Know Your Time Limits To Claim For Your Rights Under EU Law

EU Claims: Don’t Miss Out – Know Your Time Limits!

Have you ever been so frustrated after a departing flight has been severely delayed or canceled that you just want to forget about it and move on with your life? Unfortunately, that isn’t always the best option for air passengers.

As EU air travelers, we all have the right to be compensated for delayed and overturned flights, according to EU Regulation 261/2004.

If your flight departed from an EU airport or arrived at an EU airport and was operated by a European airline, you may claim financial compensation up to €600 per person affected.

Sounds too good to be true? Not really. But – as many travelers find out – there is one thing you need to know before claiming your compensation: time limits!

If you wait too long, your chance of receiving compensation disappears – like the rest of your worries when flying abroad.

In this article, we’ll cover what period of time you have under EU law and how ClaimFlights can help you with time-sensitive claims!

Overview of EC Regulation 261/2004

If you’ve experienced a flight delay or cancelation, you might be entitled to compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. However, there are certain time limits for submitting claims for delayed flights, so it’s important to make sure that you know your rights and avail of them within the required timeline.

Under this EC Regulation, each EU Member State must ensure that its legal framework allows passengers to submit their complaints in writing and claim compensation of up to €600 per person for the inconvenience caused due to airlines’ faults.

Moreover, aviation-caused deaths or serious injuries will qualify for compensation depending on the actual damages incurred by or suffered by such passengers or persons. The claims must be made within two years of the occurrence of such events (flight delays/cancelations).

Even though some airlines may have their own time limits, they can’t impose them if they are shorter than those required by EC 261/2004. So always prioritize this regulation if your original airline doesn’t offer an acceptable solution!

What Is the Time Limit for EU Claims?

If you suffered from a flight delay in Europe, there are time limits you need to be aware of. Under EU Regulation 261/2004, you can make a claim if your flight was delayed for 3 hours or more.

But that’s not all – you also have to file your claim within 3 years of the date of departure. This means that if the incident happened more than 3 years ago, it is too late to make a valid claim and therefore, you may lose your right to compensation.

Moreover, the time limit can depend on other factors as well. Depending on the outcomes of various court cases, some courts have interpreted that even though the 3-year time frame is valid, filing the claim within two years from the day of arrival or from when you were informed about your rights would be sufficient and in line with general legal principles.

It’s important to keep these facts in mind so that you don’t miss out on claiming the money due to you. Make sure you file your claim as soon as possible—whether it is within three years from departure or from when you were informed about your rights so that nothing stands between you and being compensated for a flight delay!

What Circumstances Can Extend the Time Limit?

If you’re wondering if the two-year time limit is set in stone and you can’t do anything about it, you’d be wrong. There are certain circumstances that can extend the time limit for claiming EU flight compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004.

Those circumstances include:

  • Flight delays from an “extraordinary circumstance“, that is, something beyond the airlines’ control, such as a technical malfunction, natural disaster, or labor strikes.
  • If you only found out about your right to compensation more than two years after your delayed flight.

So if either of these descriptions applies to you, don’t panic! You still have a chance to claim compensation for a delayed flight. You’ll just need to provide evidence of your delayed or canceled flight, and proof of when you became aware of your rights—better safe than sorry!

How Delays Can Affect Your Time Limit

The time limit is an important factor when it comes to EU claims, and it’s something you need to be aware of if you’ve been affected by a flight delay. That’s why we at ClaimFlights want to make sure that you are in the know about the legal time limit for filing a claim.

Your entitlement under EU law to claim compensation for flight delays or cancellations does have a time limit, which varies depending on the country. It’s worth noting that the determining factor is not your nationality, but rather the location of the airline’s headquarters or the jurisdiction of the court overseeing the aircraft.

To help you determine the specific time limit for filing a compensation claim, we have provided a useful chart below.
Central Europe Northern Europe Southern Europe Western Europe Eastern Europe Time Limit
Poland Latvia Belgium Bulgaria 1 year
Liechtenstein Iceland Albania Netherlands Armenia 2 years
Slovakia Andorra Georgia
Slovenia Bosnia and Herzegovina Kazakhstan
Switzerland Italy Moldova
Montenegro Russia
North Macedonia Ukraine
San Marino
Austria Denmark Croatia Azerbaijan 3 years
Czechia Estonia Portugal Belarus
Germany Finland Romania
Hungary Greece France 5 years
Holy See Scotland
Ireland Cyprus 6 years
United Kingdom
Lithuania Luxembourg 10 years

This is our best understanding of the situation. Determining the time limit for a flight delay compensation case can be tricky because it depends on whether it falls under ‘regular civil law’ or ‘criminal law.’ In some countries, it might fall under both, depending on the perspective. Generally, criminal law has longer time limits compared to civil law in most countries. However, even within civil law, time limits can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

It’s important to note that if any part of your outward journey takes off in an EU country and lands in a non-EU country (or vice versa), then you still qualify for compensation if your final destination was within Europe. However, some airlines may dispute this so it’s important not to delay making your claim.

Acting Rapidly to Ensure Successful Claims

Time is of the essence when you’re filing EU claims. If you don’t act fast, you can miss out on the compensation you deserve. Depending on your situation, there can be several time limits that apply to your claim.

For flight delay or cancelation claims under EC Regulation 261/2004, the time limit is generally three years after the disruption occurred, so if your disrupted flight happened 3 years ago then time may be not on your side! That’s why it’s important to know what your rights are and how long you have in advance.

Luckily, if a flight has been disregarded due to an extraordinary circumstance, you still have two years after the disruption date to try and get compensated. However, for claims for overbooked flights, there is no time limit — but it’s still best to act quickly as other factors might negatively impact your chances of receiving compensation even if you’re eligible.

The key point: If possible, always file EU claims within six months after a disruption occurs. This will ensure that your claim stands the best chance of success. ClaimFlights can help day or night with all kinds of EU claims; Our team will help guide you through the process so that you never miss out on collecting just compensation for a disrupted flight.

Making a Claim and When to Involve a Specialist

If you’re an EU air traveler and you’ve experienced any of these three conditions, delayed flights, canceled flights, or overbooked flights, you might be eligible for compensation. But there are a few things you need to know first.

The most important is: don’t miss out! You only have three years from the date of your flight to submit a claim for compensation. That might sound like a long time, but when it comes to EU regulations, it’s actually pretty low compared to other kinds of claims you might make.

To make sure that your efforts pay off, it’s often worthwhile to seek outside help. Airlines are not always keen on awarding passengers their deserved compensation, so involving a specialist in the process could be an efficient way of ensuring a successful result. When you work with ClaimFlights, we provide help and advice with filing your claim and ensure that the entire claim process is handled on your behalf in the most professional manner possible.

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.


All in all, it’s important to stay on top of your rights when it comes to air passenger claims. As the law states, you have the right to claim compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked EU flights, but you need to act fast to make sure you don’t miss out. The good news is, you don’t have to go through the claim process alone. ClaimFlights can help you claim your compensation and ensure you get what you’re entitled to.

Missing the time limit could mean missing out on the compensation you are rightfully owed. Know your rights and make sure you take action on all EU claims within two years of the date of the incident. It’s the only way to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

Fascinating Topics You Don’t Want to Miss

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about claiming compensation for flight delays or cancellations. Click any of the links below to discover expert advice, comprehensive guides, and useful tips on how to claim what you’re entitled to. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just looking to expand your knowledge, our fascinating topics will leave you informed and engaged.

10 best flight-booking sites of 2024

Are you searching for the perfect flight booking portal to snag the cheapest airfares for your next trip? You're not alone. Today, the internet is flooded with options that claim to offer the fastest and most cost-effective booking...

Tactics to Deal with Turbulence

Tactics to Deal with Turbulence: Strategies To Remain Clam and Relax Turbulence is an unavoidable challenge that pilots and passengers face. It refers to the unpredictable and erratic movements of the air, causing disruptions to the...

Get Compensate for your Lost Luggage

Lost Luggage: What to Do If Your Bags Don't Arrive with You Traveling can be a joyous and enriching experience, but sometimes, things don't go as planned. One such inconvenience that can throw a wrench into your travel plans is when your...

We help in many languages – ClaimFlights International Websites