04.11.2019

You have received an e-mail saying that your flight is delayed. What’s next?

Flight delays happen every day. While most of them are short, in some situations you may have to wait for hours. Some delays are caused by bad weather and other unforeseeable circumstances, others - by technical problems. Regardless of the causes, there's nothing as frustrating as heading to the airport all excited for your trip, only to find out that your flight has been delayed.

Or, receiving an e-mail saying that your flight is delayed.

Mostly you learn about flight delays already at the airport, while looking at flight information screen, but that’s not the same always.

What if you are still at home, when you learn about it?

What should you do if such situation happens? What are your rights? Read on to find out.

Hourglass

How to find out that your flight has been delayed

Usually travellers find out about the delay:

  • When they receive an e-mail or SMS notifying of the delay.
  • When they check the flight status on a flight tracker website or app (e.g., Flightradar24).
  • Already at the airport, or even at the gate.

In this article we will focus on the first two situations.

You have received an e-mail saying that your flight is delayed. What’s next?

You are still at home. Your flight is delayed. What should you do now?

Follow these steps:

  • New time of departure. Find out at what time your flight will depart, and see if check in time has been changed. It’s usually mentioned in the e-mail.
  • If it’s a short delay, and the check in time hasn’t changed. Go to the airport as planned, even though your flight is delayed. Check in on time - according to your original flight time. Why? Because sometimes it’s possible that the delay may be shorter than expected.
  • If the check in time has changed. Spend some more time at home or at your hotel and go to the airport later. Occasionally check the status of your flight online. To do so proceed to the official website of the airport, or, even better, use a flight tracker website or app (e.g., FlightRadar24). Continue to check the status of your flight time after time.
  • If your schedule is really tight. Or if you simply no longer want to take your flight, then you might consider other options. If you need to fly now, see if you can get a new flight right away. Before you make a booking, check if it isn’t delayed.
  • You might be entitled to flight delay compensation. Depending on the length of the delay, route and the airline you are flying with. In Europe, if it’s a 3+ hour delay, caused by something within the airline’s control, you may get a compensation up to €600 per passenger (if you ask for it). Check with the airline or let us to do in on your behalf.

What to do if you arrive at the airport and find out that your flight has been delayed? See our step by step guide to flight delays.

Night flight

Checking your flight status on Flightradar24

Don’t want to waste your time at the airport? Check the status of your flight online.

We recommend Flightradar24, a very popular and reliable online flight tracker, used by millions of travellers. It’s a real-time flight tracker showing commercial aircraft flight information on a map. Here is what kind of information it shows:

  • flight number;
  • origin and destination;
  • flight duration;
  • aircraft type;
  • scheduled and actual departure time;
  • scheduled and actual arrival time.

Detailed, right?

But, what is the difference between scheduled and actual time of departure / arrival?

Scheduled departure time is the time your flight should have departed, and it is specified on the boarding pass and in the schedules. But the actual departure time is when your flight actually left for your destination.

Scheduled, or standard, time of arrival is the time your flight should have arrived at the destination. This time is specified on the boarding pass, and in the airport and airline schedules. Actual arrival time is the time when your flight actually lands. It may be earlier or later than the scheduled time of arrival.

Let’s look at the example:

Flight history - Egypt Air flight

The EgyptAir flight MS767 from Cairo to Barcelona was late on 21st of September.

STD stands for “Scheduled Time of Departure”. It is the time specified on your boarding pass. For the MS767 it’s 11:00. However, on 21st of September the flight left at 13:27 (ATD or, “Actual Time of Departure). The flight was delayed, and landed at 17:24, instead of 15:25, which is the flight’s STA - Standard Time of Arrival.

But on 20th of September the flight landed a few minutes earlier than planned (see the “Status” and “STA” columns), even though it left 11 minutes later (columns “ATD” and “STD”).

How to check your flight status on Flightradar24?

Go to www.flightradar24.com/ and type in your flight number in “Search” bar (top right).

Flightradar flight information

For example, you want to know the status of the Ryanair flight number FR2983.

It’s a flight from Brussels to Rome–Fiumicino.

Today it is delayed. Scheduled Time of Departure (STD) is at 17:05, and the Actual Time of Departure (ATD) is not specified yet. Standard Time of Arrival (STA) is 19:10, but as the flight is delayed, it won’t land in time.

Now, let’s look at the “Status” column.

For now, the flight is delayed for 1 hour and 10 minutes, and it could depart at 18:15, but the time might change.

If you are still at home when you check your flight status, and see that your flight is delayed (and the departure time might change again), it is still advisable to go to the airport and check in on time (according to your original flight time), unless advised otherwise. Why?

Because it’s possible that the delay may be shorter than expected. Flight history - Ryanair flight

Also, the Flightradar24 real-time flight tracker can come in handy when you’ll apply for flight delay compensation. If your flight has been delayed, use FlightRadar24 to see when exactly your flight departed and arrived.

But you have to check it right after your flight (not more than 7 days after the flight). Later the flight info is available only if you have a Gold, Silver or Business subscription.

Speaking of flight delay compensation, remember, that what matters in these situations is not the time of arrival, but the moment when doors have been opened and passengers are free to leave the plane. So, a little bit later than the moment of landing.

Flightradar24 is not the only real-time flight tracker.

There are others, such as Flightstats and Flightview. They all are similar, but Flightradar24 is out favourite.

Aircraft in the air

In which cases are you eligible for flight compensation?

Flight disruptions are frustrating, irritating, and cause stress.

Especially if you have a tight schedule.

Knowing your rights helps to make you feel more in control. Knowing that in most situations you are protected, either by the airline, European Union or your travel insurance company.

Sometimes it means you can get a new flight. Other times - a new flight and compensation.

And then there are also situations, when you can receive a free flight, free meal and free hotel room for a night (if it’s a long delay), plus compensation.

Sounds too good to be true?

But it’s true. If you are flying to or from Europe* and your flight is disrupted, then chances are you are entitled to compensation up to €600 per passenger. That’s in case your flight is:

  • delayed for more than 3 hours,
  • cancelled less than 14 days before planned departure,
  • you've been denied boarding because there are no more free seats.

If the flight is from outside the EU, it should be with a European airline. Rules are different when you travel with non-European airlines.

It does include all situations when flight disruption is the airline’s fault. Situations such as extreme weather conditions and airport staff strikes are exempt from compensation.

If you are still 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.

*In this case, Europe means all EU Member States and Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

Documents on the table next to a laptop

Claiming compensation for a flight which was delayed for 3 or more hours

Your two best options are:

  1. To do it on your own. Contact your airline. Submit information about your cancellation, plus everything else they might be asking for, and wait. If you aren’t sure about something, use internet forums to find someone else who have been in a situation like you are now. Ask for advice.
  2. To work with us. By registering your claim online at refundor.com.

This way saving both your nerves and time.

It’s an easy and straight forward process:

  • Go to this page on our website;
  • Fill in the details about yourself and your Air France flight cancellation;
  • Upload your boarding pass (screenshot or photo of your boarding pass will do);
  • Sign the claim online.

And… wait for the money in your bank account.

It’s easy, isn’t it?

There are no upfront fees, and you’ll pay nothing if it turns out that you aren’t entitled to compensation after all. No win, no fees, as we say. If we are successful, however, we’ll only take €25 + 25% of the amount of the compensation and transfer you the rest.

Any questions? Contact us.