Situations when you can't get flight compensation

Flight delays. Flight cancellations. You’ve been denied boarding.

Often, when something like this happens, you can get compensation of some sort. When you are traveling to or from the EU or with a European airline and things like this happen due to the airline’s fault you can sometimes get both a new flight to your destination and up to €600 in cash per passenger.

But there are also situations when you can’t get flight compensation.

Scroll down to learn more about these kind of situations.

Or check your compensation online!

Read more: 25 situations when you CAN get flight delay compensation

8 situations when you CAN'T get flight compensation

1. You made it 2 hour 59 minutes later than planned

Because it's not 3 hours or more.

According to the EU flight compensation regulation 261/2004 (EC 261), if your flight ever gets delayed and you arrive to your destination 3 or more hours after the original arrival time you may be entitled to compensation of up €600 per passenger.

However, mostly it holds true only if the delay is at least 3 hours.

How is it even calculated?

What matters here isn’t the time of departure, but the time when plane arrives to your final destination and when the doors of the airplane are being opened. If it’s less than 3 hours later than originally planned, then it’s not worth filing a claim for airline compensation.

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


If your flight is cancelled and you are notified of the cancellation less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure. And you choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 1 hour before the original departure time.

Under these circumstances the delay should be under 2 hours.

If it's 2 hours or more, you may receive a compensation.

Learn more about 2 hour flight delay and other exceptions.

2. You couldn’t provide a proof of an onward travel

And you had been denied boarding.

In this situation, too, you can’t get compensation. Unless airline made a mistake by asking you for the proof of an onward travel in the first place. Then it’s different and you may have chances to get something. But note that nowadays more and more countries are asking for a return or onward ticket.

So make sure you know the rules before buying that ticket.

Don’t forget about visas, if you need any.

And check your passport validity. Many countries will require it to be at least 6 months beyond your departure date.

Summing it up - if you are denied boarding because of traveling with invalid travel documents or without a valid visa or visas you will not be eligible for flight compensation. Mark it down in your international travel document checklist.

3. Your flight was delayed due to airport staff strike

Mostly you can't get a compensation in these cases.

But not all airport strikes are the same.

And in some situations you can get a compensation. As this example shows, not all airline staff strikes are considered extraordinary circumstances.. If your flight is delayed or cancelled because of such a strike, you will get a compensation.

It’s different in the case of an airport staff strike, when operations of the airport are paralyzed or slowed down - then most probably you’ll not be able to get compensation. Since it’s something out of your airline’s control.

When in doubts, register your flight with us!

4. Your flight was delayed due to extreme weather conditions

It can be due to bad weather at the airport, somewhere on the way or at your final destination. In case of volcanic eruptions your flight may be affected even if you are more than thousand kilometres away from the volcano.

Like we saw with the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, in 2010, when air travel in a part of Europe was stopped for several days.

In all these situations when it’s not safe to fly, your travel plans may get affected.

Flight delays. Flight cancellations.

Whatever happens with your flight, you’ll not be getting a compensation for that.

That’s the same when flights are cancelled or delayed due to all kind of different circumstances all of whom are out of the airline’s control, usually called extraordinary circumstances. But don’t let yourself be fooled (and be extra attentive, when you hear or see it mentioned), because not always these words are used as they should be.

The good news - in Europe you have the right to care.

5. You arrived to the airport in time, but still missed the flight

Maybe because you couldn’t find your gate in time.

Maybe there were some problems with your hand luggage during the airport security screening, and so you couldn’t make it. Or you simply couldn't make it through airport security in time. Or the gate was changed and you missed this fact.

Whatever is the reason, if it was your fault, you can’t get compensation from your airline.

6. If you voluntarily gave up your seat

It's a common practice to sell more tickets that there actually are.

Ys, airlines sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane. Since there always is someone who can’t make it in time, or someone who changes his mind and decides not to fly, it’s an opportunity for airlines to make more money.

But, of course, there are also situations, when everyone who have bought a ticket comes, and then there are not enough seats. What airlines do in these kind of situations is they look for passengers who are willing to voluntarily give up their seat. These passengers are also usually offered some benefits or extras, and it may be a really good deal in the end.

If you are going to voluntarily give up your seat know that now you will not be able to get any more compensation.

If you don't give up your seat, you can get denied boarding compensation.

7. You missed connecting flight due to delay of another flight (self transfer flights)

Miniature airplanes

When you book your flights separately.

When you take self transfer flights, not airline protected transfers.

In these situations it's your fault, if you miss your connecting flight, and you're not getting a missed flight compensation from your airline. But it's not the same with all connecting lights. Sometimes you can get a compensation when you've missed connecting flight due to delay of another flight.

8. Your flight is cancelled more than 2 weeks before the trip

Airplane flying in the sky

Then, as well, you can't get a compensation.

You can't get a flight cancellation compensation. However, there are some things you need to know, if your flight is cancelled more than 2 weeks before the trip. Learn more here.

And you also have the right to care.

That's it. Happy travels, everyone!

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for compensation or not, fill in our claim form, upload your boarding pass or ticket, and we'll take it from there.

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.