There is nothing much you can do if your flight was delayed other than to wait for the next available flight your airline puts you on, but you can certainly claim flight delay compensation. There are several factors that may affect the amount of compensation you can claim, so it is best to be informed about these as well as the specific laws governing the airline industry in each country.
First, find the reasons for the delay
Airlines are liable to pay passengers for any delays caused by faults from their end. If the delays are due to mechanical or technical faults with the airline, then you can definitely claim flight delay compensation. But be prepared for the process to be a challenging one as airlines might defer the claim payments citing reasons that may get them out of such situations.
If your flight was delayed due to adverse weather conditions, natural calamities such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcano eruptions or terrorist attacks, then the airlines is not liable to pay you any compensation for the flight delays. They are, however, still required to provide you meals, accommodation and transport support.
If your flight was delayed due to mechanical faults for three hours or more, then you have the right to claim flight delay compensations and will most likely receive the same. For some EU airlines you can file for delay claims for flights delayed in the past, going back up to six years.
Next, look for ways you can file for claims
Filing for airline delay claims is not an easy task. In some situations the compensation cases drag on for years and by the time airlines pay you the money, you may have spent more than that on fighting for claims; not to account for the time and energy spent on the case.
You can write to the airline company with all your information and claim flight delay compensation. The airline might not respond immediately, so you would need to write to them repeatedly until they respond. In case they respond and refuse to pay you any money citing reasons to get them out of the situation, you can still fight them by your counter arguments gathered from the governing laws of your country. Before you claim any money from airlines, make sure you have all your facts straight so that you are ready for any arguments that the airline companies may throw at you.
You can also hire flight delay claim companies that fight such cases for you with the airlines in lieu of a fixed fee. Some flight delay claim companies work on the basis of no fees, but a percentage of the claim money you get from the airlines. In such cases you only need to pay these companies if you receive any claim money from the airlines. Hiring flight delay claim companies is a good way to get your claims, especially if the airlines refuses to pay you any money or does not respond to your correspondence.