

Flight information screens at the airport

Step 4 - Keep following the flight status

Follow the information regarding your flight.

Check the flight information display every 20 - 30 minutes or so, and be ready that there might be an announcement. You can see the status of your flight on flight information screens at the airport. Alternatively you can check your flight status online.

Step 5 - You have a right to care

It's a long flight delay, often you have a right to care.

After 3 hours of waiting you have a right to care.

If your flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours, the airline must provide you with free meal and drink plus two free phone calls, two e-mails or faxes. In Europe that's called a right to care. All passengers have a right to care.

Step 6 - Free hotel accommodation

What if it's a very long flight delay?

In case of an overnight delay, the airline must provide you with free hotel accomodation and transportation to and from it. You also have a right to at least one free meal and drink from the airline.

How to get a free meal and drink? What about free hotel if it’s going to be an overnight delay? Wait for the announcement from your airline or head over to their information booth at the airport and they will help you. They should help you. Contact your airline via phone if you can't reach them any other way.

Know your rights under EC 261/UK261

Know your rights and act accordingly!

To sum it all up - if you are late, you may be entitled to compensation. If you have arrived to your final destination 3 or more hours after the original arrival time, you may be eligible to UK/EU flight delay compensation. You may get up to €600 per person. So don't forget to make a flight delay claim to get that money -- to get your late flight compensation.

You may be offered to take another flight at some point.

Read more: What to do if your flight is delayed?

Submit your claim for flight delay compensation now.

Passengers on the plane

Be ready, that your flight may also get cancelled.

Learn more about UK/EU flight cancellation compensation.

In short - in an event of flight cancellation you can get both a new flight and you can also claim for compensation. That’s if in the end you reach your final destination 2 or more hours later than initially planned. The new flight can be another flight operated by your airline, or you may be offered to fly with another airline at no extra cost to you.

You may also opt for a full refund instead of a new flight.

Has something like this happened to you?

Submit your claim for airline compensation now.

To learn more about the topic, read the regulation we're referring to, here. But be prepared that the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 (EC 261) is a long read. Click here to see our summary of the same European flight compensation law. See our summary of the Regulation UK261 here.

By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.