Know when to claim compensation for your delayed flight
You see, if you are departing from an EU airport on any airline, or arriving at an EU airport on an EU carrier (this includes Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) you are entitled to care and compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004 for a delayed arrival time of more than three hours.
If the situation is that the flight was cancelled and you take a replacement flight then that flight only needs to be over two hours later than the arrival time or the original flight in order to get compensation.
You can claim compensation if:
It’s been less than six years since the incident
You can claim for qualifying delayed flights over the past six years. Airlines have tried to limit claims to the past two years but this has been rejected by the courts.
There was a a shorter delay that made you miss your connecting flight
This is possible if all the flights are made under the same booking reference and the connection is made at an EU airport. For example, if you are due to fly from London via Madrid to Buenos Aires and you miss your connection in Madrid because the flight from London arrives an hour late, you can claim for long-haul compensation as long as the delay in arriving at your final destination, in this case Buenos Aires, is more than three hours.
Your flight is cancelled
When a flight with an EU airline or from an EU airport is cancelled at the last minute, the airline must pay for a hotel if an overnight stay is required and subsistence for all those stranded until a replacement flight is provided. Similar rules and amounts for compensation apply as for delays and there are particular conditions and variations depending on how far in advance the flight was cancelled.
You will not be able to get compensation if:
There’s “extraordinary circumstances”
The compensation is not payable in the case of an “extraordinary circumstance”. For example, when the delay is due to war or civil unrest, security issues, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions (including an airport’s failure to de-ice the aircraft on time), air traffic control restrictions, strikes by airport staff, a medical emergency on board, and some crew issues.