Want to know more about flight delay compensation and when you can claim it? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions to learn about your flight delay rights.

1. What is flight delay compensation?

Flight delay compensation is the money you can claim from an airline for a delayed flight, cancellation or when you have been denied boarding.

The compensation – which can go up to £510 – is to make up for your loss of time, so you can claim hundreds of pounds even if your plane ticket didn’t cost that much.

2. When can I claim compensation for a flight delay?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to these three questions, you could be owed up to £510 flight delay compensation from the airline:

  • Was your flight delayed by three hours or more?
  • Did your flight delay or cancellation happen within the last six years?
  • Was your flight leaving an EU country or arriving in an EU country on board an EU airline?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all three questions, then you could have a valid claim. The only time an airline doesn’t have to pay flight delay compensation is if your flight delay was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

You can claim compensation for flight delays and cancellations caused by things like:

  • Technical problems
  • Denied boarding due to overbooking
  • Bird strikes
  • Bad weather
  • Cabin crew illness and understaffing

But you might not be able to claim for delays and cancellations caused by the below situations, because they’re usually classed as ‘extraordinary circumstances’:

  • Acts of terrorism
  • Security risks
  • Extreme weather conditions like volcanic ash clouds
  • Industrial action

3. How much flight delay compensation can I claim?

The amount of flight delay compensation you can claim depends on the length of your journey and how long the delay lasted. It doesn’t matter how much your ticket cost, so you can claim these amounts even if you bought a low-price plane ticket. It’s simple:

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)

*Based on the exchange rate on April ’17 rate of £1 : €1.17 and rounded to the nearest £5. Amounts can increase depending on whether the airline pays flight delay compensation based on today’s exchange rate or the exchange rate at the time of the delay.

4. Can I claim compensation for a flight delay that happened a long time ago?

You have six years to claim compensation for a flight delay in England and Wales, and five years to claim in Scotland.

If your flight delay happened years ago and you can’t remember whether it lasted three hours or not, just enter your flight details into the claims calculator to find out.

5. The airline told me I can’t claim flight delay compensation. Can you help?

Airlines often tell people they don’t have a flight delay claim when they actually do – that’s where we come in. We’ve helped thousands of people who’ve been fobbed off or ignored by an airline get the compensation that’s rightfully theirs, and we’re here to help you do the same.

6. The CAA told me I can’t claim flight delay compensation. Can you help?

The CAA isn’t always right when it says the airline doesn’t owe you flight delay compensation, so it’s always best to come to us for a second opinion. The CAA doesn’t have the last word in flight delay compensation claims, so don’t be put off just because it tells you the airline doesn’t have to pay out.

7. The CAA says the airline should pay me delayed flight compensation, but the airline still won’t pay me. What now?

The CAA doesn’t have the legal powers to force the airline to pay flight delay compensation, so airlines often refuse to pay passengers even when the CAA say they should. If you’ve hit a brick wall talking to the airline and the CAA we can help because we do have the power to take your claim to court.

8. Can I claim flight delay compensation for friends and family who were on the same flight as me?

If you’d prefer to have one person dealing with your group’s claim that’s fine.

The other passengers just need to sign our terms and conditions and provide us with their bank details so we can send them their compensation. If any members of your group are under 18, an adult will need to do this for them.

If a member of your group would like us to pay their flight delay compensation into your bank account, we just need them to send us written confirmation that they’re happy for us to do so.

9. I bought a child’s ticket at a reduced fee, can I still claim flight delay compensation for them?

If you paid any money at all towards a child’s ticket you can claim the same amount of compensation for them as you would for an adult – even if they didn’t have a seat to themselves.

10. If I accept vouchers, air miles or a refund for my flight delay, can I still claim flight delay compensation on top of this?

If your flight is cancelled and you accept a refund, you can still claim flight delay compensation on top of this. However, if you accept and use either vouchers or air miles from the airline, you can’t claim compensation as well.

If the airline sends you vouchers or air miles and you refuse to use them, you can still claim flight delay compensation.

11. Can I claim delayed flight compensation if I missed a connecting flight?

If a delayed flight means you miss a connecting flight and arrive at your final destination three or more hours late, you can still claim compensation – even if the original flight wasn’t delayed by three hours.

12. Can I claim compensation if my flight was diverted to a different airport?

If you’re taken to a different airport and that leads to you arriving at your final destination three hours or more late, you can claim flight delay compensation.

13. Can I claim flight delay compensation if I was put on a different airline?

Sometimes when a flight is delayed, an airline will give passengers an alternative flight with a different airline. If you end up arriving at your final destination three hours late, you can still claim flight delay compensation from the original airline you booked the flight with.

14. Can I claim delayed flight compensation if I accept a booking for a different flight?

If the airline provides you with an alternative flight but you still arrive at your destination three hours or more late, you can claim flight delay compensation.

15. How long will it take to recover my flight delay compensation?

We’re one of the fastest flight delay compensation firms in the UK; the average time it takes us to recover compensation is just 71 days.

Every flight delay claim is unique so it’s hard to give an exact timescale for each person. We’ve recovered compensation in less than a month for thousands of passengers, but things can go on longer depending on how the airline deals with your claim.

We’ll keep you up to date on how your claim is going by email and will let you know when we’ve recovered the flight delay compensation for you, so you don’t need to worry about a thing.

16. How much does it cost to get help with my flight delay compensation claim?

We work on a no-win no-fee basis so if we don’t recover your compensation for you, you don’t owe us anything at all.

If the airline does pay us, we’ll keep just 25% + VAT of the total compensation amount plus a £25 per passenger administration fee. We don’t ask for any fees upfront and we never charge any hidden extras, so you’re not putting yourself at financial risk by making a claim.

17. Do I need to provide any documents to prove I was on the delayed flight?

You don’t always need to provide us with proof that you were on the plane, but it does help if you can give us some kind of documentation at the start of your claim,

We can start work on your flight delay compensation claim without any proof of ticket purchase, but if you can provide either an email confirmation, a boarding pass, a travel agent invoice or a luggage tag, that would be useful.

That way, if an airline tells us they can’t trace you on the delayed flight, we already have proof that you were on-board.

18. Will I have to fill in any paperwork?

We’ve made our claims process as quick and simple as possible, so you don’t need to wade through piles of paperwork.

We’ll send you our terms and conditions by email so you can sign them and send them back to us online. We’ll also ask you for your address and bank details so we can pay the compensation electronically or by cheque.

Once we have those details, we’ll do all the hard work for you, so you can relax and wait for an email telling you your money is on its way.

19. Will I have to go to court?

We’ll take care of all of that for you. If your flight delay compensation claim has to go to court, we’ll represent you, so you shouldn’t have to go to any hearings.

Had a flight delay of three hours or more in the last six years? Don’t be a dodo – enter your flight details into our flight delay claims calculator to see if you can claim up to £510 compensation.