How EU Citizens Can Get Compensation for Delayed Flights

Under the Montreal Convention and Regulation (EC) 261/2004 rights of passengers regarding cancellations, delays or overbooking are protected. Each passenger can receive up to £553 compensation for every time that they experience a cancellation, delay or the plane is overbooked. This compensation is not based on the amount of the ticket paid but the delay duration, as well as distance, traveled. You can read more about this at

Filing a claim

In order to know if the claim is valid and can move forward, you will need to answer these questions:

  • What was the flight distance
  • Length of delay
  • Any strange circumstances

It only takes around 3 minutes to know if you have a claim.

How much to claim

If a flight delay is 3 hours or more and was not due to any extraordinary circumstances, you will be eligible for compensation. The amount you will receive falls under the Regulation (EC) 261/200. It looks at many variables such as delay length as well as flight distance.

Which flights apply

These regulations apply to any non-European and European airlines. But, if a flight began at a non-EU airport, the claim must meet some additional rules. If coming in from a non-EU airport to an EU airport, you must have been on an EU airline for you to be able to receive any compensation. This will all be reviewed after submitting your claim.

Cost of care

Together with the financial compensation, the airline is liable for care costs resulting from cancellations, overbooking or delays. Costs of care include amounts such as:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Emails
  • 2 phone calls
  • Hotel rooms

If you paid for any of these at the airport, you can also receive a refund for these.

Different from the US

This is very different from passengers’ rights in the United States which are basically nothing in writing. In the US they will usually only reimburse the cost of the ticket.

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