EU Flight Delay Compensation

EU Flight Delay Compensation

Was your flight delayed? Under EU Regulation 261/2004, you might be entitled to as much as €600 in compensation. Start by simply submitting your flight details to discover how much you can claim.

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Flight Delay Compensation

Are You Eligible for EU Flight Delay Compensation?

If your flight is delayed, you might be able to receive cash compensation, which could be up to €600 (about $700), according to EC Regulation 261/2004.

Key Eligibility Criteria

  1. Your flight must have reached its final destination over 3 hours late.
  2. The flight should have either departed from an EU airport or landed at an EU airport with an EU-regulated airline.
  3. The delay must be due to reasons within the airline’s control, not due to extraordinary circumstances such as severe weather.

Additional Rights for Delays

If your flight is delayed by more than 2 hours at departure, the EU 261 Regulation entitles you to care and assistance, including meals, refreshments, and possibly accommodation for overnight delays.

How Far Can I Go Back To Claim Compensation for a Delayed Flight?

The time you have to claim compensation for European flight delays varies based on the Court of Justice overseeing the case. This period can range from 6 months to 6 years from the flight date. Many countries adhere to a 3-year statute of limitations. For example, if your flight was delayed in July 2021, you may be eligible to file a claim until July 2024 in these jurisdictions. The specific duration allowed for filing a claim depends on the legal jurisdiction involved. We have conducted research to ensure that your claim is filed in the jurisdiction most favorable to you, optimizing your chances for successful compensation.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Delayed Flight?

Under European Regulation EC 261/2004, you could be eligible for compensation ranging from €250 to €600, depending on the flight’s distance and the length of the delay.

Flight Delay Compensation

Compensation Breakdown

  1. Short Haul: For flights under 1500 kilometers delayed by 3 or more hours, you might receive €250.
  2. Medium Haul: For flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers also delayed by 3 or more hours, you could be eligible for €400.
  3. Long Haul: For flights over 3500 kilometers delayed by 4 hours or more, the compensation could be €600.

*Note: Compensation may be reduced by half if your flight did not cross EU borders, potentially lowering the compensation for long-haul internal EU flights to €300.

EU Flight Delay Compensation Table

Amount of Compensation Length of Delay Flight Distance
250 Euro 3+ Hours 1500 km or less
400 Euro 3+ Hours 1500 to 3500 km
600 Euro 4+ Hours 3500 km or more

Real-World Example

Imagine a family of five flying from Frankfurt to New York, covering more than 3500 km. If their flight lands with a delay of over 3 hours, they may collectively receive up to €3000 (€600 x 5).

At ClaimFlights, we’ve successfully handled thousands of claims, securing up to €600 for each passenger with a 99% success rate. We are dedicated to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Claim your delayed flight Compensation with ClaimFlights.

What Should You Do When Your Flight Gets Delayed?

1. Collect Evidence

Secure your claim by gathering proof. Take photos of the arrival board, keep your boarding pass and all receipts, and if possible, exchange contact information with fellow passengers. This evidence is vital for substantiating your claim under EU flight delay regulation.

2. Ask for the Reason

Directly inquire with the airline regarding the cause of the delay. It’s crucial to obtain a written statement from their customer service department, as the reason for the delay can impact your right to compensation.

3. Record Arrival Time

Note the exact time of arrival, and when the aircraft doors were opened and passengers are allowed to deboard. This detail is critical for accurately assessing your claim for EU delay compensation.

4. Right to Care

If your delay exceeds two hours at departure, assert your rights under EU regulations by requesting food, drinks, and if necessary, accommodation from the airline. These amenities are your entitlement during extended departure delays.

5. Check Your Eligibility

Use our flight delay compensation calculator to quickly check if you qualify for compensation under EU Regulation 261. Just enter your flight details to get started.

6. Claim Money Back

To ensure a hassle-free process, allow ClaimFlights flight claim experts to manage your compensation claim. We operate on a ‘no-win, no-fee‘ basis, ensuring you only pay if we successfully secure your compensation.

What Are the Rights to Compensation for non-EU and US Citizens?

The EU 261 Regulation applies to flight delays affecting all passengers, regardless of citizenship. Eligibility for compensation is determined if your flight either departed from an EU airport or arrived at an EU airport operated by an EU-regulated airline.

Eligibility Based on Flight Route and Airline

Origin and Destination EU Airline Non-EU Airline
EU to EU ✅Yes ✅Yes
EU to Non-EU ✅Yes ✅Yes
Non-EU to EU ✅Yes ❌No
Non-EU to Non-EU ❌No ❌No

Regardless of your citizenship, you are eligible for compensation under the EU 261 rule if:

  1. Your flight departed from an EU airport.
  2. Your flight arrived at an EU airport and was operated by an EU-based airline.

Act Now: Skip the hassle of reading through extensive details. Use our free EU Flight Compensation Claim Calculator to instantly estimate your compensation—it only takes 2 minutes! No email, credit card, or sensitive information is required. Check your potential claim amount now!

Special Note for Non-EU Residents

Under EU law, if you do not reside within the European Union, you are exempt from paying VAT on EU claim services. This means that if your tax residence is outside the EU, such as in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, India, China, or other non-EU countries, we will handle your case without charging VAT. You will only be required to pay the net fee. Not all competitors provide this advantage, making it a significant benefit for you. Please note, however, that this exemption may not apply to UK citizens.

Exceptions to Eligibility

You won’t qualify for European delayed flight compensation if:

  1. Your flight departed from a non-EU airport with a non-EU airline.
  2. Both your departure and arrival airports are outside the EU.
  3. For reasons beyond the airlines’ control, or exceptional circumstances such as extreme weather, security risks or emergencies.

How to Claim Compensation for EU Delayed Flights?

Claiming compensation for delays on European flights can be straightforward if you follow these essential steps to increase your likelihood of a successful outcome:

Determine Your Compensation

Utilize our delayed flight compensation calculator to get started. Simply enter your flight number, the date of the delay, and the reason for the delay to estimate the compensation you could be entitled to.

Initiate Your Claim

Begin your claim by submitting all required details about your flight and fellow passengers. Let ClaimFlights help you enforce your rights effectively.

Receive Your Compensation

After your claim is processed and approved, the compensation amount (net of our success fee) will be directly deposited into your bank account.

Which Is The Best Company To Claim European Flight Delay Compensation?

To help you choose the best flight claim company, we’ve compared the payouts offered after deducting service fees and legal action fees. The following table shows how much you could potentially receive with each company for flights of varying distances:

Estimated Payouts

This table outlines the compensation you can expect from various claim companies based on the distance of your delayed flight, assuming the maximum allowable provisions as of August 2023.

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: Fees comparison of flight delay claim companies, as of August 2023. Maximum provisions assumed.

Example: With ClaimFlights, if your flight was more than 3,500 km, you could receive €450 in compensation. In contrast, with AirHelp, the payout would be €300.

ClaimFlights consistently offers the highest returns on compensation claims for flight delays. Through our service, you receive 75% of the total compensation, significantly higher compared to others in the industry. This makes ClaimFlights the most favorable choice for passengers seeking to maximize their compensation efficiently and effectively.

Why Opt for Flight Claim Companies to Enforce Your Rights to EU Delayed Flight Compensation?

Navigating Airline Resistance and Legal Complexities

  1. Facing Airline Tactics: When claiming directly from airlines, passengers often encounter resistance; airlines are reluctant to pay compensation. Additionally, for claims requiring legal action, having legal representation becomes necessary. Smaller claims often get overlooked, frustrating many passengers into abandoning their efforts.
  2. Choosing ClaimFlights: Understanding that most passengers lack the time, expertise, and resources to effectively challenge these tactics, ClaimFlights equips you with the necessary tools and knowledge. We have a comprehensive database of airline requirements and understand the unique documentation each airline demands, streamlining the claim process on your behalf.

ClaimFlights’ 3-Step Approach to Securing Your Compensation

  1. Gather Documents: Collect essential documents such as your boarding pass, booking details, and correspondence with the airline.
  2. Submit Your Claim: Provide accurate flight and personal information along with the necessary documents to submit your claim through us.
  3. Get Paid: Once your claim is successfully processed, receive the awarded compensation (after deducting our success fee) directly into your bank account.

How Long to Wait for Reimbursement?

The wait time for receiving compensation varies, often extending from weeks to months, particularly when legal proceedings are involved. ClaimFlights aims to significantly reduce this duration, expediting your claim to ensure faster settlement.

By choosing ClaimFlights, you gain a powerful ally who navigates the complexities of EU flight delay regulations and ensures you receive the compensation you deserve efficiently and stress-free.

Know All Your Rights for Delayed Flights

Under European Regulation EC 261, air passengers are entitled to compensation or a refund for flight delays, flight cancellations, and denied boarding due to overbooking. This regulation applies to all passengers, including those from the US, departing from or arriving in EU airspace with an EU-registered airline, and extends to flights from Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

For Departure Delays:

For departure delays of more than 2 hours you, are eligible for the “Right to Care”.

Over 2 Hours:

  • Food and Snacks: Free meals and refreshments
  • Communication: Two free phone calls, emails, and access to fax services.

Over 5 Hours:

  • Food and Snacks: Continued provision of meals and refreshments.
  • Communication: Access to phone calls, email, and fax.
  • Re-routing or Refund: Option to be re-routed on the next available flight or a refund if you no longer wish to travel.
  • Accommodation: Hotel accommodation and transport if the delay extends overnight.

For Arrival Delays:

Beyond 3 Hours: Alongside the right-to-care facilities, you may be eligible for compensation if your flight arrives more than three hours later than scheduled.

Additional Rights

Missed Connections:

  1. For delays that cause missed connections, if the delay extends beyond 5 hours, you may request a refund for the untraveled part of your journey and a return flight to your original destination.
  2. If you are re-routed and arrive at your final destination over three hours late, you may qualify for missed connecting flight compensation. Ensure your entire journey is under a single booking reference to claim.

Business Travelers:

Compensation typically goes to the employer if the delay occurs during paid working hours. For personal or unpaid hours, the passenger directly receives the compensation.

Package Holidays:

Protected under the Package Travel Directive (90/314), this applies to packages within EU Member States and to non-EU destinations. All itinerary details must be accurate and complete for claims.

Cash or Vouchers:

When offered compensation, you have the right to receive it in cash, via bank transfer, or by check, as per EC 261. While airlines might offer vouchers, opting for cash is advisable as vouchers can often be less valuable than the actual compensation due. The only vouchers recommended to accept during delays are for meals.

Understand your rights thoroughly to make informed decisions and ensure you receive what you’re entitled to under the law.

Are Infants Entitled to Compensation for Flight Delays?

Children, including infants, may be eligible for compensation under EU261 if you purchased a ticket for them, even at a discounted rate. However, if the ticket was issued free of charge—for instance, for infants who do not require a separate seat—they are not eligible for compensation for flight delays.

What Are Extraordinary Circumstances?

Extraordinary circumstances refer to events beyond the control of airlines that can cause delays or cancellations. These events include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe weather conditions
  • Political and civil unrest
  • Acts of War
  • Acts of Terrorism
  • Air Traffic Control Strikes

In these scenarios, airlines are typically not obligated to offer compensation as these situations are beyond their reasonable control. However, there are exceptions. If other airlines are operating flights normally under similar circumstances, you may still have grounds to claim compensation.

It’s important to note that an airline citing extraordinary circumstances is not an automatic exemption from compensation. The airline must demonstrate that they took all possible measures to minimize disruption, such as attempting to reroute passengers on the next available flights.

US Flight Delay Rights vs EU Flight Delay Rights

While US air passenger rights are not as extensive as those in the EU, there are specific regulations concerning flight delays. According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), there is no requirement for airlines to offer compensation for delays. However, during tarmac delays of 2 hours or more, airlines must provide essentials like food, water, access to bathrooms, and medical attention if needed. Furthermore, compensation is mandatory under US law for issues such as involuntary flight bumps or issues with delayed, damaged, or lost baggage. Learn more about your rights during tarmac delays.

The Montreal Convention – International Flight Delays

The Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99) sets international standards for airline responsibility, covering incidents like luggage delays, cancellations, or personal injuries during international flights. This agreement is recognized by 138 countries, including major nations like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and more. It serves as the global standard for air travel regulations. Find out what you  are entitled to under the Montreal Convention.

Why Choose ClaimFlights To Claim Compensation for Your Delayed Flight?

Competitive Success Fee

Our success fee is a straightforward 25%—and that’s it. If you’re a non-EU resident, no VAT applies. We pride ourselves on transparent pricing and an outstanding track record of successful claims.

Proven Track Record

With a success rate close to 100% in court cases, our team of legal experts is highly skilled in securing compensation. We excel in managing and submitting claim letters, thanks to our extensive experience and training.

No Hidden Costs

We guarantee no legal action fees or administrative charges, even if we need to escalate your case to court. Our commitment is to handle your claim efficiently, with no hidden costs.

Industry Recognition

Recognized as a leader in the field, ClaimFlights has won numerous tests and reviews, confirming our position as the top choice for managing your flight delay compensation.

Unmatched Payouts

ClaimFlights consistently offers the highest payouts compared to other EU flight compensation claim companies, ensuring you receive the maximum compensation possible.

Exceptional Customer Ratings

As the best-rated flight claim company globally, we hold a 4.8-star rating on Google. Our clients’ satisfaction speaks volumes about our commitment and effectiveness.

Choose ClaimFlights for a seamless and successful compensation claim process, backed by expertise, transparency, and a high client satisfaction rate.

Experiences and Reviews of Our Satisfied Customers

Esenia Ulbrich

Esenia Ulbrich

Founder & Legal Head

Esenia Ulbrich is the founder of ClaimFlights and heads the legal team. She holds a master’s in business administration and loves sailing in the Saronic Gulf, hiking in the Alpes, and spending time with her daughter.

Choose your Choice to Claim Compensation

Here we have compared 3 different ways to claim compensation:



Higher Fees (£50 to £500, + Hearing Fees)


Risk of losing money


Hours of your time are spent


Result unknown



Zero Cost Risk & Additional legal databases


Pay Only When We Win


Takes only 2 minutes to Claim


Close to 100% Success rate



Low cost risk, most airlines ignore customer claims


Case might end up in court


Takes hours of your time


Outcome Unclear

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