Flying with non-EU airlines: How to get flight compensation

For around 15 years already air passengers travelling in Europe are more protected than ever. All thanks to the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. If you are flying to, from or within Europe mostly you are under the EU’s protection. But that means that if your flight gets heavily delayed or cancelled last minute, often you can receive flight compensation up to €600.

Making flight delays and flight cancellations look less scary.

The rules are very specific and they apply to all commercial flights and all airlines, including charter airlines and low-cost airlines.

What about flights operated by non-EU airlines? If it’s a EU law, does it mean that it is applicable only to the passengers flying with European airlines? What about foreigners? Tourists? Do you have to be a European citizen to be entitled to compensation?

The short answer would be - it applies to everyone and all flights.

You don’t have to be a citizen of the EU, nor fly with a European airline. There are a lot of situations when everyone can receive a flight compensation.

Let’s go into details now!

Delta airline - non-EU airlines passenger rights

Flying with a non-EU airline. What are your rights?

According to the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, you are entitled to compensation if:

  1. Your flight is heavily delayed. You have arrived 3+ hours later than planned),
  2. Your flight is cancelled last minute. It has happened less than 14 days before the date of departure,
  3. You are denied boarding. You are denied boarding because of overbooking.

It should be your airline’s fault for you to be entitled to flight compensation.

Plus, if you are at the airport, you have a right to care.

Mostly that means free food and drinks, if it’s a 3+ hour delay, or free food, drinks and free accommodation, if it’s a very long delay.

If it’s not the airline’s fault, in case of a flight delay and last minute cancellation, when you are already at the airport, you are still entitled to particular type of care. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking you should receive either free food and drink or both free food, drinks and hotel accommodation.

If you have to wait at the airport 3 or more hours extra, you should be receiving free meal and drink.

If you have to wait overnight - free meal and drink, free accommodation, plus transportation to and from it must be provided.

Flight compensation - Basics

All of this apply to all flights from or within Europe, to all passengers.

Europe in this situation means all EU Member States, and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

If you are flying from somewhere else, then it doesn’t fall under the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. And in these situations EU will not be able to help you. You’ll have to look at the regulations and laws of the country your airline is from.

Read more about flight delay compensation, flight cancellation compensation and denied boarding compensation.

Paper plane

The amount of flight compensation

The exact amount of flight compensation varies and is based on the distance of your flight and occasionally some other factors. However, it’s not affected by the price of the flight or airline you are flying with.

So, 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.

  • €250 - of 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.

There’s an exception, though. In case when the distance of your flight is 3500 kilometres or more and you reach your destination with a delay between 3 - 4 hours, you are entitled to compensation of €300.

Two airplanes in the air

Claiming compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight which was operated by a non-EU airline

Ok, but how to get that money?

How to claim flight compensation?

First things first, to get the compensation, you should ask for it. If you do nothing. If you don’t file a compensation claim. Then you’ll get nothing. Airlines know that most of travellers aren’t informed about their rights, and they’ll do nothing.

One of the options is to contact the airline directly. 

Some airlines have claim form on their website. Try to find it. If you can’t, use the contact form. Submit all the information they are asking for and wait. Be prepared, that it will take a while.

Or, you can take a shortcut and let us to do it on your behalf.

  • Go to this page on our website;
  • Fill in the details about yourself and your flight;
  • Upload your boarding pass;
  • Sign the claim online.

And that’s it. We’ll do the rest.

How to claim compensation

When we finish the job, you’ll just have to tell us your bank account details and we’ll make the money transfer. Deal?

We work under a no win, no fee agreement. It will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. No win, no fees. If we are successful, however, we’ll take €25 + 25% of the amount of the compensation and transfer you the rest.

Let’s work together?