A Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Claiming Compensation for Delayed or Cancelled Flights
Have you ever experienced the frustration of having your flight delayed? We’ve all been there—waiting in an airport lounge, watching as the minutes tick away, unsure when you’re finally going to arrive at your destination. It’s maddening…and honestly, it’s unfair.
But did you know that you are eligible for compensation if your flight is delayed three hours or more?
That means if you’ve lost out on time and money due to an airline mistake or negligence, it’s time to get compensated—for both the cost of your ticket and additional expenses incurred.
So just how do you go about claiming this money? In this guide, we’ll explain the legal loopholes of flight delay compensation and show you step-by-step how to win your claim.
Get to Know About Your Rights
- If your flight is delayed for more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation, which depends on the length of the route and the duration of the delay.
- If your flight is delayed by more than 2 hours at departure, you are entitled to “Right to Care”, i.e. free meals, phone calls, or internet access.
- For delays of more than 5 hours, you can request a refund. And for overnight delays, airlines should provide hotel accommodation and transportation.
- No claims can be asserted under extraordinary circumstances such as Tsunamis, or extremely bad weather, as these are beyond the airlines’ control.
Determining your Eligibility for Compensation
Under EU Regulation 261/2004 you could claim compensation of up to 600€ for delayed flights and canceled flights.
- The flight delay upon arrival at the destination is more than 3 hours.
- Your flight departed from or landed at an EU airport with an EU-regulated airline.
- Claims must be filed within 3 years from the time of your flight’s departure time.
Note: You are not eligible for compensation if the flight is delayed due to unavoidable conditions. For example, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, extreme bad weather, or any other ‘Act of God’.
Documents to Support Your Claim
To ensure a smooth and successful compensation claim process, here are the essential documents you should gather:
- 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.
- 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.
- Receipts: Retain receipts for any additional expenses incurred due to the delay, such as accommodation, meals, or transportation.
- Photographs: If applicable, take photographs of the departure/arrival board or any other relevant visuals that demonstrate the delay or its impact.
- Correspondence: Save any emails, messages, or letters exchanged with the airline, including communication regarding the delay or compensation claim.
*Note: Make detailed notes of any conversations or phone calls with the airline, noting the date, time, and names of the individuals you spoke with.
Having all this evidence upfront will not only strengthen your case but can also help speed up any discussions with the airline’s customer service team—so make sure it’s all at hand before filing a claim!
How to File a Claim for Flight Delay Compensation
To claim compensation, you need to submit a claim with the airline for the delay
- Keep your boarding pass and any other travel documents.
- Inquire about the reason behind the flight delay.
- Collect evidence of the delay, such as taking photos of the departure board or preserving any communications from the airline confirming the disruption.
- Enter your flight details into our compensation calculator.
1. Approach the Airline
Contact Airline: Reach out to the airline’s customer service or claims department via their website or dedicated phone line.
Provide Flight Details: Clearly state the flight number, departure and arrival locations, scheduled departure time, actual departure time, and the total delay duration.
Submit Documentation: Follow the airline’s claim submission process, which may include forms and documentation like boarding passes and tickets.
Explain Reasons: Clearly explain the reasons for your claim, such as the airline’s responsibility for the delay.
Keep Records: Maintain copies of all correspondence and documentation for reference and future communication regarding your claim.
2. Dealing with Rejection
Dealing with rejection requires taking several proactive steps. First, carefully review the reasons provided by the airline for the rejection.
If you believe the rejection is unjustified, gather all necessary evidence and paperwork, including ticket receipts, boarding passes, and proof of correspondence. Be clear, concise, and polite in your communication.
Submit an appeal to the airline or compensation authorities with all of the necessary paperwork that supports your claim in order to demonstrate that they owe you the compensation they denied you initially.
Make sure to include any communication you had with the airlines to further strengthen your case and show that you are entitled to compensation for the delayed or canceled flight.
3. Hire a Flight Delay Claim Company
A Flight delay claim company will save you time and headaches. Instead of figuring out all the legalese, documentation requirements, and logistical minutiae of submitting a claim yourself, you can hand it off to the professionals who can get it done.
They also have access to specific industry knowledge that will help maximize your chances of success. Their experience with flights, regulations, settlements, and more can help you navigate the murky waters of delayed flight claims more quickly than going alone.
In short: hiring a reliable flight delay claim company ClaimFlights gives you the advantage of having a professional on your side—just make sure to do your research first!
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.
How ClaimFlights Can Help To Claim Your Flight Compensation
Are you confused by the legal loopholes when it comes to filing a claim for flight delay compensation? You don’t have to be. That’s where ClaimFlights comes in.
ClaimFlights makes claiming your flight delay compensation easier than ever, by doing all the heavy lifting for you—from identifying if you’re eligible for flight compensation under EU law, to preparing and filing your claim. Here’s how they can help:
- Experienced team: ClaimFlights staff are experienced aviation law experts and have the knowledge to help you make a successful claim for delayed or canceled flights.
- Online form: Submit an online form with all the details about your case, such as airline name and booking reference number in just minutes and their software automatically determines if you can make a claim or not.
- Efficient Support: Besides outstanding customer service, ClaimFlights’ representatives provide efficient support to ensure that you get your money as soon as possible from the airline company involved.
- No Hidden Fees: No need to worry about hidden fees; ClaimFlights’ services are free unless your case is successful, in which case they take a commission of 25%.
- Flight Delay Compensation Calculator: Determine how much money can be claimed using the calculator on their website without having to pay anything upfront—you only pay when they successfully argue your case and get your money back!
With ClaimFlights on your side, pursuing flight delay compensation is easy. So don’t let airlines get away with wrongfully delaying or canceling flights—get the compensation you deserve with ClaimFlights’ help!
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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