The Importance of Documentation in Claiming Flight Delay Compensation

When it comes to claiming flight delay compensation, one of the most crucial aspects that passengers often overlook is documentation.

Many travelers underestimate the importance of keeping records and gathering evidence when their flights are delayed.

However, having proper documentation is essential to strengthen your case and increase the chances of a successful claim.

In this article, we will explore why documentation plays a vital role in claiming flight delay compensation and provide you with valuable insights on what you should document to maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

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What is Flight Delay Compensation?

Flight delay compensation is a monetary reimbursement provided by airlines to passengers whose flights are significantly delayed, canceled, or overbooked. It is a legal right designed to shield travelers from unplanned disruptions.

The compensation amount, however, varies based on factors like the length of the delay, flight duration, and the specific air travel regulations in different regions. Essentially, it serves as a method for passengers to recover some of the losses due to these inconveniences and holds airlines accountable for their services.

Why Documentation Matters

  1. Evidence of the Delay: Documentation serves as evidence of the flight delay compensation. It helps establish the actual departure and arrival times, allowing you to determine if you meet the criteria for compensation according to the airline’s policy or EU regulations.
  2. Supporting Your Claim: Airlines typically require documentation to support your compensation claim. Without proper documentation, your claim may be dismissed or delayed, making it challenging to receive the compensation you are entitled to.
  3. Verifying Passengers and Flights: Documentation is essential for verifying the passengers affected by the delay and the specific flight in question. This information is necessary for the airline or compensation service to process your claim accurately.
  4. Proving Losses and Expenses: If you incurred any additional expenses due to the flight delay, such as accommodation, meals, or transportation, proper documentation is vital to substantiate these claims. Receipts and invoices play a crucial role in supporting your request for reimbursement.
  5. Legal Requirements: EU regulations, such as EU 261, have specific requirements for claiming flight delay compensation. To meet these requirements, you need to provide the necessary documentation to demonstrate eligibility and establish the circumstances of the delay.

Documentation Guidelines for Delayed Flights

Gathering Essential Flight Documents

Keep your boarding pass and booking confirmation safe, as you will need them to file a claim. In the event of an e-ticket, ensure you have an electronic copy.

Handling Expense Receipts

Maintain all receipts of expenses resulting from the delay. These include food, lodging, or alternate transport expenses. Remember, these are your proof of any financial loss you faced due to the delay.

Correspondence with Airline Officials

Any communication, whether written or electronic, from the airline acknowledging the delay or providing any form of assistance is crucial. It provides additional support to your claim.

Benefits of Documentation

  1. Stronger Legal Grounds: By providing comprehensive documentation, you present a stronger case, giving you a better chance of success when claiming compensation.
  2. Clarity and Transparency: Documentation provides a clear record of the events and surrounding circumstances of flight delay, ensuring transparency and minimizing any confusion or disputes.
  3. Facilitates Communication: Having proper documentation enables effective communication with the airline, making it easier to present your case and negotiate a fair settlement.

Types of Documentation

When documenting a flight delay, there are several types of information and documents that can be essential in supporting your claim:

  1. Flight Tickets and Boarding Passes: These documents confirm your travel details, including the date, time, and flight number, providing a foundation for your claim.
  2. Confirmation of Delay: If the airline confirms the delay in writing or via email, it serves as crucial evidence.
  3. Witness Statements: Statements from fellow passengers who experienced the same delay can further strengthen your case.

Essential Documentation for Flight Delay Compensation

To ensure a smooth and successful compensation claim process, here are the essential documents you should gather:

1. Flight Information

  • Boarding Passes: Keep your boarding passes as proof of your presence on the affected flight.
  • Ticket Confirmation or Itinerary: Provide the confirmation or itinerary details to validate your booking and flight details.

2. Delay Details

  • Delay Confirmation: Request an official confirmation from the airline specifying the duration of the delay.
  • Flight Records: Keep any records or notifications provided by the airline regarding the delay or cancellation.

3. Supporting Documents

  • Receipts: Retain receipts for any additional expenses incurred due to the delay, such as accommodation, meals, or transportation.
  • Invoices: If you had to make alternative travel arrangements, such as booking a new flight, collect the invoices as evidence of the associated costs.

4. Communication Records

  • Correspondence: Save any emails, messages, or letters exchanged with the airline, including communication regarding the delay or compensation claim.
  • Notes: Make detailed notes of any conversations or phone calls with the airline, noting the date, time, and names of the individuals you spoke with.

5. Other Supporting Evidence

  • Photographs: If applicable, take photographs of the departure board or any other relevant visuals that demonstrate the delay or its impact.
  • Witness Statements: If there were other passengers affected by the delay, collect their contact information and request statements corroborating the incident.

Remember, gathering these documents as soon as possible after the flight delay occurs is essential. Delaying the collection of evidence may result in the loss of crucial information or difficulty in obtaining supporting documentation.

Was your flight delayed? You may be eligible for compensation

Has your flight been delayed for more than 3 hours or even canceled? Don't worry, you may be eligible for compensation up to 600€ under the EU Regulation 261/2004.

Check if You're Eligible

We offer "No Win - No Fee" Services, so claiming is Risk-Free!

Which is the best company to claim flight delay compensation?

ClaimFlights is the best flight delay claim company when it comes to the payout after their 25% service fee. Through ClaimFlights, you could get 75% of the receivable compensation.

The following table gives you a direct comparison of flight delay compensation claim companies.

Your payout* (as Flight Delay Compensation)

for less than 1500 km for 1501 to 3500 km for more than 3500 km
ClaimFlights 187.50 € 300 € 450 €
Flightright 125.75 € 201.20 € 301.80 €
AirHelp 125 € 200 € 300 €
ClaimCompass 125 € 200 € 300 €
SkyRefund 125 € 200 € 300 €

* Source: Price comparison of flight delay claim companies, as of 8th August 2023.


When claiming flight delay compensation, documentation is vital in supporting your case and ensuring a successful claim. It provides evidence of the delay, supports your compensation claim, and helps verify the passengers, flights, and losses incurred.

By collecting and organizing the necessary documents promptly, you increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Remember, when in doubt, consult a reputable compensation service like ClaimFlights, which can guide you through the

Don’t let a flight delay go uncompensated. Take charge, gather your documentation, and claim what you are entitled to. With proper documentation, you can ensure a smoother claims process and receive the compensation you deserve

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Was your flight delayed? You may be eligible for compensation

Has your flight been delayed for more than 3 hours or even canceled? Don't worry, you may be eligible for compensation up to 600€ under the EU Regulation 261/2004.

Check if You're Eligible

We offer "No Win - No Fee" Services, so claiming is Risk-Free!

We help in many languages – ClaimFlights International Websites