26.07.2021

Regulation UK261 explained

As of January 2021, a new law has been brought into force.

The United Kingdom left the European Union at the end of January 2020. At first there was a lot of uncertainty among travellers. Everyone thought that it will make travellers from the UK and those travelling with UK airlines less protected, since in some cases EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 won’t apply to them anymore. The thing is — it's all good.

You are still the same as protected (only by another law).

Here’s how it works and what has changed.

Check your compensation online!

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Regulation UK261: Air passenger rights

For the simplicity, let’s call the new law “Regulation UK261”.

The only real change when we compare it to the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004, is that now you also have to pay attention whether it’s a UK flight or not, and if it’s a UK airline or not. In some situations you are protected by both laws, in others only by one. The latter is important because you have to know which law to refer to when filing a claim.

Situations when it applies (no change):

  1. flight delays of 3+ hours,
  2. flight cancellations less than 14 days before the date of departure,
  3. boarding denials due to overbooking.

Conditions (no change): it must be fault of your airline.

Here are all the situations when either of the laws apply.

1. You’re flying with a UK airline

Here are all the possible scenarios.

In some cases you can refer to any of the two laws when making a compensation claim against the airline, in others — only to one. If it’s a connecting flight, your final destination is your destination.

Scenarios when you’re protected:

  • EU - EU (UK261 & EU261),
  • EU - UK (UK261 & EU261),
  • EU - Third country (UK261 & EU261),
  • UK - EU (only UK261),
  • UK - UK (only UK261),
  • UK - Third country (only UK261),
  • Third country - EU (only UK261),
  • Third country - UK (only UK261).

2. You’re flying with a EU airline

Here are all the possible scenarios.

If it’s a connecting flight, your final destination is your destination.

Scenarios when you’re protected:

  • EU - EU (only EU261),
  • EU - UK (UK261 & EU261),
  • EU - Third country (only EU261),
  • UK - EU (UK261 & EU261),
  • UK - UK (only UK261),
  • UK - Third country (only UK261),
  • Third country - EU (only EU261),
  • Third country - UK (only UK261).

3. You’re flying with other airlines (non-EU, non-UK)

Here are all the possible scenarios.

If it’s a connecting flight, your final destination is your destination.

Scenarios when you’re protected:

  • EU - EU (only EU261),
  • EU - UK (only EU261),
  • EU - Third country (only EU261),
  • UK - EU (only UK261),
  • UK - UK (only UK261),
  • UK - Third country (only UK261).

100 euro in hands

How much can you claim?

Just like before, compensation amounts are fixed.

The longer your flight, the more you can claim.

Also your rights in the event of flight delay, flight cancellation and denied boarding remain the same as set out in EU261, the only change being the fact that fixed compensation amounts now are converted into sterling from euros. If your flight falls under the UK261, compensation you’ll receive also most likely will be paid in pounds not euros.

That's the only difference between EU flight delay compensation and UK flight delay compensation, or flight cancellation compensation or denied boarding compensation.

Compensation amounts are as following:

  • 1,500 km or less — GBP 220;
  • Between 1,500 km and 3,500 km - GBP 350;
  • Greater than 3,500 km - GBP 520.

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How to claim flight compensation?

There are two best options.

You can do it on your own. Contact the airline. Refer to the according law (UK261 or EU261). Submit all the necessary documents. Wait. If the airline refuses your claim, and you don’t agree with that, take your case to NEB of the country your flight is from. Take this case to court if none of the previous steps resolves the issue, or hand it over to flight compensation company.

You can hand it over to our professionals.

  1. Go to this page on our website;
  2. Fill in the details about yourself and your Air France flight delay;
  3. Upload your boarding pass and passport copy;
  4. Sign the claim online.

Our fee is €25 per person, plus 25% of the amount of the compensation. Payable only in case of success — if you don’t get compensation for whatever reason, you pay nothing.

That’s it from you. We do the rest.

Contact us if you have any questions about UK261 or EU261.


By Europe and EU 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.