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.

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1. 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.

2. Which law should you refer to?

Regulation UK261 or EU261?

Here are all the possible scenarios.

2.1 You’re flying with a UK airline (British Airways, easyJet, FlyBe, Jet2.com, Virgin Atlantic, ...)

Here are all the possible scenarios.

In some cases you can refer to both laws when making a compensation claim against the airline, in others — only to one. If it’s a connecting flight, you should assume that your final destination is your real 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)

Read more: You are flying with a UK airline: Which laws protect you?

2.2 You’re flying with a EU airline (KLM, SAS, Air France, Norwegian, ...)

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 law)
  • Third country - UK (only UK261 law)

Read more: You are flying with a EU airline: What laws protect you?

2.3 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 Regulation UK261).

Read more: You are flying with non-EU, non-UK airline

Find out if you are eligible for EU / UK flight delay compensation Check your flight

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3. Regulation UK261: How much can you claim for bad flight?

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 regulation, then 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 EU flight cancellation compensation and UK flight cancellation compensation, or denied boarding compensation.

Compensation amounts are as following:

  • 1,500 km or less (mostly 1-2h) — GBP 220
  • Between 1,500 km and 3,500 km - GBP 350
  • Greater than 3,500 km - GBP 520

The longer the flight, the bigger your UK flight compensation.

All thanks to UK regulation 261.

Calculate your flight compensation for free! It takes less than 2 minutes Calculate compensation

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4. How to claim UK 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.

We work with airlines from around the world.

We do all the paperwork and investigation.

  1. Go to this page on our website;
  2. Fill in the details about yourself and your flight;
  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. Not a single euro.

That’s it from you. We do the rest.

We work with easyJet, British Airways and other UK and EU airlines. If your flight departed or was about to depart from the airport in the UK, EEA or EU, we can help you with most airline claims (including, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, American Airlines, etc.). If you are in doubts, whether you are even entitled to compensation or not, file a claim anyway -- we do our own investigation for every airline compensation claim.

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

Read more: How to claim UK flight compensation?

4.1 Why seek legal representation to claim UK flight compensation?

First and foremost, it makes things much easier. When you're working with a legal representative like Refundor, almost everything is done on your behalf.

And this is just one of the benefits of working with us.

There are more:

  1. Increased success. Legal representation for UK flight compensation claims significantly improves your chances of success.
  2. It's time-saving. Working with a legal team saves time and effort since they take care of all the required procedures, prepare all the paperwork, etc.
  3. It's risk-free. Submitting a compensation claim takes only a few minutes and is risk-free - we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. You don't pay anything if you are not getting the compensation.
  4. You can avoid hassle. You don't have to contact the airline or deal with unfair claim rejection when working with legal representatives.
  5. Guaranteed monetary compensation. Our legal team will ensure that you receive monetary compensation instead of vouchers, even in cases of flight cancellation and boarding denial.
Calculate your flight compensation for free! It takes less than 2 minutes Calculate compensation

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5. Who regulates UK airlines?

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates UK airlines.

In the United Kingdom, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates airlines and their activities. The CAA is the official body that oversees all aspects of aviation in the UK, either directly or indirectly. In certain situations it does mean also flights that are operated by non-UK airlines.

CAA is a public corporation of the Department for Transport.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ensures that airlines follow European regulations to protect passengers' rights and ensure fair treatment while travelling. It acts as a consumer protection body. It enforces the passenger rights regulations — EC 261/2004 and Regulation UK261.

5.1 List of UK airlines

Here's a list of UK airlines:

  • British Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Ryanair
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Flybe
  • Jet2.com
  • Thomas Cook Airlines
  • TUI Airways
  • Norwegian Air UK
  • Aer Lingus


By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.