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Flight Delay Compensation FAQs

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If your flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours, you have been denied boarding or your flight was cancelled altogether then you could be eligible to claim compensation against the airline that you were travelling with. In fact, you could claim anywhere up to €600 (£460) under the European Regulation 261/2004 for the inconvenience caused.

Call 0800 342 3206 today and claim the compensation you are entitled to.


Which flights are covered by European Regulation 261/2004?

The law states that any flights departing from an EU airport or flights that will land in an EU airport operated by an EU carrier may be eligible for compensation if they experience a delay of more than 3 hours.


Can I make a claim if the delay wasn’t the airline’s fault?

The law states that an airline does not have to pay compensation when the cause of the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are circumstances that are outside of the airline’s control, including:

  • Industrial action such as strikes that are unrelated to an airline – e.g. strikes by baggage handlers or those who work in air traffic control
  • Acts of terrorism or sabotage
  • Political or civil unrest
  • Security risks
  • Weather conditions classed as extreme
  • Hidden manufacturing defects

On the other hand, technical issues with the aircraft are not classed as extraordinary circumstances. If your delay or cancellation was due to a technical problem, understaffing or an overbooked flight, you are still entitled to make a claim.


How far back can I claim delayed flight compensation?

All air passengers within England and Wales are entitled to apply for flight delay compensation up to 6 years from the date of the delay. Those within Scotland have up to 5 years to claim. If your delay is coming up to the six-year limit, we strongly suggest that you contact us today as your claim may be rejected if you leave it too late.


How much compensation will I get for my flight delay?

The amount of compensation you can receive varies from €250 (approx. £192) to €600 (approx. £460) depending on the length of the delay and the distance of your flight. The amount of compensation does not take into account the cost of your ticket, meaning that if your ticket costs £5 or £5,000 you will get the same amount of compensation.

This table states the amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive for your flight delay:

Compensation for flight delay
Flight distance Arrival delay Entitlement
Flights up to 1,500km (932 miles) More than 3 hours €250
Any flight within the EU over 1,500km (932 miles) or any other flight between 1,500km-3,500 km (2,175 miles) More than 3 hours €400
More than 3,500km (2,175 miles) Between 2 EU member states & 3 hours or more €400
More than 3,500km (2,175 miles) Between 3-4 hours €300
More than 3,500km (2,175 miles) More than 4 hours €600


Can I claim on behalf of a family member who was also delayed?

Yes, you can. You can act as a lead contact and handle a claim on behalf of a family member, however, each person who has suffered the delay must be able to sign our terms and conditions.

It is worth noting that whilst you will be handling the flight delay compensation claim on their behalf, any compensation awarded will be paid to the individual unless we are provided with written confirmation to do otherwise.


Can I claim on behalf of my child/infant?

Everyone has the same right to the same amount of compensation under EU261/2004, including children and infants. The only stipulation to receiving compensation is that a fare must have been paid for their ticket (they were not travelling free of charge). You can still claim flight delay compensation even if they did not have their own seat or a reduced fare was paid.

Any claimant under the age of 18 must appoint a litigation friend – someone who is responsible for handling their claim on their behalf. This can be a family member or another responsible adult.


I didn’t buy the ticket myself. Can I still claim compensation?

The EU261/2004 regulation was brought in to ensure passengers who are inconvenienced by a flight delay or cancellation are compensated for the inconvenience, not as a way of replacing the cost of a ticket. This means you are entitled to compensation as long as the ticket you were travelling on was paid for, and you weren’t travelling for free. The person travelling is the one entitled to claim. If you paid for a ticket for someone else but you did not travel, you cannot claim, only the person travelling is able to bring the claim.


I paid for my ticket with air miles. Can I still claim?

Yes, you can. Air miles are still a form of payment and under EU261/2004 you are still entitled to claim. The amount of flight delay compensation is still fixed to the amounts highlighted in the chart above.


I used a staff discount. Can I still claim?

The fare you paid must have been publicly available. If you have used a staff discount and paid a reduced fare you are not entitled to compensation.


My flight was diverted. Can I still claim?

Yes, you can. As long as your flight arrived at the originally planned destination a minimum of 3 hours late, you are entitled to compensation. However, you should bear in mind that there are the usual certain extraordinary circumstances that may prohibit you from making a claim such as adverse weather or a medical emergency.


I was put on a different flight. Can I still claim flight delay compensation?

Yes, you can. Again, if your flight was more than 3 hours late arriving at its originally intended destination you are eligible to make a claim.


Can I claim compensation if I missed my connecting flight?

On many occasions, you can. As long as all flights concerned are made in the same booking, you are entitled to compensation if you arrive at your final destination over 3 hours late.

An example of a valid claim would be where you are flying from Manchester to Amsterdam to Australia and your flight from Manchester to Amsterdam is delayed by 45 minutes. Because of this delay, you miss your connecting flight to Australia and have to wait for the next available flight in Amsterdam. You then arrive in Australia 5 hours late.

Although the original delay was only 45 minutes you are still able to claim compensation due to the fact you arrived at your final destination over 3 hours late.

In some cases, airlines will seek to argue that a claim is not valid as the connecting flight is outside of the EU. To increase your chance of success we strongly suggest you instruct a solicitor to represent you.


I was told my flight was cancelled because it was under-booked. Can I claim compensation if I flew later?

If you were told that your flight was cancelled 14 days before it was scheduled to depart, you are not able to make a compensation claim. If your flight was cancelled and you were given less than 14 days’ notice you may be entitled to compensation of up to €600 but this will depend on the timing of your new flight.

If your flight was cancelled between 7 and 14 days before the scheduled departure and the new flight departed more than 2 hours early or arrived more than 4 hours late, you may be entitled to flight delay compensation.

If your flight was cancelled less than 7 days before the original scheduled departure date and your new flight departed more than 1 hour early or arrived at your destination more than 2 hours late, you may be eligible for compensation.

To speak to a flight delay compensation expert, call 0800 342 3206 or have a look at our flight delay compensation calculator and fill in our online contact form.


Why should I instruct a solicitor to handle my compensation claim?

Although there is a big media buzz about claiming for delayed flights, airlines will still try their best to avoid having to pay out compensation, and in fact, in many instances, they succeed in avoiding this. Quite often airlines will ignore letters sent by the public or attempt to say that you are not eligible for compensation. However, when you instruct a solicitor to handle your case, airlines are far more likely to take your claim seriously and pay out the amount you deserve.

What’s more, going up against an airline can be very stressful. When you instruct an expert solicitor at Jefferies however, we take care of everything on your behalf, leaving you with nothing to worry about at all. We handle everything from reporting on the incident to representing your case should it go as far as court.

We will not be ignored by the airlines and have the legal knowledge and experience you need to stand a better chance of receiving compensation for your flight delay.


Call our solicitors on

0800 342 3206

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Excellent service. Thank you all. Really glad I chose you to handle my case.

We helped Mrs W from Reading, Berkshire.

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