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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Delayed Flight?

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Delayed Flight?

European Union law indicates that you can claim up to 600€ per passenger as compensation for flight delays of 3 hours or more. The European Union Regulation 261/2004 acts as reference in cases of flight disruptions. The regulation outlined the rules of compensation – including how much you can claim when your flight is delayed.

You might be able to receive compensation in accordance to EU law if your flight either: left from the UK, the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway or Switzerland was with a European airline and landed in the UK, the EU, Norway or Switzerland, no matter where you were flying from.

How much can I claim for my delayed flight?

The amount of delayed flight compensation ranges between 125 and 600 euro and depends on the distance you travel. The table below summarizes the amount, which you can claim.


Flight delay of more than two hours

In accordance to Regulation 261/2004 if your flight is delayed for at least two hours and depending on how far you are flying, your airline has to give you:

  • two free phone calls, faxes or emails

  • free meals and refreshments

  • free hotel accommodation if it is required and free hotel transfers if you are staying an overnight.

If your flight’s delayed for 3 or more hours

You have the rights to receive compensation if the flight is delayed more than 3 hours and it is the airline’s fault that caused delay – for example, if the airline faced mechanical fault or was overbooked.

You are unlikely to receive compensation if the flight delay was because of something outside the airline’s control, for example extraordinary circumstances like strike, bad weather or a security threat.

If your flight’s delayed for 5 hours or more

If your booked flight is delayed by 5 hours or more, you have the rights to not board on the flight, then you are entitled a partial or full refund of the ticket. Besides, you can request  a return ticket home or to you original point of departure.

In case you decided not to take the flight

The airline has legal responsibility to provide you all with all the following:

  • a full refund for the flight

  • a full refund for other flights from the airline that you will not use in the same booking

  • if you are part-way through a journey, a flight back to the airport you originally departed from

If you do take the flight

You can claim up to €600 in compensation if the delay is due to airline’s fault – depending on the distance and destination of your flight, and how late it arrived. It might have been your airline’s fault if there was a technical flight, or they overbooked.

You’re unlikely to get compensation if the delay was because of something outside the airline’s control, like bad weather or a security risk.

If your flight is cancelled

  • Provide passengers with a choice of reimbursement of the ticket price within 7 days (a free return flight to the place of departure)

  • To pay compensation at the same rate as in the case of denied boarding unless the operating air carrier has given you prior notice of cancellation

  • Provide meals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time, if necessary hotel accommodation (including transport to the hotel), free access to communication facilities – two telephone calls, two telex or fax messages or two electronic letters

  • In the event of  flight cancellation by the air carrier, it is its duty to issue a written notice of the information compensation and assistance under the Regulation immediately after the flight was canceled. The air carrier must provide the passengers with the contact details in writing of the national authority where he can make a claim

What to do if you are denied boarding?

If  the airline has approved more reservations than it can take, its representative must first invite volunteers who wish to opt out. If the number of volunteers is not sufficient, the airline is entitled to refuse boarding to any passenger.

If you are between those who have been denied boarding, you have the same rights as if you have canceled or delayed your flight, and you are entitled to a refund of  EUR 250 to EUR 600 depending on the distance you fly.

Your rights when you are downgraded

If you get a seat in a higher class, the airline cannot claim any extra.

If you qualify for a lower seat, you have the right to ask you to compensate for the percentage of the flight price depending on the distance you fly:

(a) 30% for flights up to 1500 km;

(b) 50% for intra-EU flights of more than 1500 km (excluding flights between the EU and French overseas departments) and all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km;

(c) 75% for flights other than those defined in (a) or (b), including flights between the EU and the French overseas departments.

If one ticket includes at least two connecting flights, only the flight in which you are seated in the lower class and not the whole trip can be reimbursed. Remuneration must be paid within 7 days.

How long after the flight delay can I claim?

EU Regulation 261/2004 has not harmonized the rules among European Union countries regarding  relating to limitation periods. Therefore the countries their self can impose limitation period which are usually from 1 to 10 years depending where the airline  headquartered is located.

For example, the limitation period in Germany is 3 years  calculated from the end of the year of the flight.  For example: flight 21.07.2017, expiry of the limitation period: 31.12.2020


  Limitation period


  Limitation period


  3 years


  2 years


  1 year


  3 years


  3 years


  10 years


  3 years


  No limit


  6 years


  2 years

  Czech Republic

  3 years


  3 years


  3 years


  1 year


  3 years


  3 years


  3 years


  3 years


  5 years


  2 years


  3 years


  2 years


  5 years


  5 years


  5 years

  Sweden   3 years


  2 years

  Switzerland   2 years


  6 years

  United Kingdom   6 years


  26 months

Your flight is delayed or canceled, tips what to do?

  • Hold on your boarding pass and other travel documents

  • Write down a note of the actual time the airplane arrived at your destination

  • Request information why the flight is delayed or canceled

  • Ask the airline to cover your meals and refreshments, in case of overstaying at night, request a hotel or transfer to the hotel

  • Don`t sign any documents or take any offers which could waive your rights for compensation

  • Keep your receipts if you have spend your own money during the period of delayed flight

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled and you are not sure if you are eligible for compensation you can check it for free with us.

Since we work according to a “No Win- No Fee” policy, we would only receive our fee if we successfully claim your compensation on your behalf. We will not let the airline refuse your compensation without the necessary proof. Best of all, our 25% rate covers absolutely all possible expenses – claim your compensation and exercise your rights!

To check to see if you have a right to claim flight delay compensation of up to €600 per person!

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