Flight compensation: How much can you claim

Flight delays, cancellations and overbookings do happen. However, there is one thing to remember - if that happens while you are travelling to, from or within the EU, mostly you are under the EU protection. Yes, you got that right. If your flight ever gets heavily delayed (3+ hours), cancelled less than 14 days before the scheduled time of departure or you’ve been denied boarding, you might be entitled not only to care from the airline, but also to flight compensation.

In some cases the amount of compensation can go up to €600 per passenger. Which means if you are a family of four, you may as well receive up to €2400 (600 x 4) in compensation. Not a small money, isn’t it?

All thanks to Europe's Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 (EC 261).

Flight compensation: Basics

Who can claim? Everyone who has bought a ticket. No matter the citizenship or age.

To which flights it applies? All commercial flights from, to or within the European Union, Iceland, Norway, or Switzerland, when flight disruption is the airline’s fault. If you are flying from a country outside the EU, your flight must be with a European airline.

Flight compensation - Basics - Refundor

How much can you claim

The compensation amounts are fixed and are based on the distance of your flight.

The longer your journey, the more you can claim. What matters here is the final destination, distance to it and the time when you reach it. Let’s say you have a connecting flight from Paris to Bangkok via London, the first leg of the journey gets delayed and because of that you miss the next flight to Bangkok and in the end make it 8 hours later than scheduled.

So when calculating how much can you claim for this particular flight delay, we’ll look at it as a flight from Paris to Bangkok.

Even though the flight that was delayed was the one from Paris to London. Because it’s the final destination that matters here.

1. Flight delay compensation

Here is how you to calculate it.

When your destination is within the EU:

€250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres (usually 1-2 hour long flights). €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the EU:

€250 - if 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.

Exception. 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 not €600.

Learn more: Flight delay compensation.

How much can you claim - Refundor

2. Flight cancellation compensation

Here is how you can calculate it.

When your destination is within the EU:

€250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres (usually 1-2 hour long flights). €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the EU:

€250 - if 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.

Exception. 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. That’s in case you agree to alternative flight offered by the airline.

Learn more: Flight cancellation compensation.

3. Denied boarding compensation

Same rules as with flight delays and cancellations.

Exception. If you are denied boarding because of travelling with invalid travel documents or without a valid visa or visas you will not be eligible for flight compensation. And also if you voluntarily give up your seat and choose another flight offered by the airline, then as well you will not be entitled to denied boarding compensation anymore.

Learn more: Denied boarding compensation.

Finger pointing to a map

How to calculate travel distance between cities

Use a map or a distance calculator.

One thing to remember - in case of a connecting flights, you should look at the distance between the place of departure and the final destination, not the total distance between all the places that make up your journey.

How long was the delay

To calculate the total amount of time you were delayed look at the scheduled time of arrival and actual time of arrival.

What does count as an actual time of arrival? It’s the time when you are free to leave the aircraft. When the doors have been opened and passengers start disembark from the plane. Not the time of landing, as you may think.

How to claim compensation

You can try and do it by yourself.

Or you can ask someone more experienced (e.g. Refundor) to do it on your behalf.

If you’ll choose to work with us, then all you will have to do is - submit your flight details here at refundor.com, sign the claim and wait for the money. Our professionals will do the rest. That’s it!