Your flight is operated by a non-EU, non-UK airline.
What laws protect you in case of flight delay, cancellation or overbooking?
You might not know that but some flights are still protected under the European regulations (i.e., UK261 and EU261), even if they are operated by an airline registered outside of Europe. If your flight departs from a EU or UK airport, and is operated by a non-European airline, such as Delta, Turkish Airlines or Qatar Airways, your air passenger rights are still protected.
The article discusses all the various scenarios.
Check your compensation online.
There are two regulations in Europe that protect air passenger rights.
These regulations are the EU Regulation 261/2004 and Regulation UK261.
Both of these regulations are almost identical. The only difference being the currency in which compensation is paid. If your flight falls under UK261, your compensation will likely be paid in pounds and not euros. Another thing you should know is — which regulation to refer to?
Situations when you are protected:
Conditions: it must be fault of your airline.
The compensation amounts are based on the distance of the flight:
Basically, the further the flight, the higher the compensation amount.
If you are flying with a non-EU, non-UK airline such as Qatar Airways, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Delta, Emirates, etc., there are a few different possible scenarios — below we have listed all of them. Don’t forget that if you have a connecting flight, your final destination is your real destination.
Here are all the scenarios, when you are protected:
How does it work in the real life?
Below are some real-life examples.
You have an Etihad flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Abu Dhabi (AUH).
As it’s a flight leaving from a UK airport, it’s covered by the Regulation UK261.
Yes, even if it’s a flight with a non-UK airline, you are still protected. If a non-UK airline such as Etihad operates a flight out of a UK airport, this flight is covered by the Regulation UK261. This means that in case of a long delay, last-minute cancellation or involuntary denied boarding, you are protected under the UK law, and might be entitled to flight compensation from the airline.
Keep in mind that the EU Regulation 261/2004 doesn’t work in this case.
When making a compensation claim, refer to the UK Regulation.
You have a Turkish Airlines flight from Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Istanbul (IST).
It’s a flight departing from a European airport. It’s covered by the EU Regulation 261/2004.
If this flight gets delayed for 3+ hours, cancelled last-minute, or you are denied boarding, you can get compensation from Turkish Airlines. As long as the disruption is the airline’s fault. Yes, even if the airline is not registered in the EU. Because flights that depart from EU airports are covered by the EU Regulation 261/2004, including flights with non-EU airlines.
Keep in mind that Regulation UK261 doesn’t work in this case.
When making a compensation claim, refer to the EU Regulation 261/2004.
You have a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong (HKG) to London Heathrow (LHR).
As this flight is operated by an airline which is not registered neither in the UK nor the EU, and you are also departing from an airport that’s neither in the EU or UK, you are not protected by any of the regulations — neither EU 261, nor UK 261.
In this case, you can’t get UK/EU compensation from Cathay Pacific.
You have a Cathay Pacific flight from Doha (DOH) to Frankfurt (FRA).
As this flight is operated by Qatar Airways which is an airline registered outside the EU/UK, and you are flying from a third country (non-EU, non-UK), you are not protected by any of the regulations — nor EU 261, neither UK 261. You can’t get compensation if your Qatar Airways Doha to Frankfurt flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked.
In this case, you can’t get UK/EU compensation from Qatar Airways.
Let’s assume that you want to fly from Athens to Berlin, and you have chosen to take a Turkish Airlines connecting flight.
Which regulation would apply if one of your flights is delayed for 3+ hours, cancelled last-minute or overbooked? As it’s a connecting flight, your destination is your final destination. So, this means that you fly from Athens to Berlin — from one EU airport to another. This flight would fall under the Regulation EU261, even though it’s operated by a non-EU airline, Turkish Airlines.
So, when making a claim, refer to the EU Regulation 261/2004.
When it comes to compensation, remember that a connecting flight is considered as one flight. If a delay of even 1-2 hours on one flight leg causes you to miss your next flight and arrive at your destination several hours late, you may be entitled to compensation, regardless of the length of the delay of the first flight. Just consider how much later you arrived at your final destination.
By Europe and EU here on this page we mean all EU Member States, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.
Featured photo by Kürşat Kuzu