16.09.2019

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.

But 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 EU flight delay compensation?

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

Check your compensation online!

Delta airline - non-EU airlines passenger rights

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!

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

Let's look at the regulations.

According to the regulation, you are entitled to EU flight 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 the 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.

Even 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.

It applies to all passengers.

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

If you are flying from somewhere else, AND you're flying with a non-EU airline, 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.

EU flight compensation rules:

Paper plane

Non-EU flight delay compensation

Yes, all of that applies only if it's a flight from or within the EU.

Only if it's a EU - non-EU flight, it applies to all airlines, EU and non-EU.

If it's a non-EU - non-EU flight, it doesn't apply.

If it's a non-EU - EU flight, it applies only if you are flying with an airline, that's based in the EU, with a European airline. This applies also to charter flights and low cost airlines.

So, you see, when it comes to the EU, it's very easy, there are specific rules in place. Even if it's non-EU airline, you can still get a flight compensation. As long as the flight starts in the EU. In the rest of the situations, when trying to get flight delay compensation outside EU, mostly you'll be relying on your airline's policies.

If they pay compensations in particular situations, you'll get it.

If they don't - you won't get it.

If they pay it only in coupons, you'll have to accept that.

Yes, in the EU it's much easier.

The rules are the same also for flight cancellations and denied boardings.

100 euro in hands

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 a special EU flight delay compensation form on their website. Try to find it.

If you can’t, use any contact form you can find.

Submit all the information they are asking for and wait.

Be prepared, that it will take a while.

How to claim compensation

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 and passport copy;
  • Sign the claim online.

And that’s it. We’ll do the rest.

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.

The procedure is the same both for EU and non-EU airlines.

Let’s work together?