A Step-by-Step Guide to Claim Process under EU Regulation 261/2004

A Guide to Claim Process Under EU Regulation 261/2004

Have you ever experienced the disappointment of seeing your flight delayed or canceled—or worse, being overbooked and having to wait hours for a resolution? In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation for the inconvenience caused.

The EU Regulation 261/2004 is a law designed explicitly to protect passengers from such experiences. The law obliges airlines to compensate passengers who are affected by certain disruptions.

While the regulation applies to all EU-based airlines operating within Europe, it also provides some coverage for passengers on flights departing from outside of Europe and arriving at an EU airport.

At ClaimFlights, we’re committed to helping you get the financial compensation you deserve when your flight is delayed or canceled, or overbooked under this law. In this article, we’ll cover everything about the claim process under EU Regulation 261/2004. From what your rights are to how we can help make sure you get paid.

What is EU Regulation 261/2004

Have you ever been on a flight that was delayed or canceled, or arrived at the airport only to find out that you were bumped off your flight and had to take a later flight? These are all inconveniences that can occur when dealing with airline travel, but did you know that these are covered by EU law EC 261?

EU Regulation 261/2004 is a law created to protect the rights of airline passengers who suffer from flight delays and cancelations and those who were bumped off their overbooked flights.

Under the regulation, the airline is required to provide the passenger with compensation for the inconvenience caused by any of these events. This compensation is meant to provide reimbursement for any expenses incurred.

However, claiming compensation can be a tricky process. That’s why it’s important to understand what EU Regulation 261/2004 covers, and how it applies in your particular situation. With this knowledge, you can make sure that you get what’s owed to you, from your flight’s disruption.

Eligibility Requirements for Air Passenger Compensation

Are you eligible for air passenger compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004? Well, this depends on a few factors. Here is a breakdown of eligibility requirements for air passenger compensation:

  • You must be flying within the European Union, or on an EU-based airline from a non-EU country to the European Union.
  • Your flight must be departing from or arriving at an EU airport, and either delayed by three or more hours, canceled without 14 days prior notice, or overbooked and denied boarding.
  • All notice periods notwithstanding, you cannot claim for a flight delayed more than three years ago.

If you fit all of these criteria, then you may be eligible to receive air passenger compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. Claiming can be a tricky process however so it’s important to get as much information as possible before submitting your claim.

The Process of Claiming Compensation Under EU Regulation 261/2004

If you’ve been affected by a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight, you can file a claim for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. The process looks something like this:

Step 1: Check the Eligibility Criteria

First of all, check if the delay or cancelation falls in line with the conditions and criteria outlined by EU Regulation 261/2004. If this is the case – move on to the next step!

Step 2: Collect the Required Documents

Gather all of the required documents to make your claim. Depending on your particular situation – delayed flights, canceled flights, or overbooking – the necessary documents may vary.

Make sure you have copies of your boarding pass and flight ticket as well as any other documents that are needed to support your claim (such as hotel expenses and transport costs).

Step 3: Fill Out and Submit your Claim Form

Once you have all of your documents ready to go and you’ve checked that you qualify, fill out a claim form on ClaimFlights’ website. It is designed to create minimum fuss – just provide some basic information about you, along with details about the flight delay or cancelation in question – so it won’t take long at all. Once submitted, one of the ClaimFlights claims specialists will review your case and get back to you soon!

Timeframe and Amount of Compensation for Delayed Flights

Have you ever had a flight delay? It can be a huge inconvenience, especially if the airline doesn’t inform you why the delay happened. EU Regulation 261/2004 sets out the timeframe and amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive for delayed flights.

Under this law, airlines are obligated to provide passengers with compensation when their flights are delayed or canceled, and here’s what you need to know about it:

What type of flights does it cover?

The law applies to any flight that departs from an airport in the European Union (EU), as well as any flight arriving in an EU country operated by an EU-based airline. It also covers flights departing from any Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Liechtenstein airport.

How much can I get in compensation?

The amount of compensation is determined by the length of your delay and the distance traveled. Generally speaking, if your flight is delayed between 3 – 4 hours you may be eligible for up to €250 per person. However, if over 3500 km is traveled, this could increase up to €600 per person!

When must I claim my flight compensation?

In most cases, Airlines must be notified within 6 months after the return journey was completed or should have been completed for compensation to be claimed. Keep in mind that filing a claim outside of the 6-month window may still be possible; however, this will depend on each case.

Timeframe and Amount of Compensation for Canceled Flights

You may have heard that if your European flight is canceled, you may qualify for compensation of up to 600 euros under EU Regulation 261/2004. But what you may not know is how much time you have and exactly how much money can be claimed.

Amount Claimable

Under Regulation 261/2004, you can claim up to 600 euros in compensation based on the distance of your journey and the duration of the delay. The exact amount will depend on the length of the flight and how late or canceled the flight was.

Timeframe for Claims

The good news is that there is no limit on when you can make a claim for canceled flights, so long as it meets other criteria as outlined by EU Law. Depending on the country where your flight was booked and operated from, this could mean that your legal rights stay alive for up to three years after the date of your canceled flight!

What’s more, some countries will allow claims to be made within two years of the date when passengers experienced a cancelation. So don’t forget – if your flight has been canceled or delayed, it pays to look into your rights under EU Regulation 261/2004.

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.

Timeframe and Amount of Compensation for Overbooked Flights

So now that you know how to claim for an overbooked flight, the next thing you should know is what kind of compensation you can expect. According to EU Regulation 261/2004, there is no specific timeframe for when the compensation should be paid. In most cases, it is paid within 7-10 days, but airlines often delay compensations by as long as 30 days or longer.

The amount of compensation you can get will depend on the flight distance:

  • For flights up to 1,500 km long, you are eligible for €250 in cash compensation
  • For flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km long, the cash amount increases to €400.
  • For flights longer than 3,500 km (both EU and non-EU flights), the cash amount is €600.

It’s worth noting that if your flight was unexpectedly delayed or canceled due to extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather or a medical emergency on board, your airline may not be obligated to pay any compensation at all – but that’s not always the case!

It pays to check with a reliable flight delay claim company like ClaimFlights before submitting a claim just in case there’s something else of value you could get out of it.


Claiming compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004 is not as daunting as it sounds. With the right knowledge, you can easily submit a valid claim and get the compensation you deserve.

At ClaimFlights, we are here to help you every step of the way. We provide a comprehensive guide to the claim process, from understanding how much you can claim to help you with filing the claim.

So don’t let a flight cancelation or delay ruin your travel plans. Knowing your rights can give you peace of mind and the maximum possible refund when something goes wrong with your flight. With Claim Flights, you get the support you need when filing a flight compensation claim under EU Regulation 261/2004.

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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.

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