Flight delay compensation - what you should do and when

Getting compensation for a delayed flight

If you have had a flight delay, disruption, cancellation or you have suffered from any other inconvenience caused by the carrier for example an airline has rebooked you for an alternative flight, but from a different airport, and you were still behind your original schedule, you may be entitled to a flight delay compensation. The process and whether you are due any money from the airline depends on a few things. For example, those can be one or some of the following: the country of the carrier (where the airline's HQ are), conditions of carriage and the reason for the actual flight delay. However in practical terms almost all passengers are entitle to the flight delay compensation money where the regulations are in force.

What should passengers of a disrupted flight do?

Please check your flight compensation eligibility as soon as possible (opens a new window) to ensure you have a case. It's a simple process and will only take a few minutes.

The easiest and simplest way to find out whether you can get any money for a disrupted flight and claim a flight delay compensation is to use a compensation checker - just enter your original flight number that you were supposed to fly with or flew, the airline name and the travel dates. Leave the rest to the claims processing team - you are in safe hands from here. To bear in mind, you don't need to pay any money upfront or to share any sensitive personal information such as bank account or pin codes. Once you have received a confirmation email stating, that your compensation claim has been accepted and approved, all you will need to do - is to give your bank account for the money to be paid.

There will be a small service fee deducted from the total amount you are due, and you don't need to worry about paying anything else in separate bank transactions. Fee structure will be explained in email communication. The charge is done on a "no win - no fee" basis, meaning, that should you not be entitled to a compensation for whatever reason, you won't need to pay any service fees at all. On a different note, sometimes airlines can reach out directly to the claimants, offering different vouchers, discounts or promo codes for future travel. It is obviously cheaper for the airline to offer an alternative service as opposed to paying out cash. We strongly advise not to settle for less, at lest not for what you are entitled to. It is the airlines legal responsibility including financial to reimburse the passengers for inconvenience and losses. These things are regulated by law, that is protecting traveller rights.

For more information on the air passengers travel regulations such as EC 261, you can ask an airline representative at the airport check-in desk or simply by following this link, that explains how the regulations work (official document of the European Union).

Flight delay compensation processing times

So, how long does it take to get a flight compensation? There isn't a straightforward answer to this question simply because timing can vary hugely from several weeks to several months. However, what we could say, is that on average claims for flights within the EU may take between 4 to 6 weeks to process. As we have mentioned earlier, it depends on the carrier, flight disruption circumstances, seasonality, the country under which jurisdiction the carrier falls into, and also civil aviation authorities, as sometimes these authorities also need to be involved into the process. Sometimes due to all the complexities you may need to be more patient and be prepared to wait for a good few weeks for the results to come through.

Delay compensations in different airlines

We have prepared a list of carriers, below, for your convenience - please follow the quick links choosing the airline to find out how to get a flight delay compensation.

Note: sometimes, during extraordinary or also referred to as exceptional circumstances, airlines may be exempt from paying out any compensations. Such circumstances are also known as the "force majeuere" and may include but not limited to incidents such as an aircraft hitting the birds during a take off and damaging its engines, or the damage from a lightning strike, also situations when an ambulance is called to attend a passenger on board, and even the breakdown of the navigation systems of the airport that may affect ground or air operations affecting your flight. Terror attacks or attempts also fall into this category of exceptional circumstances.