Rights in the event of a flight delay
Was your flight delayed? Read about your rights to receive compensation here.


If you have been on a delayed flight within the last 3 years, you may be eligible to receive up to 600 EUR/ £540 in financial compensation per EU Regulation 261/2004. At Refundmore, we are experts in air passenger rights, and we can help you obtain your entitled compensation from the airline.

Are you unsure whether you are entitled to compensation, and in that case how much? Read about your rights below.

Financial compensation for flight delays

Financial compensation for flight delays is not required by law, but it has been established by legal precedent that passengers whose flights are delayed have the right to compensation. A delay of more than three hours equates to a cancelled flight in relation to the right to compensation.


Most people have experienced delays, but do you know when you're entitled compensation?


The length of a delay is calculated using the actual arrival time at the final destination. According to regulations, you have reached your destination when the doors of the aeroplane open, and permission is granted to rise so that passengers have the opportunity to exit the aeroplane.

You are only entitled to compensation if your flight meets the legal requirements to be considered "delayed." The legislation covers passengers travelling from the EU or into the EU with an EU airline. Should you travel, for example, from the USA to Dubai, you are not covered by the law and have no right to compensation. This applies even when a flight is delayed by more than 3 hours. The same applies when you're flying to or from the United States on a different carrier (e.g. Delta Airlines) that is not registered as an EU airline.


The amount of compensation

The amount of compensation depends on the flight distance and is divided into three categories. 250, 400, and 600 euros. Your right to compensation depends on the direct flight distance. The longer you fly, the higher the compensation may be for a delay. If you are unsure how much compensation you are entitled to, find the answer by entering your information into our calculator. Simply enter departure and arrival airport and the details about the airline and the delay.

Passengers are not entitled to compensation if the delay is due to "exceptional circumstances" that could not be avoided even if the airline had taken all measures that could reasonably be expected.

Exceptional delay causes (force majeure etc.) include the following examples:

  • Labour strike (planned as well as spontaneous)
  • Unusual weather conditions (weather that presents a safety risk)
  • Terrorist/military action (an event which constitutes a threat to the general welfare)
  • Curfew/flight ban
  • Acute illness or illness of passengers

Here is a list of circumstances that are not considered "exceptional circumstances":

  • Technical problems
  • Insufficient flight crew / crew shortage
  • Traffic or congestion at the airport
  • Late arrival of the aircraft due to operational reasons

Passengers should be aware that the airline sometimes qualifies a reason for the delay as an "exceptional circumstance," though the cause was actually within the airline's control. This is done in an attempt to avoid the compensation obligation. We have seen many cases where an airline denies valid claims (e.g. by indicating unusual weather, even though the weather was not a contributing factor to a delay or cancellation), and we always recommend that you seek legal advice if you disagree with the airline's decision.

Are you ready to find out whether you have a valid claim? Enter your travel information in our calculator and get immediate answers as to whether you are entitled to compensation. You are also welcome to call us at (0044) 0333 4040 999 on weekdays between 9am and 4pm.

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