Your guide to delayed flight compensation

Under EU law if your flight is delayed for over 3 hours you are entitled to claim compensation for such delay. The rules are fairly simple, and the evidence suggests that most passengers have claimed through a simple email to the airline, however, few cases went to higher courts as well.

Value of Compensation.

You can claim for a minimum of € 250 and maximum of € 600. The exact amount of compensation will depend on the distance involved and the number of hours it was delayed. If your flight from London to Chicago is delayed for over 4 hours you may be entitled to full compensation of € 600, however, if your flight from London to Brussels is delayed for 3 hours you can only claim € 250 due to the shorter distance between these two cities.

Rule 1

The delayed flight operator or flight must be regulated by EU law and must be an EU flight. By EU flight the interpretation provided by the courts is that the flight must either depart from an airport within European Union irrespective of the airline or the airline must be reregulated by EU law. It is confusing to understand the difference between these two.

Departing Flights

All departing flights from all EU airport irrespective of who or where the airline operator is registered will qualify as an EU Flights. A flight to Spain, Italy, America, Sri Lanka or Abu Dhabi will be qualified EU flight if it departs from any airport within EU. A flight operated by Qatar Airlines which departs from London Heathrow will be the qualifying airline despite the fact that Qatar airlines is based in Qatar.

Arriving Flight

If your flight flew from within EU you can claim compensation. However, if you are travelling from outside the EU and your flight gets delayed You can only claim compensation if the fight or flight operator is an EU operator.  If your British Airways flight from New Delhi to London Heathrow gets late you can claim compensation, however, if you are travelling on Air India from New Delhi to London Heathrow you cannot claim any compensation.

Rule 2

Your claim must not be over 6 years old. Any claim dating further than 6 months will be unlikely to succeed.

Rule 3

The delay must be caused by the airline and should be such that was well within their control. If your flight is delayed for any reason which is beyond the reasonable control of the airline or due to the circumstances wholly and exclusively outside the control of the airline you are unlikely to succeed in your claim

Rule 4

The delay must be of at least 3 Hours. Any delay which is for less than 3 hours will not be a cause for a compensation. It is important to note that the delay is calculated upon arrival. i.e. how late your flight was upon arrival at your destination. For example. If you are due to land in Abu Dhabi at 6 Pm and you landed at 8.30 Pm then you are only late for 2 and ½ hours, despite the fact that you may have waited for over 3 hours at London Heathrow.

Rule 5

It is likely that when you make a claim the airline may refuse your claim straight away. If it occurs you can apply to the regulators like ABTA, CEDR, CAA, Aviation ADR etc. depending upon the airline you have flown with. Your airline will normally inform you that which regulator you can appeal to.

For further advice and assistance please contact our experienced lawyers for further guidance and advice.


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