How to Get Compensation When Your Flight is Delayed

Last Updated on September 29, 2018

How to get compensation when your flight is delayed

Did you know that you are entitled to get compensation if your flight is severely delayed?  For years now, I thought that if your flight is delayed you could only maybe get a food voucher or a bottle of water, but this is not true!  You are entitled to compensation depending on how long your flight is and where it departs from.


Unfortunately, delays are bound to happen when you travel.  The good news is if your delays fit the under the EC 261 act then you are entitled up to €600!  You can easily calculate your flight delay compensation online.  There are a few categories that you will need to fit in order to get that compensation, so to make it easy I have broken it down for you below.


Your flight was from the EU

If your flight took off from anywhere in the EU, you are entitled to flight delay compensation.  It doesn’t matter which carrier you were flying with, you are eligible.  The flight can be within the EU or not in the EU as long as it took off from an EU airport.


The flight was to the EU from outside the EU (and the carrier is EU based)

If you landed in the EU from outside the EU, then your carrier MUST be an EU based carrier.  Here is a list of the top 20 EU based carriers:

  • Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines)
  • Ryanair
  • IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus, LEVEL)
  • Air France-KLM (Air France, KLM, HOP!, Transavia, JOON)
  • easyJet
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Aeroflot Group (Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines, Pobeda)
  • Norwegian
  • SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Wizz Air
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • Alitalia
  • S7 Airlines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Aegean Airlines (and Olympic Air)
  • Finnair
  • Air Europa
  • SunExpress
  • Flybe
  • Travel Service and Czech Airlines


How to get compensation when your flight is delayed

The airline is responsible for the delay (not from natural causes like weather)

Your delay must be due to the airline carrier.  For example, if something is wrong with the plane or the staff are on strike then you are entitled. You cannot claim if the delay is due to something out of their control, for example, if there is a big storm and the flight is grounded for safety issues.


This has happened to you within 3 years

The delay must have happened within the last 3 years.  For me, this surprised me!  Up until a few months ago, I thought you only had a couple of weeks to file the claim, but it turns out I was wrong the whole time!  As long as you have the flight details then you can claim for the pesky delay months, and even years ago.


You checked into the flight on-time

You must have checked into the flight on time to be eligible.


You arrive at your destination 3 hours later than it was supposed to

If the flight was delayed more than 3 hours, or it never arrived at your destination then you are totally eligible.  If it’s less than 3 hours, then you cannot claim.


How to get compensation when your flight is delayed

Accepting food and hotel vouchers DOES NOT mean you can’t make a claim

The airline must give you accommodation and food vouchers if your flight is severely delayed but remember this does not affect your right to get flight delay compensation too.


If you accept flight vouchers, then you can’t claim flight delay compensation

Say the airline offers you vouchers as compensation.  This will waive your right to compensation so make sure you know your rights before accepting the vouchers.  If you are more than 5 hours delayed, then you are entitled to a full (or partial) refund of your original ticket AND a flight back to your departure point.



Tell me below your worst delay experience!  Luckily for me, in the 7 years of travelling I haven’t had any major delays (touch wood!) but now if I am delayed in the future I now know my full rights and what to do.


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How to get compensation when your flight is delayed

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