Flight Delay Compensation


You could be entitled to hundreds of pounds compensation if your flight was delayed by three hours or more.

What is ‘flight delay compensation’?

If you took a flight in the past six years and it was delayed by three hours or more, you may be able to claim hundreds of pounds.

European law (Regulation 261/2004) requires that airlines pay passengers up to 600 euros compensation when their flight lands more than three hours late – provided that the delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Q: Can I claim delayed flight compensation?

You may be able to claim compensation if:

  • Your flight departed in the past six years.
  • Your flight took off from the EU or arrived in the EU, on an EU airline.
  • You were delayed for three hours or more.
  • The delay was not caused by an extraordinary circumstance.

Q: What is an extraordinary circumstance?

An extraordinary circumstance is something completely beyond the control of the airline, such as:

  • An act of terrorism, sabotage or a security risk
  • Extreme weather
  • Civil or political unrest
  • Industrial action where this is not related to the airline itself (for example, air traffic control or baggage handlers go on strike)
  • A hidden manufacturing defect

If your flight was delayed because of one of these reasons, you will not be able to claim.

Q: What reasons for delay will result in a claim?

You may be able to make a claim if the delay was something within the airline’s control – for example:

  • Problems with staff – illness, late crew etc
  • Bad weather where this affected a previous flight, leading to a delay with your flight
  • You were denied boarding because the flight was overbooked
  • Technical problems with the plane (provided these were not as a result of sabotage or a hidden manufacturing defect).
  • If you are not sure whether the reason your flight was delayed entitles you to compensation, our team will be able to advise you.

Q: How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you will be entitled to depends on the length of your delay and the flight distance:

Length of Stay

Flight DistanceCompensation
  3 hours plus   Up to 1,500 kilometres 250 Euros
  3 hours plus   From 1,500 kilometres to 3,500 kilometres 400 Euros
  3 hours plus   Over 1,500 kilometres and between two EU countries 400 Euros
  3 - 4 hours  Over 3,500 kilometres 300 Euros
  > 4 hours  Over 3,500 kilometres 600 Euros


Q:  I am not sure if my flight was delayed by 3 hours – how do I find out?

If you think your flight might have been delayed by around three hours but you are not sure of the exact length of time, get in touch with our team. We can find out the length of the delay for you from past records.

Q: What about my travel companions?

Each person travelling on the delayed airplane is entitled to compensation at the rates stated.

Both adults and children have the same rights regarding flight delay compensation. If you paid money towards your child’s ticket – even if it was a reduced amount – you will be able to claim for them too.

So, for example, a family of two adults and two children travelling from Luton Airport to Charles De Gaulle on a flight that is delayed by more than three hours may be entitled to 1,000 Euros compensation.

Q: My ticket was very cheap – do I still get the same amount of compensation?

Yes! You are entitled to the full amount of compensation, even if you obtained your ticket for a far cheaper price.

Q: Can I claim for anything else?

Long delays at the airport (2 hours+)

If you experience a long delay at the airport, your airline should provide food and drink, two telephone calls, emails or fax messages, hotel accommodation if needed and transport between the airport and your hotel, if needed. You are entitled to these things regardless of what caused the delay to your flight – even if it was extraordinary circumstances.

You should ask the airline at the time of the delay for these things – but if they did not provide them, you can keep your receipts and ask for a refund. Expenses must be reasonable however – you cannot claim for a luxury hotel!

Illness or injury

If you suffer from an injury or illness while you are on a package holiday, you could claim thousands of pounds in compensation. Find out more on our package holiday accident/illness page.

Q: How do I claim for flight delay compensation?

It is possible to write to the airline directly, but you will often find your request is ignored or denied. The easiest way to claim is to instruct our team and let us take care of everything for you.

Call Debbie on 01704 532890 or 0151 928 6544 or email debbie@breensonline.co.uk

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