Common myths about EU flight compensation

The Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 has been around for more than 15 years. Yet still many don’t know about their passenger rights in Europe. They don’t know that, if your European flight is delayed or cancelled, often you’re entitled to EU flight compensation.

That applies both to flights to and from Europe, when it is the airline’s fault. But, yes, many still don't know it. As a result, there are a lot of myths people believe in.

Today we want to talk about the most common of them.

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Common myths about EU flight compensation

Here are some of the top myths about passenger rights.

Myths about flight compensations in the EU many still believe in.

1. I was issued a new ticket, so I am not entitled to compensation any more

Not true.

You can get both — a new flight and a compensation.

Because airlines have to take you to your destination or give you a full refund. Even if the flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances, even then you have the same rights. And if the delay or cancellation is their fault, in many cases they also have to pay compensation.

So, if that’s their fault, you could be receiving both.

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2. You must have an expensive travel insurance


There is no doubt that a travel insurance is a must when travelling.

However, when it comes to EU compensations it doesn’t matter whether you have it or not. No one will ask you to show it.

You can file a claim for compensation. And you can get it.

Even if you don’t have an insurance.

3. Babies are not entitled to a compensation

Not true.

Your under 2 years old can receive the same compensation like you.

The amounts of the flight compensation are the same as for an adult:

€250 - if the distance of a flight is <1500 km; €400 - if the distance is 1500 - 3500 km; €600 - if the distance is more than 3500 km.

The longer the journey, the more your child can receive.

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4. You have to be a citizen of the European Union

No, you don’t have to be European.

Anyone who is flying to or from Europe, and whose flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 3 hours, may be entitled to EU flight compensation up to €600. If you’re flying from a country outside the European Union, the flight must be with a European airline.

Also tourists from the US or Australia, can receive the compensation.

Everyone can receive this compensation.

The same applies to charter airlines and charter flights.

In many situations it applies also to non-EU airlines.

All you have to do is file a claim for compensation.

5. The airline provided me with a free accommodation and meals, I am not entitled to a compensation any more

No, it’s not true.

If it’s a long delay, often you have the right to care.

And the airline has to provide you with a free hotel room and free meals.

But it doesn’t mean that you can’t apply for a compensation later. If the delay or cancellation was the airline’s fault, you may be entitled to a compensation anyway.

File a claim for compensation.

6. Technical problems are “extraordinary circumstances”


Quite the opposite.

Technical problems mostly are considered airline’s fault, not extraordinary circumstances.

If you are applying for a compensation on your own (writing directly to the airline), do not back down in case of refusal. Do your research and refer to the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004, if necessary.

Contact us, if you’ll need legal advice or help.

And remember - even if your flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances, you can still get a full refund. In cash. You don't have to take coupons, if you don't want to. It's the airline's obligation to offer you a choice between a new flight and a full refund.


7. It has to be a European airline

No, it does not.

If you are flying with a non-EU airline, in many situations you can still get compensated.

If you are flying from Europe, and the flight is cancelled, delayed, you are denied boarding or downgraded, according to the Regulation 261/2004 you may be entitled to a compensation. That’s if it’s the airline’s fault.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Qatar Airways or Norwegian.

In some cases the European regulations apply to both of them.

8. Vouchers and coupons ARE the compensation

Completely wrong!

If the situation falls under the Regulation 261/2004, you are entitled to compensation.

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

Not in coupons or vouchers.

You don't have to accept coupons, if you want cash instead.

9. It doesn’t apply to me, my ticket was super cheap


The rules are the same for everyone.

And it doesn’t matter if that was a special deal.

You can get 250, 400 or 600 euro compensation, even if your ticket cost only €5.

What matters is the length of the flight, and what happened to it. Remember, even for the shortest flight you can get a 250 euru compensation, if things go wrong and it’s the airline’s fault.

10. The airline is always right

It’s not true.

Judging by our own experience and customer reviews online, even the biggest and the best airlines try to avoid paying compensations.

You wrote directly to the airline and applied for a compensation.

After some time you received a rejection.

The reasons behind the rejection may be different. But you mustn’t assume that the airline is telling the truth. Airlines know that most of passengers are not aware of the laws and rules, and it’s likely that they won’t pressure it when rejected. And many airlines take advantage of it.

Don’t give up! Look for a second opinion.

Or, take a shortcut, and work with us!

How to claim compensation

We ask for no upfront fees.

And it will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason.

No win, no fees.

Happy travels!

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.