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Air passenger law

What are my rights in the event of a strike?

Right to care

If your flight is delayed, cancelled or you’ve been denied boarding due to an airline strike you have the right to receive certain facilities. However, it depends on the length of the delay. The airline must provide you with several essentials, including:

  • Food and beverages.
  • Two telephone calls, fax messages, and emails.
  • Overnight accommodation and transportation from and to the airport. 

Do I have the right to rebook my flight?

Yes, you have the right to refuse your flight and receive reimbursement for your flight if your flight was cancelled or delayed for more than 5 hours. You can also opt for an alternative flight to get to your destination if the airline offers it.


Denied boarding compensation due to an airline strike

When the airline staff goes on strike, you may be denied boarding due to overbooking. You may receive compensation if you are denied boarding against your will. Learn more about denied boarding compensation.


What should I do if I miss my connecting flight?

If you arrived at your connecting airport and saw that your next flight has already left without you, here is what you should do:

  • Keep your boarding pass and other travel documents. They will be necessary when you make a compensation claim.
  • Find your airline help desk and speak to an airline representative. There should be a representative waiting for you when you disembark the plane, but if no one is waiting for you, you should find the airline services desk or speak with the airline support staff on the phone.
  • Ask for an alternative flight to your destination. The airline must offer you the next available alternative flight to your destination. If this is not your choice, you can ask the airline staff to refund your flight and provide you with a return flight to your original destination instead.
  • Ask if the airline will cover your food and refreshment expenses while waiting. If you have to wait at the airport for longer than planned, the airline is required to provide you with snacks and beverages under EU 261.
  • Ask the airline for accommodation. If you have to wait for your alternative flight overnight or airline hasn’t yet found you an alternative flight, you have the right to get hotel accommodation and transfer from and to the airport.
  • Find out where your bags are and will be. If your luggage also missed the connection, you should ask the airline staff if your bags can be returned to you if you’re going to be waiting a while for your alternative flight.
  • Inform your relatives or other people in your destination. If someone is waiting for you at your destination, inform them about changed plans. If you are staying in a hotel, inform the hotel staff. You have the right to receive means of communication from the airline.
  • Hold on to your receipts if you have additional expenses due to a missed connection. You may receive reimbursement for your expenses such as pre-paid reservation, hotel, rental car, or other unexpected costs.

What are my rights if I miss a connecting flight?

EU Regulation EC 261 – air passenger rights

  • The airline should offer you an alternative flight if you missed your connection due to the fault of the airline.
  • If you don’t want to continue flying to your destination, you have the right to reimbursement. You can exercise this right if your flight was delayed for 5 hours or more, if your flight was cancelled or if you were denied boarding due to overbooking. 
  • If you opt for a ticket refund, you can ask the airline for a return flight to the first point of your journey and a refund for the flights you didn’t take. The law clearly defines that reimbursement must also include parts of the connecting flights that took place if the journey no longer continues. 

Other air passenger rights

  • Right to food, beverages, and accommodation. Under EC 261, you are entitled to several essentials, depending on your flight details if you have to wait for your alternative flight. The airline must provide you with food, beverages and access to communications (two telephone calls, fax messages, or emails) after several hours of waiting. If you have to wait for your alternative flight overnight, the airline must provide you with accommodation and transportation to and from the airport.
  • Right to reimburse your ticket or re-route your journey. In addition to missed connection compensation, you have the right to receive a full or partial refund of your original ticket and a return flight to your point of departure.
  • Upgrading and downgrading. Under Regulation EC 261, your alternative flight should be similar to the one you missed. If you get an upgraded alternative flight, the airline isn’t allowed to charge you extra. And if your alternative flight is lower class, you can get a refund of 30-75% of the ticket price.
  • Further compensation. You may also claim for further compensation even if you were already compensated under EU Regulation EC 261. However, the amount of flight compensation you are entitled to may be reduced by additional compensation you receive.

 


How to calculate the distance for missed connection compensation?

The total length of the journey must be calculated when claiming missed flight connection compensation, not the leg of the journey that you missed. Thus, any legs of your connecting flights that came before missed connections may be included into the journey length if all the flights were bought in the same booking. To sum up, the airline is responsible for all its flights even if they were before a flight disruption when the airline causes a missed connection. The airline is also responsible for any other airline flights that were affected later. Check your missed connection compensation amount with our free flight compensation calculator.


Who receives missed connection compensation if I were on a business trip?

The passenger who travelled is always the one who is entitled to compensation, and missed connection compensation is no exception. In general, the EC 261 states that the passenger who experienced the inconvenience is the one who receives compensation – not the person or company that paid for the flight ticket. If you’re wondering whether you are entitled to missed connection compensation, you can use our free compensation eligibility checker and we will help you find out if you are eligible for compensation.


What if I miss my connecting flight due to personal reasons?

If you don’t show up for your connecting flight for personal reasons, such as sickness, family events or emergencies, losing track of the time, you are not entitled to compensation under EU Regulation EC 261.

 


When is a missed connecting flight not eligible for compensation?

Missed connecting flights are not eligible for compensation when delays or cancellations occur due to extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are reasons for flight disruptions which are not under airline control, such as severe weather conditions, political unrest, air traffic control strikes, medical emergencies, lightning strikes etc. As airlines are responsible only for the events that are under their control, missed connection due to extraordinary circumstances is not eligible to flight compensation.


In which cases can I get missed connection compensation?

When the flight was delayed due to the airline’s fault

According to EU Regulation EC 261, air passengers can receive missed connection compensation if these flight disruptions are the fault of the airline:

  • More than a 3-hour delay at your final destination.
  • Cancelled flight.
  • Denied boarding due to overbooking.

You should know that in many cases airlines reroute passengers on cancelled or overbooked flights with the negation of missed connection possibility.

More than a 3-hour delay at your final destination

3-hour (or more) delay is an important factor to receive missed connection compensation. To be eligible for it, you should arrive at the final destination 3 or more hours late (in total).

When you miss a connecting flight due to cancellation or denied boarding, the total delay is irrelevant. You can check your missed connection compensation amount with our free flight compensation calculator and start your claim with Ifdelayed.


If your flight is overbooked, you have several options

  • Refund of the initial ticket price.
  • A return flight to the point you departed from and a refund or partial refund of the ticket price.
  • Alternative transport within a reasonable time frame.
  • Alternative transport at a later date.

Transport between airports has to be arranged and paid by the airline.


Voluntary boarding denials are not covered

If you volunteer to give up your seat in return for a refund, alternate flight or other benefits, you will lose your right to receive compensation under Regulation EC 261. Furthermore, if you jeopardise your ability to board the flight, you lose your right to receive compensation as well. Here are some examples of when an airline doesn’t have to compensate you:

  • If you are late to board.
  • If you don’t have the proper documentation (such as a boarding pass).
  • If you pose a security, health, or safety concern.

What’s the difference between overbooking and denied boarding?

A flight is considered overbooked when an airline sells more tickets than there are seats on a plane. So why do airlines overbook their flights? Airlines are allowed to do this because it’s unlikely that all passengers will show up for the flight. Usually, airlines use their statistical data to sell as many extra seats as are likely to become available. However, sometimes they underestimate the number of people that don’t show up and passengers with valid tickets are denied boarding.

You may be denied boarding for several reasons. If you were denied boarding through no fault of your own, the airline may have to compensate you for the inconvenience under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. However, if you were denied boarding due to your actions, then this regulation doesn’t apply. For example, If you don’t have all the necessary documents, arrive late to the departure gate, or act in an abusive manner.


Airlines’ responsibility for missed connecting flights

If you arrived late due to a missed connection because one of your flights was delayed you might be entitled to compensation. In such a case, it’s the airline’s responsibility to provide you with an alternative flight to your final destination.

Furthermore, you could be entitled to compensation under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. If your arrival time to your final destination is more than 3 hours later than your original flight, you may receive up to €600 in compensation. It’s important to note that your flights must be booked together as part of the same journey. If you booked your flights separately, you are not entitled to missed connection compensation.


What are extraordinary circumstances for a flight delay?

Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, airlines are not liable for flight delays when flights are delayed due to extraordinary circumstances. These include situations such as medical emergencies, severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, airport employee or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of the airport radar, political unrest, acts of terrorism etc. In April 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that internal airline staff strikes are not extraordinary circumstances.


Cash compensation and flight vouchers

If the airline offers you flight vouchers when your flight is delayed, you should make sure it’s not waiving your right to claim the compensation you might be entitled to. Under EU regulations, flight compensation must be paid in cash, electronic transfer or checks unless the passenger chooses to accept travel vouchers instead. However, most people don’t know their rights and usually choose vouchers instead of compensation.


What if my flight delay is more than 5 hours?

If your flight delay is more than 5 hours, you are entitled to a full or partial refund of your airplane ticket and a return flight to your departure airport if you need that.


What if my flight was delayed during a business trip?

Many travellers think that the delayed flight compensation belongs to the company that bought the ticket, but that’s not the case. In truth, the person who travelled is entitled to the compensation – not the person or company that bought the ticket, regardless of who is the traveller an employee or a public official.


Missed flight compensation

The missed flight compensation depends on a variety of factors, such as where you were flying, whether your flight was operated by an EU carrier, which one of the flights was cancelled, and whether all the flights were booked together. Generally, if flights were bought under the same booking, the rules for missed connection of EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 will apply.

If you departed from Europe or had to arrive in Europe with an EU-based airline, your entire journey should be covered, and the amount of flight compensation will depend on the total journey. Unfortunately, some EU courts interpret the EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 differently and may not include prior connecting flights in the eligible distance.


What are extraordinary circumstances for flight cancellation?

Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, airlines are not liable for cancelled flights when flights are cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances. These include situations such as medical emergencies, severe weather conditions, lightning strikes, airport employee or air traffic control strikes, air traffic control restrictions, sudden malfunctioning of airport radar, political unrest, acts of terrorism etc. In April 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that internal airline staff strikes are not extraordinary circumstances.


For which flights can I get compensation under EC 261?

Nearly all flights in Europe are eligible for compensation. Not only EU airspace is included, however, but also Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and distant regions, such as French Guiana and Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion, Saint-Martin, Madeira, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

Your flight must begin in the EU or arrive at an EU airport, but in the latter case, the carrier must be an EU-based airline.


How to claim compensation for a cancelled flight?

The first thing you have to do is to make sure you are eligible for compensation. However, it’s often difficult to get access to flight databases, comparing your situation to similar cases, checking whether your case is protected under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 etc. Unfortunately, for an individual without legal expertise or required access, this can prove quite complicated.

A better alternative is to apply for cancelled flight compensation with Ifdelayed. You will have to enter your flight details into our free compensation calculator, check what you’re entitled to and after that, we will take care of your claim. Check your flight delay compensation eligibility for free with our cancelled flight compensation calculator.


What if I get a higher or lower class seat on the alternative flight?

If the airline offers you an alternative flight and you get a higher class seat, you don’t have to pay additionally. However, If the alternative flight seat offered by the airline is the lower class, you may get a 30 – 75% reimbursement of the price you paid for the ticket.

 


Air passenger rights: food, beverages and accommodation

Regardless of the reasons for flight delay/cancellation, under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, the airline must provide you with food and beverages if the flight delay takes more than 2 hours. Furthermore, the carrier must provide you with access to the internet, telephone calls and fax. If your alternative flight is on the next day, airlines must provide you with hotel accommodation and transportation to and from the airport.

 

 


What if my flight was cancelled during a business trip?

Many travellers think that the cancelled flight compensation belongs to the company that bought the ticket, but that’s not the case. In truth, the person who travelled is entitled to the compensation – not the person or company that bought the ticket, regardless of who is the traveller an employee or a public official.


Alternative transport on a convenient date for you

If it’s convenient for you, you can take alternative transport to your final destination on a different date. Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, these means of transport must be under comparable transport conditions.

It’s also important to know that, when airlines offer you to fly to alternative airports, they must pay for transportation to take you to your original destination airport or an agreed nearby address.


Earliest alternative transport

An airline must offer you an alternative means of getting to your final destination as soon as possible. Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, this alternative transport must be under comparable transport conditions.


Full or partial refund

If you didn’t use any part of your ticket, the full cost of your ticket will be reimbursed. However, if you have already departed, you can be refunded for the unused part of your ticket. If you have already used part of your ticket, but the cancelled flight changed your original travel plan, the airline might refund the used portion of the ticket as well. The airline must also provide you with a return flight to the point you departed from, as soon as possible. According to EC 261, you must be refunded within 7 days.


If your flight is cancelled, you have several options

  • Refund of the initial ticket price.
  • A return flight to the point you departed from and a refund or partial refund of the ticket price.
  • Alternative transport within a reasonable time frame.
  • Alternative transport at a later date.

Cancelled flight: ticket refund or alternative flight?

Airlines must inform you about your flight being cancelled as quickly as possible and offer you an alternative flight. Even if the airline informed you about the cancellation more than 14 days before departure they must still offer you a replacement flight or reimburse the full ticket price.


When is a flight is considered cancelled?

A flight is cancelled if the plane never left the tarmac. EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 defines a cancelled flight as: “The non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved”.

Airlines may cancel flights for many reasons. Sometimes, problems such as bad weather conditions or security risks force airlines to cancel their flights. If an airline cancelled your flight, you may receive flight cancellation compensation. A cancelled flight is not the same as a delayed flight — the flight that departs late is a delayed flight.


How do I know if I’m entitled to compensation?

Few passengers are aware that their air passenger rights are protected under EU Regulation (EC) 261/2004, and many lack the will or legal knowledge to go through with a claim. The compensation amount depends on the length of the flight and how many hours the flight was delayed. Therefore it varies between €250-600 per passenger.

You are entitled to flight delay compensation under Regulation (EC) 261/2004 when you fly within the EU or depart from an EU country. The regulation is also applicable when you arrive in an EU country with an airline registered in the EU.

The time limit for cancelled, delayed or overbooked flight claims is determined by the national laws of each EU member state and is usually between 3-10 years.

The easiest way to check the eligibility of your claim is via our claim form. It is completely free and only takes a few minutes to do, and can give instant feedback on the eligibility of your claim.

If our website tells you that your claim for compensation is ineligible, it’s likely that it doesn’t meet one of the conditions covered by Ifdelayed. If you believe your claim has been assessed incorrectly, please contact us by email or telephone to discuss the matter in more detail.

 


What are the extraordinary circumstances that are beyond airlines’ control?

The airline is not liable under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, and other similar air passenger laws, if the flight disruption was due to “extraordinary circumstances.” These are scenarios which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken and include situations like medical emergencies, labour strikes, serious adverse weather conditions, and air traffic control (ATC) restrictions, to name a few.

Also, events that qualify as “Force majeure,” such as wars and riots, as well as “Acts of God” such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and so on also exempt the airline from liability.

However, the airline still must make sure you arrive at your final destination as soon as possible under similar air traffic conditions. This means that they have to arrange a new flight for you free of charge even if your original flight was cancelled due to bad weather. The air carriers are also obligated to offer meals, refreshments, hotel accommodation, and so on if needed.

 

 


My flight was delayed less than 3 hours but I missed my connecting flight. Can I claim compensation?

The answer is most likely “Yes” for EU flights. Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, eligibility for compensation is based on the length of delay until you arrive at your final destination. If your missed connecting flight results in you being more than 3 hours late overall, you should be eligible, provided that all of your connecting flights were part of the same flight reservation, under the same booking reference number.

For example, the following itinerary would work (as long as you have one booking reference):

28th May at 13.00: London – New York (with United Airlines flight UA18)
29th May at 21.00: New York – Atlanta (with United Airlines flight UA69)

Also, the compensation amount is determined by your total flight distance. This includes connecting flights as long as the two flights are with the same carrier and part of the same flight reservation (under one booking reference number). This means that a delay on a short flight might entitle you to a much larger amount.

For example, even if the first flight in the itinerary below is on time, passengers are entitled to the €600 if the flight from London to Paris is delayed by more than 4 hours:

28th May at 13.00: New York – London (with British Airways flight BA189)
29th May at 09.00: London – Paris (with British Airways flight BA523)

If you have any doubts about your disrupted flight’s eligibility, the fastest way to check it is to use the Ifdelayed eligibility check. Enter your flight details here.


Can I claim compensation from an airline that no longer exists?

Theoretically, yes. But Ifdelayed is unable to handle claims relating to airlines that no longer exist. Unfortunately, the likelihood of receiving compensation in such cases is very small. Lots of other people have probably already emptied the airline of available funds.


Can I get compensation if the airline informed me about the cancellation on the same day that the flight should have departed?

Yes, you have the right to compensation from the air airline, unless you were offered re-routing that allowed you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival depending on the distance.

You are, however, not entitled to compensation if you were informed of the flight cancellation at least 14 days in advance.


Can I get the compensation for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight if I have already accepted the voucher offered by the airline?

Sometimes airlines offer vouchers but more often than not the voucher is less than the compensation amount you are entitled to. For example, if you are entitled to €600 and the airline gives you a €250 voucher to be used with that airline, you are still entitled to the remaining compensation amount of €350. You can also choose to return the voucher and ask for the full compensation amount.

Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, if the airline offered you a voucher and a later flight in exchange for your reservation and you accepted the offer, you can’t receive overbooked flight compensation as you willingly gave up your booked seat on the flight and entered into a new agreement with the airline.


I was denied boarding due to overbooking. Can I claim compensation?

When passengers are denied boarding on a flight, airlines are obliged to first seek volunteers to give up their reservation in exchange for certain benefits. Also, the air carrier must offer volunteers the choice between a full refund and re-routing.

You may be entitled to compensation of between €125 and €600 depending on the distance of the flight and the total delay at the final destination. Where volunteers choose re-routing, the airline must also provide you with assistance if necessary. For example, food, access to a telephone, hotel accommodation of one or more nights (if necessary) and transportation to and from the airport and the place of accommodation.

The easiest way to check the eligibility of your claim is via our claim form. It is completely free of charge and only takes a few minutes and can give instant feedback as to the eligibility of your claim.


Which countries and airlines are subject to EU passenger rights?

The flight passenger rights stated in the EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 apply if you are leaving the EU with any airline, or arriving in the EU with an airline registered in the EU (or Iceland, Norway or Switzerland).

For example, this itinerary will work:

28th May at 13.00: London – New York (with United Airlines flight UA18)

The reversed trip will only work if the air carrier is registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.

Ifdelayed helps all air passengers from all countries who have experienced delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights that are subject to this EU regulation. If you have any doubts or questions about your disrupted flight’s eligibility, the fastest way to check is to use the Ifdelayed’s eligibility check. You can enter your flight details here.


How far back can I get compensation?

If you have been on a delayed, canceled or overbooked flight within the last 2 years, you are entitled to compensation and can send your flight ticket information to Ifdelayed.


Can I get compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight using Ifdelayed services if my claim has already been rejected by the airline?

Yes, just contact Ifdelayed and provide your flight ticket details or file your claim on our website if you have already claimed for compensation independently, but the airline rejected it. All you have to do is fill out our claim form and provide us with all of the information you have received from the airline along with the reason why your claim was denied.

We will investigate if the airline had a reason to reject your claim, and if they had none, we will take care of your claim. Don’t forget that you will have to pay the service fee only if you receive your compensation.


I was denied boarding. Can I file a claim for compensation?

If you were denied boarding due to an overbooked flight and you didn’t accept a voucher offered by the airline, you are entitled to an overbooked flight compensation, and you can file a claim according to EU air passenger rights. Start your overbooked flight claim.

Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, if you were denied boarding not due to an overbooked flight, but for a reason that was under your control, you cannot receive flight compensation. The reasons can include being late to the boarding gate, not having correct travel documents, security-related matters etc.

If you had a valid reason for your being late to the boarding gate, you may also contact the airline and explain the case, although they won’t pay out compensation, you might be offered a voucher or discount.


What are my rights in case of denied boarding due to overbooking? How much compensation will I receive?

If you were denied boarding due to an overbooked flight you can expect to:

  • Recover the full ticket price within 7 days from the date when you were denied to board.
  • Be offered a ticket on the next plane to your final destination under similar conditions.
  • Choose a later flight under similar conditions.

If you choose to travel on the alternative flight offered by the airline, and you have to wait for that flight, the carrier has to provide you with food and beverages, access to 2 free calls, let you use email or send a fax and accommodation in a hotel in case of overnight waiting with transportation to and from the airport.

If you are eligible for overbooked flight compensation, the amount depends on two factors — travel distance and if your flight is within the EU or not. You may find your compensation amount in the table below. You may also check it with our flight compensation calculator. You may also fill an overbooked flight claim form on our website.

Distance Compensation
Flights 1,500 km or less €250
Internal EU flights more than 1,500 km €400
Non-internal EU flights 1,500 km – 3,500 km €400
Non-internal EU flights more than 3,500 km €600

Can I get compensation for a cancelled flight?

You can check if you’re entitled to cancelled flight compensation via our claim form. It’s free and only takes a few minutes to do.


What to do if a flight gets cancelled and how much compensation am I entitled to?

All you have to do is know your air passenger rights and request the airline to provide you with the appropriate service that belongs to you. You may be entitled to €125 — €600 in compensation depending on the distance of your flight and how late you arrive at the final destination. You may check your possible compensation amount with our flight compensation calculator.

If the reason for flight cancellation was extraordinary circumstances (weather conditions, strikes by airport staff or air traffic control, security measures) or the airline informed you about the cancellation at least 14 days before the flight, you are not entitled to compensation.

Furthermore, if the airline cancels your flight, they must give you the choice — either reimburse your ticket within 7 days or re-route to your final destination under similar conditions next to the cancelled flight compensation.

The airline should also provide you with care service (phone calls, beverages, food, accommodation, transportation to and from the airport).


How to get compensation for a cancelled flight?

Perhaps you have already tried to contact the airline for assistance or filling a flight claim form on their website. We advise you to keep trying contacting them and waiting for their answer if you’ve already tried. There are peak times when airline customer service gets busy, especially during peak times like the summer and Christmas holidays when there are more delayed and cancelled flights. If the airline staff still doesn’t respond to your repeated messages you have a couple of options:

  • For flight claims, you may involve a third party, like Ifdelayed. We help air passengers who want to claim delayed or cancelled flight compensation. Our experience assists us when making contact with airlines, even though customers had problems contacting them. We might even take your claims to court. Fill our free cancelled flight claim form.
  • You can also contact the aviation authorities which govern the airline. If you were travelling with a European airline, you can find your airline’s national enforcement body here. If the airline was a non-EU airline, see the list of the biggest non-EU airline national enforcement bodies:

 

Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) https://www.casa.gov.au/
Brazil National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) http://www.anac.gov.br/en
Canada Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) https://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng
Russia Federal Air Transport Agency https://favt.ru/
USA Federal Aviation Administration https://www.faa.gov/

Can I claim compensation if my flight is cancelled due to reasons that were not under airline control?

No, under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, you are not entitled to cancelled flight compensation if the reason for flight cancellation was “extraordinary circumstances.” These are circumstances that could not be avoided even though measures had been taken. These situations include airport staff or air traffic control strikes, medical emergencies, political unrest, hurricanes, earthquakes, severe weather conditions etc. 


Can I still claim compensation if my flight was cancelled and airline refunded my ticket?

As long as the airline didn’t give you at least a 14 days’ notice and your flight is eligible under EU Regulation EC 261/2004, the answer is yes. Passengers can receive both compensation and a refund for the flight cancellation.

However, to receive the refund for the cancelled flight, airlines will often ask you to sign a waiver. Some waivers include forfeiture of compensation clause, effectively making it impossible to also claim for flight compensation. If you plan to file a cancelled flight claim, be sure to read the fine print on anything you sign.

Sometimes, airlines offer vouchers but more often than not the voucher is less than the compensation amount you are entitled to. For example, if you are entitled to €600 and the airline gives you a €250 voucher to be used with that airline, you are still entitled to the remaining compensation amount of €350. You can also choose to return the voucher and ask for the full cancelled flight compensation amount. You may start your claim by filling our free claim form.


Can I get a refund for new tickets I bought myself if my flight was cancelled?

According to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, airlines are not obligated to refund flight tickets that passengers bought themselves if the passengers refused the alternative flight that the airline offered. This also concerns expenses for accommodation, food and beverages. Airlines don’t have to refund any other costs that the passenger experienced by refusing the airline’s help.

However, the passenger can still receive flight compensation and a refund for the cancelled flight. Fill out our free claim form.


Can I claim compensation for a cancelled flight if I have already accepted a voucher offered by the airline?

Yes, you can get flight cancellation compensation if the compensation you are entitled to is worth more than the accepted voucher. For example, if you are entitled to €600 and the airline offered you a €250 voucher, you may still receive the remaining compensation amount of €350. You also have the right to return the voucher and ask for the full compensation amount for your cancelled flight. You may start your claim by filling out our free claim form.


What are my rights if my flight was cancelled and I was informed about the cancellation on the same day?

You may be entitled to compensation from the airline if you were not offered re-routing and you departed no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and reached your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival depending on the distance. Start your cancelled flight claim.


What kind of services is the airline required to provide me with if my flight is delayed?

If your flight is delayed for more than 2-4 hours, depending on flight distance, the airline must provide you with free food and beverages, access to two free calls, let you use email or send a free fax. When you have to wait for your flight overnight, the airline must arrange you a free accommodation in a hotel with transportation to and from the airport.


How can I get compensation for a delayed flight?

You might have already tried to contact the airline for assistance or filling a flight claim form on their website. We advise you to keep trying contacting them and waiting for their answer if you’ve already tried. There are peak times when airline customer service gets busy, especially during peak times like the summer and Christmas holidays when there are more delayed and cancelled flights. If the airline staff still doesn’t respond to your repeated messages you have a couple of options:

  • For flight delay claims, you may involve a third party, like Ifdelayed. We help air passengers who want to claim delayed or cancelled flight compensation. Our experience assists us when making contact with airlines, even though customers had problems contacting them. We might even take your claims to court. Fill our free cancelled flight claim form.
  • You can also contact the aviation authorities which govern the airline. If you were travelling with a European airline, you can find your airline’s national enforcement body here. If the airline was a non-EU airline, see the list of the biggest non-EU airline national enforcement bodies:

 

Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) https://www.casa.gov.au/
Brazil National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) http://www.anac.gov.br/en
Canada Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) https://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng
Russia Federal Air Transport Agency https://favt.ru/
USA Federal Aviation Administration https://www.faa.gov/

 


How long must a flight be delayed to be eligible for compensation?

Your flight has to be delayed for 3 hours or more, then you would be entitled to a flight delay compensation. However, there are more conditions for flights to be eligible for compensation, such as reasons for the flight delay, airline and destination. You should find out the reason while waiting at the airport before applying for compensation. If the reason for the delay was under the airline’s control, you might be entitled to compensation. Your flight should either begin in the EU or arrive in the EU if the airline is EU-based.


When can I get compensation for a delayed flight?

You may be entitled to a flight delay compensation if you arrived at your final destination 3 or more hours later than it was scheduled. The reason for the delayed flight must be under the airline’s control. You can start your claim by filling out our claim form.

If the reason for the flight delay is extraordinary circumstances, such as severe weather conditions, airport staff strikes, political unrest etc., you are not entitled to compensation.

Furthermore, your plane for that flight must depart from the EU or arrive in the EU (in this case, the airline must be EU-based).


Can I get flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding compensation with low-cost companies and charter flights?

All flights are eligible for compensation, as long as they fall within the geographic boundaries stated in EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. Start your delayed, cancelled, overbooked flight claim.


What are my rights if my flight is delayed or cancelled due to a strike?

You can receive compensation due to a strike if:

  • Your flight was disrupted by an airline staff strike.
  • You arrived at your final destination 3 or more hours later than it was planned due to a flight delay or you were informed about your flight’s  cancellation less than 14 days before departure.
  • Your flight had to depart from the EU or was operated by an EU airline arriving in the EU.
  • You had a confirmed flight reservation.
  • Your flight delay or cancellation occurred within the last 3 years.
  • If you took an alternative flight, but arrived significantly later than you had to on the original flight.

You can start your claim by filling out the Ifdelayed claim from.

You are not entitled to compensation if the strike was not under airline’s control (airport security staff, baggage handlers, air traffic management staff strikes or strikes caused by political unrest etc).


Am I entitled to compensation and can I claim if I missed my connecting flight due to a delay of my first flight?

You may be entitled to compensation if you arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours later than it was planned, and if the tickets you purchased were part of one reservation from the same airline, and the payment was by one bank transfer (in other words – your connecting flights have the same reference number). Start your missed connecting flight claim.

However, if your tickets have different reference numbers from different airlines, it’s not considered a connecting flight and the disruptions of each flight are assessed separately. In this case, flights are eligible for compensation only when at least one them was 3 or more hours late to the final destination.

 


My flight was cancelled/delayed. Can I claim any extra expenses due to the flight delay/cancellation? (Hotel, new ticket, food, etc.)

Ifdelayed takes care of claims for flight disruptions that are defined by EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. This includes defined compensation amounts for delays, cancellations, and boarding denials due to overbooking for EU flights.

However, passengers can personally file additional claims directly to the airline for expenses due to cancelled, delayed or overbooked flights. Passengers must collect all receipts as evidence for compensation for additional expenses.

Air passengers who travelled on international flights can file a claim to the airline under the Montreal Convention for reimbursement of damages, including incurred expenses due to flight delays, cancellations and denied boarding. Furthermore, EU passengers are eligible to claim a refund for their additional expenses (for meals and refreshments at the time of the delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight) that EU law requires airlines to cover under any circumstances.


My flight was delayed/cancelled am I entitled to compensation for a flight that was paid by someone else?

In all cases, the beneficiary is the person who travelled or was planning to travel. Therefore, even though your ticket was paid for by e.g. your employer who sent you on a business trip, or it was a gift, or you won it in a lottery — you are the person who experienced the flight delay, cancellation or were denied boarding, and can claim compensation. You are the one who must fill out the claim form.


How far back can I get compensation if my flight was delayed or cancelled?

Unfortunately, the rules of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 do not define a universal time frame for filing claims. Therefore, each country has its claim terms. However, if you experience a flight delay, cancellation or were denied boarding within the last 3 years, you may be entitled to compensation. You can fill in your flight information in Ifdelayed’s claim form. We will take care of your claim.

 

 


What are my rights if my flight was delayed or cancelled and I want to get compensation, but the airline no longer exists?

Theoretically, you have a right to receive compensation, but Ifdelayed can’t handle claims against airlines that no longer exists. Unfortunately, there is little to no chance of getting compensation in such cases. Probably other people have already emptied the airline of available funds.


In which countries am I entitled to compensation for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004?

The regulation is valid in all EU countries including territories outside the EU, such as Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.


Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight if I flew from a non-EU country?

Yes, you can get compensation if your flight from a non-EU country was delayed, cancelled or overbooked under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. However, the important thing is that the airline must be an EU-based carrier.

If your flight was from an EU country with a stop outside the EU, you may also be entitled to compensation if you reached the destination 3 or more hours late.

If my flight was delayed/cancelled can I claim compensation from non-EU airlines?

Yes, you can claim for a delayed/cancelled flight compensation from non-EU airlines if the flight was from any airport within the territory of the EU. You can claim by filling out our claim form.


Can I claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight if I bought my ticket not from the airline, but through a travel agency?

No matter where and how you purchased your ticket, you can claim flight delay or cancellation compensation if you were planning to travel or travelled on that flight and have a ticket with your name on it.

In all cases, airlines are considered to be responsible for the disrupted flight and claims should be sent to them. You may start your claim by filling our claim form.


Do I have to be a European citizen to get delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight compensation?

No, you can be a citizen of another country. Your citizenship has no impact on your rights under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. Start your flight claim.


Your website says that under EU air passenger rights I’m not entitled to delayed or cancelled flight compensation. What can I do?

If you found information on our website that your claim for compensation is ineligible, then, indeed, it might not meet conditions included. We can help you claim flight compensation that is covered under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights.

However, the law protecting air passenger rights is quite complex and there are many exclusions, such as “extraordinary circumstances”. If your flight was disrupted by these conditions, you are not entitled to compensation.

You will find examples of “extraordinary circumstances” and other exceptions on our website, and you can read more about air passenger rights and find out if you are entitled to compensation.

If you think your claim has been evaluated wrongly please contact us.


Can I get flight compensation if I received a voucher or air miles from the airline?

It depends what kind of documents you signed at the time of your delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight. If the airline gave you vouchers or air miles and they didn’t require you to sign for them, then you might still be entitled to compensation. You can fill a flight compensation claim form on our website.

Nevertheless, it’s important to know that airlines sometimes offer vouchers or air miles along with a waiver to sign. That means that air passengers refuse their right to compensation. Furthermore, it’s also important to read all the paperwork the airline gives you to sign.


How much compensation for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight am I entitled to?

compensation amount for delayed or cancelled flights and boarding denial depends on the distance of the flight:

Type of disruption DELAY (at the final destination) Distance
less than 2 hours more than 2 hours more than 3 hours more than 4 hours never arrived
Denied boarding* €250 €250 €250 €250 €250 Less than 1500 km
€400 €400 €400 €400 €400 1500 km – 3500 km
€600 €600 €600 €600 €600 3500 km and more
Delayed €0 €0 €250 €250 €250 Less than 1500 km
€0 €0 €400 €400 €400 1500 km – 3500 km
€0 €0 €300 €600 €600 3500 km and more
Cancelled** €125 €250 €250 €250 €250 Less than 1500 km
€200 €200 €400 €400 €400 1500 km – 3500 km
€300 €300 €300 €600 €600 3500 km and more

 

* The compensation is due straightway and independent of any re-routing offered.

** The compensation may be reduced by 50% if you were offered and accepted re-routing, and the delay took less than 2, 3 or 4 hours depending on the flight distance.

If you are not sure, you may also check your possible compensation amount with our flight compensation calculator.