fbpx

Can I Get Compensation for a Flight Delay?

The EC 261 counts you as entitled to a compensation of up to €600 in cash, provided that following conditions are present:

Your flight arrived to your destination more than three hours later than was proclaimed.

The origin of the flight was within the borders of EU (all flights apply) or the destination of the said flight was in the EU are (all airlines with an HQ in the EU area apply).

You conducted check-in to your flight on time (check-in occurred 45 or more before take-off).

The flight delay occurred no more than three years before filing the compensation claim.

The airline is the one responsible for the flight delay (this means that the reason for delay doesn’t fall under the ‘’extraordinary circumstances, meaning circumstances outside the airline control, like wars, revolutions, bad weather conditions, etc.)

It doesn’t matter whether the airline has previously provided you food, refreshment, blankets or travel vouchers of any kind.

For claim eligibility, it doesn’t matter that the airline has previously provided you with food, refreshment, blanket, travel vouchers of any kind (as long as you haven’t signed away your rights for compensation in exchange for flight points, etc.)

How Much Compensation Can I Get For a Flight Delay?

Under EC 261, all flights delayed more than three hours give grounds for the compensation claim.
The amount of compensation you’re entitled to depends on the origin, the destination, the hourly amount of delay and the length of the flight (in miles/kilometers).
The reason for the delay must also be within ‘’ordinary circumstances’’, meaning something the airline should’ve been able to stop from happening with reasonable precautions (i.e. airline staff strike, technical problem, etc.).

The European EC261 obligates airlines to pay up to €600 per passenger, per incident. Use our form to check whether the airlines owe you money!

What Can Inspecto Do for Me?

We can verify quickly whether you’re eligible for the monetary compensation or not.

We will handle the whole legal process with the airline. All you need to do, is relax and wait for the process to unfold!

There’s no risk involved for you. We will only charge a fee, if we are successful in the claiming process. No success, no fee!

After a successful claim we will send you the money to the banking institution of your choosing.

My Flight Is Delayed - What Should I Do?

When your flight is delayed, remember to:

Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents. The more document you save the better!

Ask from the staff why the flight was delayed.

Gather proof of delay (for example photos of the departure board or communications from the airline confirming the disruption).

Write down the final arrival time to your destination.

Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.

Don’t sign anything that causes you to waive your rights for compensation.

Wait the incident out or call the flight off if your delay is more than five hours.

If needed, get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.

Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.

What Documents Should I Save?

The more documents you save from the flight disruption, the better. The minimum requirement is something that ties your identity to the identity of the flight at certain time and place. This could be a boarding pass or a travel document, which both connect your name with the flight ID on a certain date. Often times, an ID with a picture is also required by the airlines to verify the person’s identity.

Flight Delay or Disruption During Business Trip

A usual misconception about the EC 261 is that the compensation amount belongs to the party that paid for the flight tickets, such as a corporation or a public institution.
This is false. In reality, the right to be compensated belongs to the person inconvenienced by the flight disruption.
This means business travelers and public officials are eligible for compensation as much as any other traveler.

Right To Care - Food, Drinks and Communication

When you’re stuck at the airport due to a delayed flight, the “Right To Care” Article 9 of EC261/2004 orders the airlines to provide you with meals and refreshments during the delay as well as access to varying forms of communication, including two telephone calls, telefax or fax messages and emails.
If the airline does not provide you these remedies, you may claim these expenses against receipts.

I Am Stranded At The Airport Overnight - What Are My Rights?

The Article 9, governing a passengers right to care provides help in case of overnight stays.
If the delay forces you to remain overnight at the airport, the article 9 of  EC 261 also requires the airline provide you with an accommodation (e.g. a hotel room) and a transport (e.g. a taxi) from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport.
Be sure to demand that the airline pays up for these remedies if your flight disruption lasts overnight.
Its good to know also, that if you ended up paying for these expenses yourself  because the airline declined to, you are entitled to claim the (reasonable) costs against saved receipts.

My Flight Is Delayed, Can I Cancel My Journey?

In case the delay goes longer than 5 hours, you are within your rights to abandon the journey altogether. In this case the airline must also provide you with a partial (in case you traveler a portion of the journey) or full refund of the original ticket and a return trip to the original point of departure, if needed.

Flight Re-Routing - Upgrade and Downgrade

If you’re offered an alternative flight and along the way upgraded to better conditions, the airline does not have the right to charge extra from you for upgrading your conditions.
If you’re downgraded, you’re entitled to an additional reimbursement of 30 – 75% of the price that you initially paid for the ticket

The Compensation Is Not Enough For Me

It is very important to be aware that even if you’re viable for compensation under the European Law EC 261, it doesn’t make you ineligible to request further compensation.
This rule doesn’t apply in cases of passengers voluntarily giving up their reservations. Remember, the amount you’re entitled under EC 261 might be deducted from any additional compensation you might receive.

Does The Airline Have To Tell Me About My Rights?

According to the European Law EC 261, the airlines are obliged to inform the passengers of their rights for compensation and place the information to a place near their check-in counters.
Sadly, often times this is done with the minimum effort demanded by the law, which means the documents are kept almost out of sight or in the midst of other documents and information.

Should I Accept The Airline's Offer?

In case your flight is delayed, the airline might attempt to attempt to avoid giving you the monetary compensation by offering you some form of flight vouchers or coupons.
We understand that in a situation where one is frustrated, tired or feeling distress, it might be difficult to turn down such an offer.

However, you should verify from the airline staff and from the documents needed to sign the vouchers over that by accepting the vouchers or coupons you are not waving your right to a monetary compensation for the flight delay. If you accept such an offer, you lose the right to a monetary compensation as detailed in the European law EC 261.

The European law states that the you always have the right to receive euros in your preferred manner: cash, electronic transfer or checks. Only if you accept vouchers, can you lose your right to monetary compensation.

What Flights Are Covered By EC 261?

In practice, almost all routes within Europe are covered by EC 261. This includes the EU airspace, but also (through multiple treaties) Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the so-called ‘’outermost-regions’’: French Guiana and Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion, Saint-Martin, Madeira, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

It’s a fairly common misconception that the European Law EC 261 only applies to flights within Europe, but that is fortunately not the case.
If your flight departs from any airport in the EU, it’s covered.
You are also covered if your flight departs from outside the EU but is with and EU airline As a good rule of thumb, all EU airlines have their HQ within the EU.

How the Flight Delay Is Calculated?

Flight delay is calculated based on your time of arrival at the final flight destination. It’s important to highlight the fact that even if your flight takes off late, it might still catch up in time while in the air.

But how exactly, is your ‘’arrival time’’ defined by the courts?

In September 2014, the European Court of Justice (case C-425/13) defined ‘’arrival time’’ to be the moment at which the flight has reached its final destination and at least one of its doors has been opened.

This was based on the assumption that after opening the door, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft and head for the exit. This can sometimes make a difference between getting compensation and not getting a compensation so it is important to be precise on the time of arrival.

The Airline Says The Delay Was Not Their Fault

The regulations in EC 261 state that only in case of ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ affecting the delay, the airline is freed from all responsibility regarding EC 261 compensation.

What are ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ ?
Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances where the delay could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable actions were taken. These situations are typically severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, medical emergencies, air traffic control strikes, airport employee strikes or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest…

Flight Delay Caused By Snow

Snow Doesn’t Necessarily Count As Extraordinary Circumstances.
This depends on whether the airline could’ve prevented it or not. A good heuristic is to observe the other flights leaving around the same time. If they were able to take off, then chances are the airline could’ve done something to guarantee a timely departure.

Flight Delay Caused By A Strike

In April 2018, the European Court of Justice made a ruling stating that internal strikes by flight staff do not constitute extraordinary circumstances. This means the airlines are subjected to compensations for flight delays and cancellations caused by airline staff strikes, as ending the strike is something that is within the airline’s powers.

Missed Connecting Flights Caused by Flight Delays

It’s not unusual for a flight to have more than one stop. If any of the connecting flights are delayed then your ability to get to the connecting flight on time might be compromised. In cases such as these it is the responsibility of the airline to get you on an alternative flight so you’ll reach your final destination on time.

In addition, you can be entitled to a compensation of up to €600, if your flight arrives to your final destination more than three hours late.

In cases like these, it is important that you booked all the flights in one package. If you purchased the flights separately, they’re no longer necessarily bound by a European Law EC 261. For example, you could take a flight from EU to Hong Kong via connecting flight from Turkey. In this scenario, you’d only be eligible for compensation if the flights were booked as one. If you booked the EU – Turkey, Turkey – Hong Kong as separate flights, the Turkey – Hong Kong is no longer bound by the EC 261 as Turkey is not a member state of the EU.

Missed Connecting Flights Caused by Flight Delays

It’s not unusual for a flight to have more than one stop. If any of the connecting flights are delayed then your ability to get to the connecting flight on time might be compromised. In cases such as these it is the responsibility of the airline to get you on an alternative flight so you’ll reach your final destination on time.

In addition, you can be entitled to a compensation of up to €600, if your flight arrives to your final destination more than three hours late.

In cases like these, it is important that you booked all the flights in one package. If you purchased the flights separately, they’re no longer necessarily bound by a European Law EC 261. For example, you could take a flight from EU to Hong Kong via connecting flight from Turkey. In this scenario, you’d only be eligible for compensation if the flights were booked as one. If you booked the EU – Turkey, Turkey – Hong Kong as separate flights, the Turkey – Hong Kong is no longer bound by the EC 261 as Turkey is not a member state of the EU.

What Can Inspecto Do for Me?

We can verify quickly whether you’re eligible for the monetary compensation or not.

We will handle the whole legal process with the airline. All you need to do, is relax and wait for the process to unfold!

There’s no risk involved for you. We will only charge a fee, if we are successful in the claiming process. No success, no fee!

After a successful claim we will send you money to the banking institution of your choosing.

Find out if you're owed by airline companies

Check Compensation
Copy link