25 situations when you can get EU flight delay compensation

As a traveller in Europe you are protected.

You’re protected against flight delays and cancellations.

If your flight is delayed for 3+ hours, often you can get EU flight delay compensation up to €600 per passenger. All that matters is that it must be due to your airline's fault. If it’s a European airline, it applies to all its flights to and from Europe. If it’s a non-EU airline, it applies only to flights from Europe.

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25 situations when you can get EU flight delay compensation

The most important thing - it must be your airline’s fault.

But what is considered airline’s fault? Here are 25 examples of such reasons.

25 situations, when you can get flight delay compensation.

Some of the reasons may sound really bizarre, but all of that has actually happened in real life. And all of that mostly is considered airline’s fault.

Technical problems

1. Problems with the engine

Your plane doesn’t leave on time because the engine is not working properly.

Mostly it’s considered your airline’s fault.

Yes, aircraft technical problems mostly are considered airline’s fault. And it doesn't matter if it's a full service airline like Air France and SAS, or a low cost airline like easyJet, if because of that your flight is heavily delayed, you have a right to compensation.

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2. Window is broken by a drunk passenger

Whaaat? It has happened before.

And then the court ruled that it's airline's fault.

3. Problems with the air condition system

Let’s assume it’s not working properly.

Again, mostly it’s the airline’s fault.

4. Blocked toilet on the plane

5. Luggage gets stuck in the cargo bay

Because…. the doors have iced over.

And it causes a serious delay.

It has happened.

6. The taxiing plane hits the toilet truck


If your flight is delayed because the taxiing plane hits the toilet truck, you may receive flight delay compensation. Since it’s likely will be considered your airline’s fault.

A cup of coffee

7. Broken coffee maker

What if your plane is delayed because of a coffee maker?

What if the mechanics have to repair it, and that’s why your flight is late?

Most likely you will be entitled to compensation.

8. A broken coffee maker causes a mid-air emergency

It has happened more than once.

There is a sudden smell of burning.

It turns out that the coffee machine is overheated in use and is not operational anymore. And the crew declares a mid-air emergency causing the plane to return.

It’s airline’s responsibility.

Unless it was a faulty coffee maker.

9. Problems related to airline’s computer system

For example, the airline’s flight-plan generator have crashed.

And it has led to flight delays and cancellations.

It’s the airline’s problem.

Yes, in most situations technical problems are considered airline’s fault. Unless it's something that's caused by defective part or parts, and could be considered the manufacturer's not the airline's fault. Just like this example shows.

Woman at the airport

Problems related to catering and equipment

10. Shortage of toilet roll

It has happened.

More than once.

11. Missing headphones

Let’s assume your flight is stocked with the “wrong kind of headphones”.

Getting the right kind of headphones may take some time.

Just like in March, 2017 on a flight from London Gatwick to Barbados.

Back then it caused a five-hour delay. 

12. Waiting for catering truck carrying food

Bad planning.

13. Missing cutlery on the plane

Waiting for it to be delivered.

14. Missing pyjamas

It happened a while ago.

The airline was unable to provide XL pyjamas in First Class to two of the First Class passengers. They were offered a pair of Business Class pyjamas instead, but the passengers were not happy with this and refused. Even though they left the plane, it still caused a delay.

Missing crew and missing airplanes

15. One or more members of the crew is “unfit to fly”

And there is no available replacement.

The airline should find a solution.

Since there are strict norms in place, and there must be an exact number of crew members on the plane. Not less.

16. A pilot turns up to work drunk

It’s your airline’s responsibilty.

The airline have to call in a new pilot.

A drunk toy

17. The crew has overworked

They have reached the limit.

Yes, there is a limit for how many hours a pilot and cabin crew can work in a day. And if that has been reached, and there is no replacement, it may take some time for the airline to fix this.

The same crew can’t fly.

18. A fight between the flight attendants

Not your problem.

Your airline’s problem.

19. Missing crew members

Once a crew of Air France went on a quick surf trip to Bali.

It was during their layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

And… they couldn’t return in time for their return flight. Because of a volcano eruption. While volcano eruption itself is considered as an extraordinary circumstances, it doesn’t change the fact, that the crew was supposed to be in Kuala Lumpur no Bali at that time.

And that at the end the flight was cancelled.

20. Unplanned, unannounced strike of employees

Not all airport strikes are the same.

Most of them are seen as an extraordinary circumstances.

And in most cases you can’t get compensation.

But if it’s a so called cat strike, then mostly you will be entitled to compensation. Or to put it simply, if it’s an unplanned strike of airline’s employees, then mostly you can get compensation.

21. Late incoming aircraft

And accordingly, your flight leaves late as well.

In a lot of situations it’s considered the airline’s fault.

22. Missing aircraft

And again, your airline’s fault.

How can it go missing?

For example, the airline has decided that it has to be used for another flight, not your flight. While you can’t change the situation, you should remember that it mostly means you’ll be entitled to flight delay compensation. And that you should file a claim.

A classic watch on mans wrist

Other reasons

23. It takes extra time to load horses in the cargo

It might be only a little bit extra.

But if because of that you have missed your connecting flight, and you reach your destination 3+ hours later than initially planned, then don’t forget to file a compensation claim.

24. It’s taking extra time to load Norwegian salmon on the plane

Nope, it doesn’t mean that someone is travelling with half a ton of salmon.

It’s just that airlines do carry some extra cargo as well.

And if that causes a delay, it’s their fault.

25. The plane landed 2 hours and 59 minutes late

It’s less than 3 hours.

And now you aren’t entitled to compensation?

Wrong. You are entitled to compensation.

Because what matters in this case is the moment when doors of the airplane are opened, and when passengers are free to leave the plane. That’s the moment that’s considered your actual time of arrival. And if the airplane landed 2 hours and 59 minutes later than planned, then it’s more than sure that your actual time of arrival was something more like 3 hours and 5 minutes later than planned.

Because it takes some time for the plane to actually stop.

And for the doors to be opened.

And for passengers to be allowed to leave.

Flight compensation - Basics

A few more things about EU flight delay compensation

The compensation has to be paid in cash or by bank transfer.

Not in coupons or vouchers.

In most situations the amounts are fixed - 250, 400 or 600 euro.

There’s a common myth, that if you take free food or free hotel room offered by your airline, you can’t get a compensation anymore. But it’s just not true. If your airline is offering you these things, then it’s mostly because in Europe their obliged to take care of you.

It doesn’t affect your chances of getting a compensation.

What else - the same rules apply also to charter airlines.

And you don’t have to be European to be entitled to EU compensation.

You can contact your airline, to file a claim.

Or you can let us do it on your behalf.

1 2 3 steps - how to claim compensation - ENG

If you decide to work 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;
  3. Upload your boarding pass and passport copy;
  4. Sign the claim online.

And that’s it. We’ll do the rest.

Read more: EU flight delay compensation

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.