Delayed Flight Compensation

If you’ve ever been stuck at the airport waiting for your plane (and most of us have at some point), you could be due delayed flight compensation

Flights delayed for more than three hours are eligible for as much as £430 in compensation!

Airlines have tried to turn down claims but you can win with our help

Many people don’t know their rights, so read up and see if you could claim


Need to know

  • EU Delayed Flight Compensation Regulation went into effect in February 2005
  • The law gives you the right to claim delayed flight compensation if you've been inconvenienced
  • A 2012 ruling at the European Court of Justice deflected challenges from airlines to protect passengers in the event of a long flight delay
  • As a result claims can be made for technical problems that took place up to six years ago
  • Flights need to have been delayed for three hours or longer
  • You can claim for as far back as 2005 but it is more difficult pre-2009 due to statute of limitations
  • Delayed flight compensation is only applicable for EU-regulated flights
  • You can only claim against problems caused by the airline (i.e. preventable technical faults)

What is Denied Boarding Regulation?

  • If you are flying within the EU or on an EU based airline you're protected by the Denied Boarding Regulations. The airline will provide free meals and accommodation as appropriate if:
  • If a flight under 932 miles (eg, London to Amsterdam) is delayed for at least two hours
  • If a flight within the EU that is more than 932 miles (for example, London to Gibraltar) is delayed for at least three hours
  • If a flight that isn't within the EU but is between 932 and 2,174 miles is delayed for at least three hours
  • If any other flight is delayed for at least four hours

Delayed flight compensation table

Delay time



Compensation amount

Less than 2 hours


No compensation

Between 2 hours and 2 hours 59 minutes


No compensation

Over 3 hours 

1500km or under


All flights 1500km – 3500km



1500km and over (EU only)


Between 3 – 4 hours


3500km + (between EU and non-EU airport)


Over 4 hours


3500km + (between EU and non-EU airport)



How to make a claim

  • Gather any documents together that you might have, including any evidence of ticket purchase, dates or anything that will help your delayed flight compensation claim
  • Get in touch with the airline directly. Airlines each have different application procedures for delayed flight claims so check with yours how they would like you to apply
  • Be wary – some airlines will attempt to tell you that your circumstances aren’t relevant for a claim. If you are certain you are due delayed flight compensation, don’t let them deflect your claim
  • If you can’t come to an amicable resolution, you can apply to a regulatory body. These vary depending upon the airline you are claiming against
  • If you are in the UK you can speak to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They will be able to ascertain whether or not you have a claim

Claiming for delayed flight costs

  • Even when the airline isn't at fault for the flight delay you are still entitled to costs
  • Should your flight be delayed for over 4 hours for any reason you can expect to be provided with food, drinks and potentially accomodation if the delay is an overnight one
  • Many airlines will provide you with vouchers to spend in the event of a delayed flight
  • Remeber that the airlines have a duty of care to you as a passenger and must look after you
  • Delayed flight compensation is a right for all EU citizens

If you do decide to claim

Flight Refunds

Why we like it:

  • Quick and easy form
  • Fast response
  • Hassle free
  • They handle all aspects of the claim on your behalf

Watch out:

  • You can claim for yourself

The inside track

  • Extraordinary circumstances’ in regards to a delayed flight can be political unrest, threats to security, severe weather and acts of nature
  • Check out Flightstats and Webflyer for information on flight distances and delays
  • If your flight was delayed for more than five hours and you don’t travel you are entitled to a refund of your ticket fare
  • In many cases you can apply for a ticket refund on top of your delayed flight compensation
  • If your delayed flight claim is rejected and you live in the UK you can fill out this form from the CAA
  • Keep any and all receipts for food, drink, accommodation and communications, you may be able to claim them back on top of your delayed flight compensation
  • A survey conduced by Which? found that from May 2014- June 2015, out of an estimated 900,000 people eligible for delayed flight compensation, only a third made a claim
  • That means that the majority of people don't make a delayed flight claim and are missing out on potentially hundreds of pounds

Sign up to our money-saving emails!


We value your privacy, see here.


Biggest Savers


Join 100,000s of SAVVY SAVERS who read our WEEKLY email. Get our round up of ALL the best money saving SECRETS, FREEBIES and BIGGEST SAVERS. Don't miss out!