Get Paid: Know Your Rights With EC 261 Compensation

Have you ever had a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight? If so, you know how frustrating it can be.

But did you know that if these inconveniences occur, you are entitled to compensation under the European Union’s EC Regulation 261/2004?

It doesn’t matter if your flight was late by a few hours or a day; EC 261 regulation ensures that all affected passengers receive appropriate compensation for the inconvenience caused.

The EC Regulation 261/2004 is binding in all EU member states but is often either unknown or misunderstood by those affected.

This article will give you the facts on what your rights are when faced with a flight delay, cancellation, or overbooking.

What is the EC 261 Compensation Rule?

EC 261 is a European Union law that provides air passengers with certain rights when their flights are delayed, canceled, or overbooked.

You lose out on time and money with no one to blame, or so you thought. These situations may result in compensation under air passenger rights EC 261.

In addition to monetary compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and emotional distress, EC 261 also requires airlines to provide air passengers with meals, refreshments, and lodging.

What Travel Circumstances Qualify for EC 261 Compensation?

Depending on the exact circumstances of your delay, cancellation, or overbooking, you may be entitled to compensation for your inconvenience.

To qualify for EC 261 compensation, your flight must depart from or arrive in an EU country operated by an EU-based airline.

Furthermore, the delay must exceed three hours and be caused by something that the airline was responsible for things like flight crew shortages are covered by the law but bad weather generally isn’t.

Once you know your rights according to EC 261 legislation, it’s possible to make a claim against the airline in question and get compensated for any impact their error in canceling or delaying your flight has caused.

How Much Can You Get Paid With EC 261 Compensation?

You may be wondering just how much you can get paid if you request and receive EC 261 compensation.

Depending on the duration of the delay or type of flight disruption, and the distance between your origin airport and your destination airport, the amount of money you can get can range from EUR 250 to EUR 600.

Delay Duration and Distance Flown

The amount of compensation you will receive is based on two factors: the length of delay, and the distance flown.

Generally, if your flight is delayed for more than three hours or is canceled without any prior notice, completely for reasons other than extraordinary circumstances, then you’re eligible for compensation.

For flights up to 1500 km in total distance, passengers are eligible for €250 in compensation; for flights within Europe and over 1500 km (but less than 3500 km) passengers are eligible for €400 in compensation; while passengers on flights over 3500 km are eligible to receive up to €600 in compensation.

Additional Considerations

In addition to considering distances flown, airlines must also take into account time spent waiting during connections because of a delay.

For example, if a passenger has a connecting flight that is delayed due to an earlier flight being disrupted, then that passenger may be eligible for additional compensation beyond what would normally be provided with their flight distance alone.

Furthermore, airlines may also reimburse travelers for additional costs incurred due to disruptions such as meals or accommodation when stranded overnight, so it’s always worth asking!

If a major event disrupts your travel plans, such as strikes or natural disasters, you should check with the airlines about what types of claims you can make in those special circumstances.

How Much Compensation for a Delayed Flight?

Flight delay compensation amounts vary between 250 Euros to 600 Euros. It depends on the route distance and the length of the delay.

Here’s the table below to understand “how much compensation you may get for a delayed flight

Receivable Amount Route Distance Length of Delay
250€ less than 1500 km 3+ hours
400€ between 1500 to 3500 km 3+ hours
600€ more than 3500 km 4+ hours *

* When EU borders are not crossed, the amount may get reduced by 50%, i.e., you can get up to 300€ for a distance of over 3500 km.

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 to Claim Flight Delay, Cancellation, and Overbooking Compensation

Know your rights and get paid with EC 261 compensation.

If you had a flight delay, cancellation, or overbooking in the past two or three years, you could be entitled to financial compensation from the airline.

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to claim the money you’re owed.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Gather the details related to your delayed/canceled/overbooked flight, like ticket number and flight dates.
  2. Use the flight compensation calculator to see how much you may be entitled to in compensation.
  3. File a claim for your delayed/canceled/overbooked flight and provide any necessary documentation (like tickets and boarding passes).
  4. Wait for a response from the airline, they have 30 days to respond once they’ve received your claim!
  5. Receive your compensation in no time at all if your claim is approved!

Remember, EC 261 applies to all flights operated by EU airlines departing from EU airports as well as flights departing from non-EU airports operated by EU airlines, so if anything unexpected happens during your flight, check if you’re eligible for compensation right away!

How ClaimFlights Can Help You With Your EC 261 Claim

You may be wondering, how can ClaimFlights help me with my EC 261 compensation claim. Let us take a look at some of the ways.

High Success Rate

At ClaimFlights, we have over 8 years of experience in helping passengers like you get the compensation you deserve under the EC 261 Regulation.

Our success rate for successfully claiming compensation is over 99% in court, so you can rest assured that we will do our best to help you get compensated for your flight mishaps.

A Platform for Easy Use

Our platform makes it super easy to claim your EC 261 compensation. All you need to do is submit your flight details and wait for the results.

We will provide you with personalized updates on the progress of your request so that you can easily keep track and check when the compensation process is completed.

Experienced Professionals

When it comes to your claim, our team of professionals will be on hand every step of the way to answer any queries and provide all the necessary information regarding your claim.

We also have experts in EU air passenger rights who can advise on how best to move forward with your EC 261 claim.

So if you have had a disrupted flight recently or even some months ago and want to know if you are still eligible for compensation, let ClaimFlights help you out!

With our experienced team and simple and one of the best websites, we are here to make sure that you get what’s rightfully yours.

FAQs on EC 261 Compensation

Have questions about EC 261 compensation? You’re not alone, lots of people have questions about claiming compensation after a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight.

We can help! Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about getting paid after your flight troubles:

What Is the Maximum Amount I Can Claim Under EC 261 Compensation?

The maximum amount you can claim depends on the distance of your flight and the length of the delay.

Flights up to 1,500 km and intra-EU flights over 1,500 km each come with a compensation of up €250 and €400 respectively.

For longer EU to non-EU flights of more than 3,500 km and delay over 4 hours, you can claim up to €600.

What If The Flight Is Delayed Overnight?

If your delay results in an overnight stay because the arrival time is five hours or more after the originally scheduled arrival time at the destination airport, you may be entitled to free hotel accommodation and meals.

This can be claimed in addition to your standard EC 261 compensation for the delay.

What Does “Extraordinary Circumstances” Mean?

Airlines do not always have to pay out if they experience a delay due to extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather conditions or a strike by employees.

In these cases, there is no obligation for them to provide you with financial compensation as required by EC Regulation 261/2004.

However, they must still look after their passengers while they wait; this could include providing them with snacks and refreshments during long delays and arranging alternative transportation where necessary.


Even though EC 261 compensation can be complicated, it’s important to stay informed of your rights.

You don’t have to go through the process alone – if you’ve experienced a flight delay, cancellation, or overbooking, ClaimFlights can help you get the compensation you deserve by submitting a claim and representing you legally.

Not only is it your right to receive compensation in a timely and stress-free manner, but it’s also an important gesture from the airline to its passengers to ensure their hardships are not in vain.

Knowing your rights with EC 261 can be the first step in protecting yourself against future flight disruptions and getting the compensation you’re entitled to.

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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

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Related Questions

What is flight delay compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004?

Flight delay compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 is the compensation that air passengers are entitled to receive when their flight is delayed for a certain amount of time, depending on the distance of the flight and the duration of the delay.

What are the conditions for receiving flight delay compensation?

The conditions for receiving flight delay compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 are that the flight must be departing from an EU airport or arriving at an EU airport on an EU airline, the delay must be over 3 hours, and the delay must not be due to extraordinary circumstances.

What are considered extraordinary circumstances under EU law?

Extraordinary circumstances under EC Regulation 261/2004 include situations such as severe weather conditions, security risks, political instability, and strikes that affect the operation of the airline.

Can airlines refuse to pay compensation under EC Regulation 261?

Airlines can refuse to pay flight delay compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 if the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances. However, they are required to provide care and assistance to passengers in such situations.

How can air passengers claim compensation for delayed flights?

Air passengers can claim compensation for a delayed flight under EC Regulation 261/2004 by submitting a claim to the airline either directly or through a third-party service provider such as ClaimFlights. The claim should include details of the flight, the reason for the delay, and any expenses incurred by the passenger as a result of the delay.

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