If your flight is cancelled or delayed for two hours or more, then according to EC Regulation 216/2014, you can claim compensation from the airline company. If the delay or cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance such as an employee strike, bad weather, terrorism or any unavoidable technical faults, then you cannot claim compensation. Here are some more rules on claiming flight delay compensation.
Flight delay refunds are available only for EU flights
EU flights are flights originating in EU airports. It can be any carrier and it will not matter. Airports in Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland are also governed by the same law.
You can claim compensation for delays or cancellations back to 6 years
In Wales, Northern Ireland and England, the statute of limitations say that you can claim compensation within six years only. In Scotland, you can only claim it back to five years. Thompson Airways was actually fighting a case in the UK Supreme Court to limit the claim time to two years, but that case was thrown out in October 2014.
You can claim flight delay refunds only when the airline is at fault
You are eligible for compensation only when the delay or cancellation is the airline’s fault. This is why you should know about ‘extraordinary circumstances’. An extraordinary circumstance is a situation which cannot be avoided even after taking all reasonable measures. For instance, an act of God (like a storm) cannot be avoided. Fortunately, technical faults do not come under “extraordinary circumstances“. If your flight is delayed or cancelled and if the airline is citing technical faults with the flight as a reason for the delay, then you can claim compensation.
The delay should be at least two hours
According to EC regulation 261/2004, one of the preconditions for claiming compensation is that the delay should be at least three hours or more (1500 km or less). For flights over 1500 km, the delay allowed is up to four hours. Note that the time of landing is taken to calculate the delay and not the time to take off.
Here is a theoretical example. If you are taking an intercontinental flight and if the flight starts four hours late, but arrives only two hours 50 minutes late, then you cannot claim compensation. The compensation is calculated per person. So if you are a family of four and your flight is delayed or cancelled, then you can claim compensation for all four members of your family. Note that you cannot claim compensation for children who are travelling free of charge.
If your flight is cancelled, you are eligible for a refund
Passengers of cancelled flights are eligible for refunds. You can either claim a refund or you can catch an alternative flight to your destination which is arranged by the airline. This is regardless of when you came to know of the cancellation or the reason for the cancellation.
You can learn more about delayed flight compensation by visiting our website. We can also help you claim refunds or compensation from carriers for cancelled or delayed EU flights.