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Flight delay compensation guide: How to claim up to £530/person for free

By Megan Black. Last Updated 25th November 2022. Welcome to our guide about how to claim compensation for flight delays. Within this guide, we are going to discuss how to claim compensation for delayed flights. In doing so, we will provide free legal advice and outline how a personal injury solicitor could assist you.

In 2004, a new European legal ruling made flight delay claims a standard entitlement for most flyers taking flights between European airports. Under this EU legislation as per the European Court of Justice, everyone who experiences a flight delay longer than three hours at an EU airport, perhaps due to weather conditions, should be legally entitled to compensation for the delay. The process of claiming compensation for flight delay is free. The amount of compensation a person can expect to receive is from £110 to £520, depending on the severity of the delay that compensation is being claimed for.

Flyers can claim flight delay compensation on their own, or they can use a claims service to handle the process for them. Those who choose the latter will pay a percentage of any compensation they receive as a fee to the claims service.

It is more than understandable to have questions on how to claim compensation for delayed flights or even situations where the airline denies boarding for passengers for various reasons. However, after reading this guide to the end, you will understand how to claim compensation for delayed flights. More specifically, you will understand how a personal injury solicitor could assist you.

Select a section:

A Guide on How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flights

Within this extensive guide, we will attempt to introduce all of the factors that make up the process of claiming compensation for a flight delay. Will will also address critical questions on how to claim compensation for delayed flights, how a personal injury solicitor could be of assistance and offer free legal advice.

If you are someone that is questioning how to claim compensation for delayed flights, then please take the time to read the following sections. By the time you have read our guide, you will fully understand how to claim compensation for a delayed flight, and how we at Legal Expert could assist you.

A Note on the Implications of BREXIT on Flight Delay Compensation Claims

Currently, flight delay compensation claims fall under the umbrella of EU legislation. Only countries that are members of the European Union are legally required to uphold this legislation. This means that when the UK leaves the European Union due to BREXIT, airlines operating within the UK will no longer legally be required to pay compensation for delayed flights.

However, it should be noted that although this will likely be the case, it is fairly likely that UK laws to protect consumers will come into play, enabling UK citizens to pursue a compensation claim for a delayed flight. Put simply, the picture changes slightly, but the overall view should be very similar.

Airlines Are Required to Pre-allocate a Flight Delay Compensation Budget

Delayed Flight How To Claim

Delayed Flight How To Claim

For example, when it comes to flight delay compensation, EasyJet and other airlines operating with the EU, have to ensure that they have sufficient funds on hand at all times to cover any delay compensation they may be liable to pay.

The airline will calculate the amount of flight delay compensation they may need to pay across the year and keep these funds fenced away so that they are always available for the public to claim against, even if the airline were to go out of business.

This is a requirement under EU legislation to ensure that consumers are protected at all times. It means that there is a significant amount of funds available every year for consumers to claim flight delay compensation against. All you need to do is claim it.

Why do Flight Delays Happen?

There are many reasons why a flight can be delayed, from causes that are entirely outside of the airline’s control, such as the weather, to reasons that can be attributed entirely to the airline, such as there being no plane available to service the flight. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Bad weather making it dangerous for the flight to take off.
  • Problems with the maintenance of the aircraft making it unfit to fly.
  • Insufficient fuel available at the airport to fill up the plane.
  • Glitches in the airline booking and boarding system, making it impossible for passengers to board the aircraft.
  • Too much air traffic, causing congestion at the airport.
  • The plane’s late arrival, if it has been on a previous flight route that was delayed.
  • Security problems, either with the airport in general, or a specific airline/flight.

Regardless of the reason for the flight delay, consumers are able to claim flight delay compensation if the delay has been longer than three hours, and find the reason for the delay can be proven to be the fault of the airline. All of this determines how to claim compensation for delayed flight as you have the basis on which to claim.

What are the Main Rules for Claiming Flight Delay Compensation in the EU?

Two main categories apply to flight delay compensation claims in the European Union. The first of these is that any flight taking off from an airport in the European Union is regulated by EU legislation regardless of the airline. The second is that any flight landing at an airport in the European Union that is operated by an EU regulated airline falls under EU legislation on flight delay claims, regardless of the original take off-airport.

It is important to note that the countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are also dealt with under legislative procedure as if they were full members of the European Union, even though they are not.

For example, when it comes to EasyJet flight delay compensation, a flight taking off from London Stanstead in the EU, and landing in Tel Aviv, would fall under EU legislation for flight delay, as the flight took off from an airport located within the EU.

Similarly, as another example of EU legislated flight delay compensation, British Airways might operate a flight taking off from New York, but landing in London. Because British Airways is an EU regulated airline, and it is landing at an airport in the EU, then EU legislation for compensation is in effect.

There are a few other considerations that will affect a passenger’s ability to claim flight delay compensation, such as:

  • Codeshared flights – when you book a flight with one operator & another’s flight is actually provided. For example, if you booked a New York to London flight with American Airlines, but British Airways actually provided the flight. It is British Airways that would be used as the airline for judging the validity of a flight delay claim. When connecting flights are provided by multiple airlines, compensation claims are judged for viability on a case by case basis.
  • Packaged tours – regardless of the fact you may have paid for your air flight as part of a packaged holiday deal, it is the actual airline itself that is liable to pay flight delay compensation, not the tour operator.
  • Non-EU flights – if you are on a flight that does not fit within the two categories that define the scope for making an EU legislated compensation claim for a flight delay, the situation is far less clear. Many airlines operate their own flight delay compensation schemes. So first make a complaint to the airline, and find out if such a scheme exists. A flight delay claims service will likely be able to pursue such a claim on your behalf. Additionally, if you have travel insurance, it may have a provision for claiming against the policy for a flight delay.

Flight Delays All the Way Back to 2011 Can Be Claimed for under EU Legislation

Although it is possible to make a successful claim for a flight delay as far back as 2005, it is unlikely that any claim dated before 2011 would be successful. Statistically, the best chance of claiming compensation for a flight delay is when the claim is made within six years.

There are several additional considerations when discussing the length of time that can go between the actual delay, and a compensation claim being made, and these are:

  • Airlines imposing shorter time limits as part of the terms and conditions – these can be safely ignored, they are there to try and dissuade passengers from making aged claims. Under U.K. law, they are meaningless. U.K. consumers are given six years to make any claim against a manufacturer/service provider. It should be noted that in Scotland, this limit is five years.
  • Claims further back than 6 years might still be possible – under U.K. law, it is possible to claim flight delay compensation all the way back to February 2005. However, this is difficult to achieve in practice. Outside of the U.K. laws differ, and the timeframe may be shorter.
  • 2013 EU legislation set the framework for flight delay claims – and this new legal framework applies to flight delays all the way back to February 2005 in the U.K.
  • You will need proof of boarding to make a claim – so be sure to keep hold of your actual boarding pass. If you don’t have your boarding pass for a flight that was many years ago, digital proof of flight purchase might be accepted, such as an email.
  • Claiming for a flight delay against an airline that has closed – in most cases you will have to pursue the claim as a creditor of the company if the airline went bust. Also, if you paid using a credit card, you may be able to claim against the payment insurance provided by the credit card company.
  • Claiming for a flight delay against an airline that has been bought out – in this case, the legal entity that purchased the airline will have taken over all liabilities, and therefore will be liable to pay flight delay compensation.

Compensation Is Only Paid If the Airline Is at Fault for the Flight Delay

The reason for the flight delay must be something that the airline in question has control over. For example, Ryanair flight delay compensation being sought for a flight delay caused by bad weather, will not result in a successful claim.

This means that things like overbooking, a faulty plane, staff shortages etc. are all claimable for. But other causes such as weather, political unrest in the destination country, natural disasters and acts of war are not.

EU legislation states that every airline must prove that extraordinary circumstances caused the flight delay. The airline did everything it could to overcome the problem before it can waive liability for compensation.

Examples of reasons why a flight delay occurs, which compensation cannot be claimed for are:

  • Bad weather
  • Industrial action (not including airline staff)
  • Political unrest
  • Security and safety issues
  • Air traffic management closing an airport to a dangerous situation.

Examples of reasons why a flight delay occurs, which compensation can be claimed for are:

  • Pilot or crew unavailable.
  • An underbooked flight being cancelled.
  • A clerical error leading to the flight being registered late.
  • Technical problems with the aircraft.

If you are not sure whether the airline was responsible for a flight delay, it is possible to contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the U.K. or the corresponding authority in any other country in the European Union and ask them to provide the reason for the flight delay. Obviously, this can be a complete process, and using a flight delay claim service to do this for you might make sense.

Additionally, if the delay was caused by something beyond the airline’s control, you may still find that your travel insurance has provision for making an insurance claim for the delay regardless of the reason. This could influence how to claim compensation for delayed flight.

There are a few extra considerations to keep in mind:

  • If your flight was overbooked and flew on a later flight, you can still claim the original flight delay.
  • If the delay was caused by the plane arriving late – a clear route to a claim might not exist, some claims may be valid if it can be proven the delay was due to the airline. The best advice is to use a claims service to help pursue this claim.
  • The plane was diverted to another airport – the delay is calculated on how long you are delayed reaching your destination. Landing at the wrong airport, even on time, means you will be delayed reaching the destination, and a cause to claim compensation. The distance of your flight may have an impact on the compensation amount too.
  • The delay causes you to miss a connecting flight – then you will still have reason to claim compensation as it delayed the time you reached the end destination.

A Delay Must Be Longer than 3 Hours to Make a Compensation Claim Successfully

For example, if to claim for a flight delay caused by Ryanair, then to successfully receive flight delay compensation, Ryanair must be responsible for causing a delay of longer than 3 hours.

It is important to note that the time is calculated on how late you arrived at the destination airport, and not how late you were taking off from the starting airport. Your plane could take off on time, and in-flight problems could cause a delay. The longer the delay, the more you can claim in compensation.

The reverse is also true. Delays can be made up in-flight. If you take off 3 hours late, and 5 minutes is made up in-flight, it would only be a delay of 2 hours and 55 minutes, and therefore cannot be claimed for.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Flight Delay?

The table below outlines typical amounts that passengers can claim for flight delays under European Union legislation:

Delay at DestinationDistance FlownCosts PaidTypical CompensationFull Refund Possible?
Under 2 hoursAny distanceNoNoneNo
2 hours – 2h 59minsAny distancePossiblyNoneNo
3 + hoursUnder 1,500kmYes€250 (£220)Yes, if delayed over five hours
3 + hours1,500km to 3,500kmYes€400 (£350)Yes, if delayed over five hours
3 + hoursEU only, 1,500+ kmYes€400 (£350)Yes, if delayed over five hours
3-4 hours EU to non-EU airport, 3,500km+.No€300 (£260)Yes, if delayed over five hours
4 hours+EU to non-EU airport, 3,500km+Yes€600 (£520)Yes, if delayed over five hours

Using a flight delay compensation calculator or referring to a table such as the one above, will give you a general indication of how much flight compensation you might receive. However, there are some additional considerations, such as:

  • Money vouchers – some airlines might offer to pay compensation using money vouchers. You are under no obligation to accept these and can insist they pay in cash.
  • Costs can be claimed on top of the flight delay compensation in some cases – and this could include out of pocket expenses such as food, drinks and in the case of extreme delays, overnight accommodation. Some airlines will give food and drink vouchers on-site and may also arrange accommodation.
  • Full fare refunds – can be possible for flight delays that are longer than 5 hours. The same rules apply for refunds as they do for delay compensation regarding which flights are covered by EU legislation. You will not be able to claim both flight delay compensation and a flight ticket refund.

What Information Do I Need to Provide to Make a Flight Delay Claim?

After an aeroplane delay, you could experience various losses. Therefore, it is only natural to question how to claim compensation for delayed flights. To make a case of this nature, you will need to provide to support your flight delay compensation will differ from airline to airline. However, generally, you will need to provide the following:

  • Full passenger details – including the names of all passengers and your postal address, telephone number and email address.
  • Airline reference number – if you have previously been given one by the airline concerning your flight delay claim.
  • Full flight details – including the flight number, booking number, and also the airports that you were taking off from and flying to, along with the dates the flight took place.
  • The length of your flight – you can use a website such as Web Flyer to check this.
  • Copies of all documents – including the booking confirmation (even in email form), the ticket and the boarding pass.

What Can I Do If the Airline Dismisses My Flight Delay Compensation Claim?

When you first approach an airline to discuss the possibility of claiming compensation for a delayed flight, be prepared to be given misinformation. Many airlines publish terms and conditions that try to limit consumers’ rights to claim flight delay compensation.

When you contact the airline, they may refer you to these terms and conditions, and refuse your claim based upon them. In this case, you are still protected by U.K. and EU law, and can still go ahead and claim compensation. You will need a claims service to do this on your behalf, as you will need to open a legal case against the airline and take the claim to court.

Can I Claim Compensation for a Cancelled Flight?

Flight delay compensation

Flight delay compensation

The rules for claiming compensation for a cancelled flight are the same as those for claiming for a flight delay concerning when a claim exists. EU departures regardless of airline and EU operators landing at an airport within the European Union. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are all handled as if they are in the European Union to claim flight delay compensation.

The law does differ somewhat compared to claiming for a flight delay because no matter the cause, whether it is the fault of the airline or not, you are always entitled to either a full refund or a replacement flight. A few considerations do apply, though, including:

  • The flight cancellation must have happened since 2011 (in some cases you could claim back as far as February 2005 although rarely).
  • Being pre-warned of the cancellation does not negate your reason to claim a refund.
  • If the flight were cancelled due to events outside of the airline’s control, such as weather, you would still be able to claim a refund or new flight.
  • If you are stranded at the airport – the airline is legally required to provide food, drinks and if needed, accommodation until you are either given a refund or put on a different flight.
  • If the airline offers you a different flight – and you accept it, then you are no longer seen to be suffering from a cancelled flight, you will be processed as if you have experienced a flight delay when it comes to claiming compensation.
  • If you paid for the flight using air miles – the airline must either offer a replacement flight or refund the air miles.

Additional Compensation for Flights Cancelled Due to the Airline

If the airline was the cause of the flight cancellation, and your flight was cancelled within two weeks of the actual departure date, then you may be able to claim additional compensation on top of a flight refund or replacement. This can be as much as £520 on top of the original cost of the ticket. However, there are some considerations, including:

If you chose a rescheduled flight and arrives at the destination later than scheduled, you can claim additional compensation for the flight delay.

If the airline cancelled your flight – within 14 days of departure and offered you an alternate flight, you will have no viable reason to claim additional compensation.

If the flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances – then no compensation will be available. Consider the situation before discovering how to claim compensation for delayed flight.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Cancelled Flight?

Regardless of whether you have received a refund or been offered a replacement flight if yours was cancelled, there are certain circumstances when you will be able to claim additional compensation on top. The typical amounts paid if your flight was cancelled within 7 to 14 days of departure are:

Flight Duration0 – 1,500KM1,500 – 3,500KM3,500KM+
Alternative flight+/- 2+ hours late+/- 2+ hours or 4+ hours late+/- 2+ hours or 3+ hours late+/- 2+ hours or 4+ hours late+/- 2+ hours or 4+ hours late4hrs+ late
Amount€ 125€ 250€ 200€ 400€ 300€ 600

The typical amounts paid if your flight was cancelled within 7 to days of departure are:

Flight Duration0 - 1,500KM1,500 - 3,500KM3,500KM
Alternate Flight+/- 1+ or 2+ hours late2+ hours late+/- 1+ or 3+ hours late3+ hours late+/- 1+ or 4+ hours late4+ hours late

What If a Flight Is Overbooked and I Am Removed from It?

Airlines routinely overbook flights, so that they have the best chance of never flying with empty seats. Unfortunately, this means that everybody shows up for an overbooked flight from time to time, and some people have to give up their seats.

Usually, the airline will ask for volunteers to take a later flight. And in this case, any compensation that is awarded is between the passenger and the airline at that time. This could include food, drinks and accommodation.

However, if there are not enough volunteers, the airline will remove people from the flight. If you are removed from an overbooked flight, the same rules regarding compensation apply as if the flight was cancelled.

Naturally, as someone who is questioning how to claim compensation for delayed flights, you may question how much compensation you could be awarded.  In this case, typical amounts paid in compensation are:

Flight DurationDelayAmount
Up to 1,500kmUp to 2 hours€125 (£110)
Up to 1,500km2+ hours€250 (£220)
1,500km – 3,500kmUp to 3 hours€200 (£170)
1,500+ km (within EU)3+ hours€400 (£350)
3,500km+ (EU to non-EU)Up to 4 hours€300 (£260)
3,500km+ (EU to non-EU)4+ hours€600 (£520)

How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flights

There are several ways that you can begin a claim for compensation for a flight delay. Many people choose to pursue the claim themselves. And if you wish to do so, you can use a standard flight delay compensation letter, and we have made some available for you to use.

However, if your claim is a complicated one, or you don’t have the time to process the claim yourself, you can use a flight delay claim service, like the one we offer, to claim compensation on your behalf.

How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flights Yourself Step 1: Complain to the Airline

Each airline has its own complaints and claims process. If you are questioning how to claim compensation for delayed flights, your first task is to contact the airline and formally make a complaint about the flight delay or cancellation. When you do so, be sure to tell the airline you wish to make a claim under EU regulation 261/2004.

Below are links to all of the major EU regulated airlines, and their claims page:

How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flights Yourself Step 2: What to do About a Rejected Claim

There are potential scenarios that could occur where an airline refuses your compensation claim, or simply make it very difficult to make a claim.

In such cases, you can take your claim to an adjudicator. However, there’s usually a fee of around £25 attached to this action. If your claim fails, you won’t get this fee back.

In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the airline regulator, and it has approved several special services known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes. In the UK you must use an ADR service as an adjudicator. There are six such schemes in the UK, and these are the National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN), the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the Czech Trade Inspection Authority, NetNeutrals, the Retail Ombudsman and German body Söp.

Below is a list of each ADR scheme, and the airlines that they are responsible for:

  • NetNeutrals – currently responsible for no airlines.
  • Söp – is responsible for Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Germania, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swissair.
  • The Retail Ombudsman – is responsible for Air Astana, Air Canada (and Air Canada Rouge) Air China, Air France/KLM, Air India, Arik Air, Asiana Airlines, City Jet, Egypt Air, Flybe, Monarch, Ryanair, Skyworks Airlines AG, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Wizz Air.
  • Czech Trade Inspection Authority – is responsible for Czech Airlines only.
  • CEDR – is responsible for British Airways, Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
  • ARN – is responsible for Scandinavian Airline SAS

If your flight were on an airline not covered by one of these ADR schemes, you would need to take up your claim with the local regulating authority, so in the U.K. this would be the CAA. Although if your flight came from, or landed abroad, you may need to contact the corresponding body in that country.

Below we have provided a list of each of the governing aviation authorities by country:

Who to complain to if your airline is not a member of an ADR scheme

UKAnywhereUK, EU, rest of the worldGo to the CAA or Consumer Council for Northern Ireland if you flew from there.
EU, not UKAnywhereUKRegulator in departure country
EU, not UKFirst try the European Consumer Centre, if unsuccessful try the regulator in departure country
Outside EURegulator in departure country
Non-EUUKUKGo to the CAA or Consumer Council for Northern Ireland if you flew from there.
EU, not UKCAA or the European Consumer Centre (it shouldn't make a difference which one you use), or Consumer Council for Northern Ireland if you flew into there.
Outside EUCompensation not applicable.
EU, not UKUKRegulator in arrival country
EU, not UKRegulator in arrival country
Outside EUCompensation under EU law not applicable.
Outside EUAnywhereCompensation under EU law not applicable.

How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flights Yourself Step 3: If the Airline Says No

Unfortunately, some airlines try and make it as hard as possible for passengers to claim compensation. If you are claiming flight delay compensation, it’s possible that Thomson, for example, might refuse your claim despite an adjudicator agreeing you have a valid reason to claim. This needs to be a consideration when wondering how much compensation for flight delays is possible.

Alternatively, if you are claiming Jet2 flight delay compensation and are unhappy with the decision either an ADR service or governing authority has made, how do you move forward with a claim?

In either case, you are going to need to take your flight delay claim to court. And this means entering into proper legal proceedings against the airline. At this stage, it really makes sense to have a flight delay claims service working on your behalf, as you will need professional legal representation.

One important thing to note is that there is a time limit of 6 months for taking a flight delay compensation claim to court once you have made the airline’s original complaint.

Claiming Flight Delay Compensation Yourself Step 4: Taking Your Claim to Court

In some instances, making a complaint to the airline, only to have it refused, and then receiving a negative response from the relevant regulator can leave passengers high and dry. The airline refuses the claim, and the regulator fails to support the claim. In these cases, it means taking the claim to court. You will definitely need proper legal representation to do this, and using a flight delay claims service such as the one we offer here at LegalExpert.co.uk makes good sense.

  • You can take a claim for compensation for a delayed flight to court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, any time up to six years previous. In the U.K. you can claim up to £10,000, in Scotland up to £5,000 and in Northern Ireland up to £3,000.

A few considerations to consider if you want to take the case to court yourself are:

  • Was your flight booked in the U.K.? – regardless of where the actual airline is based, if you booked your flight in the U.K., then you are going to be able to take the claim to court.
  • Does the airline have the U.K. registered office? – if it hasn’t, you can still take the claim to court in the U.K. but you will need to get some legal advice on how to do so. We are happy to help, simply contact us.
  • Did the flight depart from or land in the U.K.? – regardless of where you booked the flight, or where the airline is based, if you took off from or landed in the U.K., then you can take your flight delay claim to court.

What External Factors Can Affect a Claim?

Some airlines do everything they can to stop people making a compensation claim for a flight delay. For example, if you are trying to claim flight delay compensation, an airline might try to tell you that you are not eligible for any due to their terms of service. This is contra to U.K. and EU law. No matter what the airline’s terms of service state, you can always take them to court to claim compensation.

Airlines try to get out of paying compensation for delayed flights to pass the buck. As an example, if you were trying to claim flight delay compensation, an airline might tell you that the cause of the delay was outside of their control. In some cases, this will be true, but in many cases, it is not. You will need to take a claim to court to prove the blame sits with the airline. This again is something that LegalExpert.co.uk can help you do.

Here are some additional factors that can make claiming compensation for a flight delay complicated and long-winded to achieve:

  • Some airlines might try to claim technical faults are extraordinary circumstances – and no flight delay compensation is payable for delays caused by extraordinary circumstances. This is simply a game an airline might play, to try and get out of paying compensation. Technical faults are not extraordinary circumstances, they are solely the airline’s fault, and therefore liable for compensation. If your airline tries to pull this stunt with you, we recommend using our No Win No Fee flight delay claims service.
  • You have not submitted a claim – than by reading this guide you already know what you should do. However, we are happy to take on the entire process for you.
  • Your claim has been put on hold – some airlines may pull stalling tactics if they can, putting off paying compensation in the hopes the passenger drops the issue. If this happens to you, then let us light a fire under the airline for you, by taking them to court on your behalf.
  • Your initial claim was rejected by the airline – you can either take your claim to the relevant adjudicator or let us do this for you.

What to do if you Must Take Your Flight Delay Compensation Claim to Court

We receive a lot of questions from claimants on how to claim compensation for delayed flights. More specifically, we hear from people who fear that the process can be long-winded and complicated. If you are someone who is questioning how to claim compensation for delayed flights, one of the most important things we can suggest that you can do is collect evidence.

Holding a party accountable for their actions is of the utmost importance when making a claim. This is crucial when it comes to how much compensation for flight delays you may receive.  So, if you wish to proceed with a claim, either alone or using our No Win No Fee flight delay claims service, then there are a few things you can do to make things move more smoothly. And these are:

  • Gather all the documents relating to your claim – this means all the initial booking receipts and confirmation letters/emails. Also, boarding passes, and any correspondence you have had with the airline regarding the claim.
  • Document the event accurately – this means putting all the facts together, the flight number, date and time of the flight, and the reasons for the delay as told by the airline.
  • Use one of our standard flight delay claim letters – if you want first to try claiming compensation on your own, then use one of the standard letters we provide for you to contact the airline.
  • Reach out to a flight delay claims service for help – such as the one we provide here at LegalExpert.co.uk. This removes the headache of making a claim entirely, as we will do all the hard work for you.

What Compensation Can Be Claimed for a Flight Delay?

Naturally, if you are someone who is questioning how to claim compensation for delayed flights, you may also be questioning what can be claimed for? When making a compensation claim, it is important to acknowledge that there are two distinctly different types of things you will claim for, and these are:

  1. Compensation for the actual delay – European Union legislation has set the scale of compensation that airlines must pay, dependent upon the delay and distance flow length. See the tables higher up the page, for full details of how much you can claim.
  2. Compensation for costs incurred due to the delay – if you are left waiting around in the airport, then you will need to feed yourself, and buy refreshments. For longer delays, you may need to pay for overnight accommodation. And in the most extreme cases, you may have had to pay for alternative transport to your destination. All of these things can be claimed for in court.

Try One of Our Free Flight Delay Compensation Claim Letter Templates

If you have found the information in this guide on how to claim compensation for delayed flights of use, and you think you would like to try claiming flight delay compensation for yourself, then we have created some standard letter templates for you to use.

You can download these freely, and use them to approach your airline to begin your compensation claim. These letters have been worded to use the correct legal expressions, and quote the correct EU legislation. They are a good first step in claiming flight delay compensation.

Not Got Time to Process a Flight Delay Compensation Claim Yourself? Let legalexpert.co.uk Deal with Your Claim

Many people reading this guide are bound to feel that the whole process for claiming flight delay compensation is complicated. In reality, as long as the airline doesn’t try to avoid paying compensation, it can be as simple as sending them a formal letter of complaint triggering a successful flight delay claim.

Although when the airline decides not to pay, and you then have to go through the process of using an adjudication service, and then potentially to take the claim to court, things are more complex.

If you would prefer not to worry about just how much effort has to go into claiming your flight delay compensation, then we offer a flight delay claims service to help you.

We will claim the compensation on your behalf, whether that means simply sending a letter, or going through a full-court case, we do it all, you sit back and wait for the process to finish and the compensation to be paid.

Flight Delay Compensation – Work With No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you are eligible to claim compensation for a delayed flight, our experienced solicitors could potentially offer to take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

If you are seeking flight delay compensation, a solicitor could offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee arrangement. Generally, this means:

  • Not having to pay the solicitor any fees upfront for them to start working on your claim.
  • Usually, no fees to pay during the process of your claim.
  • You will pay your solicitor a legally capped success fee if your claim is successful. This success fee is taken from your compensation.
  • You aren’t expected to pay for your solicitor’s services if the claim fails.

Contact our advisors today for more information about making a flight delay claim. They could also offer you some free legal advice concerning your potential claim.

Contact our advisors today:

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How To Claim Compensation For Delayed Flights FAQs

What does a flight delay mean?

Essentially, a flight delay is when an airline fails to take off and/or land at the designated times outlined prior to booking the ticket.

How common are flight delays?

The reality is that flight delays happen all of the time. While airports and airlines do an excellent job at keeping to a robust schedule, delays can still occur.

How long does a flight have to be delayed for compensation?

In order to make a compensation claim for a flight delay, your flight must have been delayed for more than 3 hours. A claim may also be a suitable course of action if a delayed flight followed by a cancellation has occured.

What happens if an airline refuses to pay compensation?

You could take the airline to court if they try to avoid paying compensation.

Could I claim compensation if my flight is rescheduled?

If you receive at least 14 days’ notice about a flight rescheduling, you can’t claim any compensation.

Is there a time limit on claiming flight compensation?

You have to 6 years after the original flight in which to claim compensation.

Can airlines change your flight without compensation?

Each airline has its own terms and conditions when it comes to what flight changes are acceptable and not worthy of potential compensation.

Is my flight eligible for compensation?

The flight must be a minimum of three hours late with regards to the final destination of your trip.

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on how to claim compensation for delayed flights. Hopefully, we have answered any questions you may have about how to claim compensation for flight delays.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.