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Don’t be a dodo! Claim with Flightcompensation.com
Do what Desmond Dodo did and let FlightCompensation.com get you the compensation you deserve for your flight delay.
FlightCompensation.com is backed by the best legal team in the country with a unique track record of making airlines pay out – even when they’ve told you they don’t have to pay!
Claiming with us is cheaper and quicker than taking airlines to court yourself - here's why:
We’re 100% no win, no fee, so there’s absolutely no financial risk to you
We’ll pay for experts and legal reports if needed, which can cost up to £750
The airlines can’t ignore us – we’ll handle all communication and paperwork on your behalf
We’ll send formal letters to the airline, draft court proceedings and attend court for you
total passengers helped
court cases won
What is Flight Compensation?
In simple terms flight compensation is a payment that airlines should make to passengers who are delayed more than three hours later than their scheduled arrival time.
If only it was all so simple…
First of all flight delay compensation is part of a European Regulation 261/2004 and compensation is set in Euros. The amounts vary depending on:
- The length of the delay
- The distance of the flight
- Whether it was delayed, cancelled, or denied boarding
The airline also has to provide care and assistance while you’re delayed – and that kicks in earlier, but more on that later…
More importantly the airline does have a valid excuse from paying compensation and that is if the delay was due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’. Airlines for years kept arguing delays were extraordinary and so they shouldn’t have to pay compensation.
Our free flight compensation calculator will give you an instant decision on your flight.
However, our legal team have consistently beaten the airlines in court making the list of extraordinary circumstances a lot shorter!
You can find out more about flight delay compensation below or try our free online calculator now – this will tell you if your flight is or isn’t eligible for compensation – and within seconds you could have the very best flight delay legal team on your side; that will make the airlines think twice about messing you around!
When Can I Claim Flight Compensation?
If you’ve been delayed reaching your final destination airport by more than three hours in the last six years then you could be able to claim up to 600 Euros (about £520 depending on exchange rates) per passenger. The amounts vary depending on the details of your trip.
To be eligible, your flight must be either departing the European Union (EU) or arriving into the EU on a European airline.
This means if your delay was coming back to England from Egypt on Thomas Cook this would be covered under the regulation rules as it is arriving in to the EU on a European airline. If the same journey was on EgyptAir then it wouldn’t be covered as it wasn’t on an EU airline.
A flight leaving England to any location on any airline is covered as you’d be departing from a country within the EU (at least for the time being!)
How To Check If You Can Claim?
The simple way to check if you have a claim for flight compensation is to add your flight details to our free flight delay calculator. It’s free and simple to use, and takes less than a minute.
Our calculator is the most accurate available, as we have hundreds of millions of flights in our database and analyse a range of extraordinary circumstances, delay time, and flight length, so we can tell you if your claim is eligible for compensation instantly.
How Much Can I Claim?
It’s important to remember the flight compensation is not related to the cost of a ticket but is set by Regulation 261/2004 at fixed amounts depending on the length of your flight delay.
You could claim a maximum of 600 Euros or as low as 250 Euros for flight delays – the amounts are different again for cancellations and denied boarding claims.
Claim amounts vary depending on the distance of the flight and the length of delay
Regulation 261 has capped the compensation at 600 Euros no matter how long the delay lasts for. So if you were delayed travelling from London to Mexico for 4 hours, you would receive the same as someone delayed 24 hours on the same route.
Claim amounts vary depending on the distance of the flight and the length of delay, we’ve summarised this into a handy little table below.
If you want to know what your flight would be worth in compensation before you go then use our pre-flight calculator here.
|The distance of the flight||How long the delay lasted||How much you could claim|
|Less than 1,500km||3 hours or more||€250 (£215)|
|1,500km – 3,500km||3 hours or more||€400 (£340)|
|Over 3,500km||3 hours or more AND flying between 2 EU countries||€400 (£340)|
|Over 3,500km||Between 3 and 4 hours||€300 (£255)|
|Over 3,500km||More than 4 hours||€600 (£510)|
Because it’s a European regulation the amounts are fixed in Euros so the actual amount you’ll receive in pounds depends on the exchange rates at the date at which the rates are set. For example, before the referendum in June 2014 600 Euros was worth around £410, but now the pound has fallen in value that 600 Euros is worth around £520 – quite a big difference!
In addition to the fixed compensation amounts you can also claim certain reasonable costs you’ve incurred as a result of the delay. This might include food and drink, taxi fares, or overnight accommodation.
Technically the airline should pay up front for all these extra expenses as part of their ‘care and assistance’ duty to passengers under Regulation 261, but it doesn’t always happen like that.
If you have additional expenses you wish to recover from the airline then we can put that in with the claim if we have to issue court proceedings. If we don’t have to go down that route and can persuade the airline to settle earlier then you’ll need to put the claim in to the airline directly for your additional costs. We’ve created a handy template letter for you to use here.
The Airlines says it’s not their fault, Can I still claim?
In a word – maybe!
Ok, more information is required here and we need to clarify some of the terms and the jargon used.
It doesn’t matter if the delay is the airline’s ‘fault’ or not. The word fault has been used incorrectly elsewhere to determine if a claim is valid or not.
The regulation rules simply state that if the delay is caused by something ‘inherent’ (i.e. in the normal activity) in the operating of an airline then it would not be eligible for compensation.
This is best explained with some examples:
If a plane gets struck by lightning, and is then delayed due to damage being repaired, this is clearly not the fault of the airline but the courts have ruled it is part and parcel of running an airline and shouldn’t therefore be unexpected.
The same is true for damage to aircraft caused by trucks and vehicles in airports – say when refuelling or moving steps up to the aircraft doors. We’ve seen cases where these ground vehicles struck the aircraft causing damage that needed to be repaired before the plane was able to fly.
While this wasn’t the airline’s fault, the regulation says they should compensate passengers and make their own claim against the company responsible for causing the damage.
All these events are considered by the courts to be ‘inherent’ in owning and operating an airline and therefore, regardless of ‘fault’ the delays caused are eligible for compensation.
Flight Compensation & Extraordinary Circumstances
If you know a bit about flight compensation you’ll probably have come across the term ‘extraordinary circumstances’ already.
You might be reading this because you already tried to claim against the airline yourself and they told you the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.
Or alternatively this is the first time you’ve heard the phrase. Either way, read on to find out what it means, what they are, and how airlines can get out of paying flight compensation for ‘extraordinary’ delays.
the phrase ‘extraordinary circumstances’ is open to interpretation and that’s why legal disputes between passengers and airlines exist – and why we’re here to help you
Airlines always have to provide care and assistance for long delays but they don’t always have to pay out compensation as well. Their only defence is that of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ according to the rules of Regulation 261/2004 that governs flight delay claims.
However, the phrase ‘extraordinary circumstances’ is open to interpretation and that’s why legal disputes between passengers and airlines exist – and why we’re here to help you recover your flight compensation when you’ve experienced a long delay at the airport.
Airlines have previously argued that things like crew sickness is an extraordinary circumstance, or flights being struck by lightning or birds, causing knock-on delays, are extraordinary circumstances, but our legal team have defeated the airlines in appeal cases on all those points.
As it stands we believe there is a limited number of situations we would consider extraordinary.
|Event||Details||Claim Compensation?||Care & Assistance|
|Hidden Manufacturing Defects||Only where the airline was unaware of the defect, it affected an entire fleet of planes and also affected the safety of the passengers.||No||Yes|
|Extreme Weather Events||Such as Volcanic ash clouds or weather forcing an airport to close||No||Yes|
|Unusual Political instability/civil unrest||Riots, or civil uprisings||No||Yes|
|Acts of sabotage||If someone deliberately attacks and damages an aircraft||No||Yes|
|Terrorist attacks||A flight delayed or cancelled because of terrorism||No||Yes|
Some airlines are still telling passengers that their delay was due to an extraordinary circumstance when we don’t believe it was.
To know for sure it’s best to put your flight details in our claim calculator as it will tell you if there were extraordinary circumstances or not – regardless of what the airline has said.
Claiming For Care & Assistance
Even if you are not entitled to flight compensation for your delay because of an extraordinary circumstance, the airline still has to provide care and assistance, and this starts from 2 hours (for flights under 3,500km) or 3 hours for longer flights.
Care and assistance means the airline must provide:
- Food and drink in reasonable relation to the waiting time
- Overnight accommodation (if the delay lasts long enough)
- Transport to and from the overnight accommodation
- Two free calls/emails/fax messages
Our comprehensive process is the reason we're successful in 93% of the cases we take to court.
Check your flight with our free, industry leading calculator
Add passenger details then submit your claim
We negotiate with the airline for you
You claim is settled and your compensation paid into your account
Calculating the Length of your Delay
The three hour delay time must be the delay when you arrive, not when you set off. Sometimes a flight might set off just over three hours late and then make up some time during the flight, so you’d end up arriving just under three hours late. We think the worst possible delay time is 2 hours 59 minutes as it’s the longest delay you can have without being able to claim at all!
The delay time is when the doors on the plane are opened – not when the aircraft touches down – so if you’re on one of those flights that is very close to the three hour delay it’s worth noting down the time the doors are opened as you might need that information for your claim.
The delay time is when the doors on the plane are opened – not when the aircraft touches down
There are also different amounts of compensation depending on the journey distance and delay length. If the flight is less than 1,500km (London to Edinburgh for example) then you qualify for the lowest compensation amount of 250 Euros.
And on the other end of the scale a delay of over 4 hours on a journey of more than 3,500km (London to Orlando for example) then you would get the maximum 600 Euros per passenger.
Finally, you must be travelling on a ticket purchased at a fare available to the public and have presented for boarding. You can still claim if someone else purchased the ticket on your behalf as the compensation is for your time and inconvenience, not a ticket refund.
How Far Back Can I Claim Flight Compensation?
You are welcome to try and claim as far back as 2005 when the rules came into force. However, the airline has no obligation to pay out and if you have to issue court proceedings to force the airline to pay, this can only be done for claims up to 6 years old. This is because there is a statute of limitation (a time limit in plain English) on these types of claims and in England and Wales that time limit is 6 years.
Airlines did try to argue the time limit should be 2 years, which would have prevented millions of passengers from recovering their rightful compensation. But our legal team took the case all the way to the Supreme Court and successfully argued the regulation specified a time limit based on the country you are claiming in, and in the case of England and Wales, that is set at 6 years. If you were in Spain it would be 10 years and in the Netherlands it is only 2 years.
The good thing about issuing proceedings is that it ‘stops the clock’ on the limitation as you enter the legal and court system.
We issue court proceedings very early on (we don’t let the airlines mess us around!) so if you’ve been waiting ages to hear back after making a complaint direct to the airline, let us know and we’ll take on your claim and get it settled quickly for you.
How Long Will My Claim Take?
It’s impossible to know for certain how long your claim will take as it depends on whether the airline wants to defend the claim in court and how far they are prepared to take it.
Airlines have a legal right to defend any claim if they want to or they feel they are in the right
Airlines have a legal right to defend any claim if they want to or they feel they are in the right. It is our job to challenge the airline as our legal team go up against their legal team.
The benefit of claiming with FlightCompensation.com is that you get the best flight delay legal team in the country fighting to secure your compensation payout – if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid!
We have settled claims in as little as a few days, to ones that take years because the airline appeals to higher and higher courts. It’s not possible to know for certain which approach the airline will take but because we have won so many claims against so many airlines, you have a much better chance of being successful with us.
We often take on claims from people who have tried to claim direct with the airlines but feel like they’ve been ignored or fobbed off. All that time and energy trying to claim direct could be saved using FlightCompensation.com straight away.
The benefit of claiming with FlightCompensation.com is that you get the best flight delay legal team in the country fighting to secure your compensation payout
What we can say is that we settle over half our claims within 30 days and we issue court proceedings straight away if we haven’t heard back from the airline after 30 days – this is the earliest point we can issue proceedings under court rules.
Where we’ve already been successful on a flight, you will receive your compensation even more quickly as our legal team have direct contact with the airlines’ legal teams and can negotiate quick settlements on flights we’ve previously won compensation for.
If you claim direct with the airline yourself then you could be waiting months, even if the airline responds, and still be faced with complex legal arguments from top barristers acting on behalf of the airlines.
Your Options To Claim Compensation From The Airlines
It’s easy to claim flight compensation using our service, just input your flight details and we’ll take care of the rest and send you your compensation.
Of course you can try claiming yourself and we’ll give you a breakdown step by step process for both options.
If you want our legal team to handle your claim and send you your compensation then there is an easy two-step process:
- Submit your flight details through the flight delay calculator
- Receive your payment from our legal team
To handle your own claim then there’s a longer process and we’ve set out the steps below.
- Check if you have a valid claim by inputting your details in the flight delay calculator
- If you get a positive response then download our flight compensation template letter
- Fill out the correct details on the template letter and print it out to put in the post (make sure you get the right contact details of the airline)
- If you don’t hear anything back after 30 days follow up with another letter (if you use a mediation service you will be waiting 8 weeks at this stage)
- If you still don’t hear back then contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or the airline’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider to get their opinion on the claim. While they can’t force the airline to pay out, they might tell you if your claim is valid.
- If you still don’t have the response you wanted from the airline and you believe you should receive compensation then you can issue court proceedings against the airline. There is a fee to pay up front for this and it’s vital you issue against the exact business name and address of the airline, otherwise the claim could be thrown out of court.
- If the airline refuses to pay out then you’ll have to go to court and present your argument against an experienced legal team representing the airline.
- If the court finds in your favour there is still no guarantee the airline will pay up (we’ve ended up instructing the Sheriff’s Office to enforce a court judgment when the airline won’t pay!)
Our services are 100% no win no fee, meaning there’s no financial risk to you, even if your claim is unsuccessful.
We’re transparent about our fees – for successful claims, we charge 25% + VAT of the total compensation amount plus a £25 per passenger administration fee.
Claiming with us is cheaper and quicker than going to court
How We’ve Helped Our Clients
We’ve helped over 100,000 passengers successfully claim compensation from the airlines. Here’s some examples of recent successes.
£940 recovered from Thomson Airways
We recovered £940.22 in flight delay compensation from Thomson Airways for a couple who were delayed for six hours 45 minutes.
David Bowen and his wife Barbara were travelling from Birmingham East Midlands to Cancun, Mexico in celebration of their 33rd wedding anniversary.
They were supposed to take off at 9:15am to arrive in Mexico at 4pm but didn’t leave until 3:30pm – missing their first afternoon and evening of their anniversary holiday.
After Thomson didn’t respond to letters requesting compensation David contacted FlightCompensation.com to use the no-win no-fee service.
After a successful claim our legal team recovered almost £1,000 and David and Barbara put that money towards visiting their daughter in India.
£880 recovered from Qatar Airways
Susie Fuller and her partner Terence were travelling to Goa, India with Qatar Airways from Heathrow Airport for a three week holiday and had a connecting flight in Doha, Qatar.
They had already boarded the plane and we sat down ready to take off before being told there was going to be a delay due to a technical fault with the plane.
Qatar Airways cabin crew took passengers off the plane and they ended up waiting for five and half hours in Heathrow Airport. They told Susie and Terence that they needed to wait for a plane to come in from Manchester Airport with a new part to fix the technical fault.
After being recommended FlightCompensation.com by some friends, Susie put in a claim online and we recovered £880.40 for the couple.
£407 recovered from easyJet
Flightcompensation.com recovered £407.70 from easyJet after a couple were delayed for over three hours in Amsterdam due to a technical fault with their plane.
Estee and her husband Leif were travelling back to London after spending the day in Amsterdam house-hunting. Their flight was due to depart at 7:20pm but didn’t end up taking off until three hours later.
With a young child at home being looked after by a babysitter since early that morning they were worried about getting back in time.
They were told it was a two hour delay but this ended up being more than three hours. Feeling frustrated after finally arriving back in London at 2am they decided to Google ‘flight delay compensation’.
After finding FlightCompensation.com and reading the customer reviews decided to submit the flight details for peace of mind and less hassle. We quickly recovered the compensation they were due.
Ready to claim? It only takes 2 minutes
You can claim up to £510 per passenger on your delayed flight – just tell us your flight number and date of travel, or use our flight number lookup form.