How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Flight Delay?

If your flight is delayed, you could be entitled to compensation of up to 600 Euros. Read on for more information on your claiming rights.

Updated on October 17th, 2018

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Under EU Regulation 261/2004, airlines have a responsibility to their passengers. That responsibility includes giving passengers compensation if their flight is delayed under certain circumstances.

As well as compensation payments, airlines also owe a duty of care and assistance to their passengers during the delay. The Regulation sets out the terms of this care and how much compensation can be claimed for different flight lengths and distances.

The Compensation Amount Is Fixed.

Flight delay compensation is paid in fixed amounts set in Euros as it’s a European regulation. Payments vary from 250 Euros to 600 Euros according to a set of criteria based on the circumstances of your flight delay.

How much compensation for delayed flights you can claim depends on how far you were travelling, how long you were delayed by, and the reason for your flight delay.

Examples Of Flights Covered By EU Reg 261

Departing FromArriving ToCan I Claim?
Airport inside EUAirport inside EUYes (Claimable for any airline)
Airport inside EUAirport outside EUYes (Claimable for any airline)
Airport outside EUAirport inside EUYes (If on an EU based airline)
Airport outside EUAirport outside EUNo

Compensation Is For Loss Of Time, Not The Price You Paid For Your Ticket.

The amount of compensation you can claim for a delayed flight is fixed by the distance you travelled, so you won’t be awarded more or less regardless of how much you paid for your ticket.

Under EU Regulation 261/2004, when you claim compensation for flight delays, you are being compensated for you loss of time, not for the cost of your ticket.

Under EU Regulation 261/2004, when you claim compensation for flight delays, you are being compensated for you loss of time, not for the cost of your ticket.

This extends to passengers who may have used air miles to travel, as well as for children and infants under the age of two.

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You Have Up To 6 Years To Claim

The regulation states you have to make claims according to the limitation period in the country you are making the claim. In England and Wales this means you have 6 years from the departure date of your flight to make a claim.

How Much Can I Claim For A Delayed Flight?

How much compensation you’re owed depends on how long you were delayed for and the distance between your departure and arrival airports. The further you were supposed to travel the more flight delay compensation you’re entitled to.

Get An Instant Decision On Your Flight

Our flight compensation checker is the most accurate on the web. It checks the following instantly.

  • The length of your delay
  • The cause of your delay
  • Legal validity of claim
  • How much you could claim

Check Your Flight

If your flight delay means you’ll arrive at your destination within 3 hours of your original arrival time, then you are not entitled to flight delay compensation.

If your flight delay is more than three hours, the amount of compensation you are owed depends on the distance of your flight. This means that if you were delayed on a flight from Spain to the UK for 4 hours, you’ll receive the same amount of flight delay compensation as someone whose flight was delayed on the same route for 24 hours.

Fight Delay Compensation Amounts

Flight DistanceLength Of DelayCompensation Amount
Up to 1,500km3 hours or more€250
1,500km-3,500km3 hours or more€400
Over 3,500km3 hours or more & between 2 EU Member States€400
Over 3,500km3-4 hours€300
Over 3,500km4 hours €600

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With the leading success rates in the industry, we’re experts in negotiating with the airlines, handling all negotiation and communication on your behalf.

Claiming Yourself

Claiming directly can be time consuming and stressful. Airlines may choose to ignore your claims or say you don’t have a eligible claim when you do.

Save time and money over issuing against airlines yourself and choose us to handle the claim on your behalf.

How Much Compensation For A Cancelled Flight?

If your flight is cancelled within 14 days of the departure date, you could be entitled to flight cancellation compensation. How much you are entitled to depends on the circumstances surrounding the cancellation.

If you were informed of your cancellation 14 days before your flight or more then you are not entitled to compensation for your cancelled flight.

If your flight was cancelled with 7 – 14 days’ notice, the amount of compensation you’re entitled to depends on the alternative journey you are offered by your airline. If that alternative journey departs no more than two hours earlier than your original flight and arrives no more than four hours later at your destination, you can’t claim flight cancellation compensation.

Flight Cancellation Compensation Amounts

Flights Cancelled Within 7-14 Days and Replacement Flight Offered

Flight DistanceLength Of DelayCompensation Amount
Up to 1,500kmReplacement flight departs more than 2 hours early€125
Up to 1,500kmReplacement flight arrives more than 4 hours late€250
1,500km to 3,500kmReplacement flight departs more than 2 hours early€200
1,500km to 3,500kmReplacement flight arrives more than 4 hours late€400
Over 1,500Km and between two EU StatesReplacement flight departs more than 2 hours early€200
Over 1,500Km and between two EU StatesReplacement flight arrives more than 4 hours late.€400
Over 3,500kmReplacement flight departs more than 2 hours early€300
Over 3,500kmReplacement flight arrives more than 4 hours late€600

If your flight was cancelled with less than 7 days’ notice the airline does not have as much flexibility in arranging an alternate flight and must make sure you depart no more than 1 hour early or arrive no more than two hours later than your original schedule.

If they are unable to do this then they may need to pay you compensation for your flight cancellation. The amounts are similar to the 7-14 day table but the timings are different.

Flight Cancellation Compensation Amounts

Flights within 7 Days and Replacement Flight Offered

Flight DistanceLength Of DelayCompensation Amount
Up to 1,500kmReplacement flight departs more than 1 hour early€125
Up to 1,500kmReplacement flight arrives more than 2 hours late€250
1,500km to 3,500kmReplacement flight departs more than 1 hour early€200
1,500km to 3,500kmReplacement flight arrives 2-3 hours late€200
1,500km to 3,500kmReplacement flight arrives more than 3 hours late.€400
Over 1,500Km and between two EU StatesReplacement flight departs more than 1 hour early€200
Over 1,500Km and between two EU StatesReplacement flight arrives 2-3 hours late.€200
Over 1,500Km and between two EU StatesReplacement flight arrives more than 3 hours late€400
Over 3,500kmReplacement flight departs more than 1 hour early €300
Over 3,500kmReplacement flight arrives 2-4 hours late €300
 Over 3,500kmReplacement flight arrives more than 4 hours late €600

See more information about cancelled flight compensation.

How Much Compensation If I Was Rerouted?

Usually when an airline cancels a flight they will offer an alternate flight, and this is considered a ‘rerouting’. Usually the airline will want to reroute you on one of their other flights, but you don’t have to wait for their next flight if there is a better option with a different airline.

If your flight is subject to rerouting, then you’re entitled to the same compensation you would be entitled to if your flight was cancelled – and under the same conditions.

Get An Instant Decision On Your Flight

Our flight compensation checker is the most accurate on the web. It checks the following instantly.

  • The length of your delay
  • The cause of your delay
  • Legal validity of claim
  • How much you could claim

Check Your Flight


If you decide you no longer want to travel then you can request a full refund, which the airline would need to pay within 7 days.

On the rare occasion that an airline does not offer you a replacement flight then the compensation amounts you can claim change slightly from those with a rerouted flight.

How Much Compensation For Denied Boarding or Overbooked Flight?

Regulation EU261 was initially set up to tackle rising instances of denied boarding where airlines were overbooking flights on the assumption not all passengers would show up and when they did, there would be too many people to fly.

In situations like this, the airline usually asks for volunteers to take the next flight. If no-one volunteers, then they will select passengers to miss the flight and this is where compensation would be due for ‘denied boarding’.

The compensation amounts are the same as for flight delays. Plus, the airline would need to provide care and assistance while you are waiting for the next flight.

Flight DistanceCompensation Amount
Up to 1,500km€250
1,500km-3,500km€400
Over 1,500km and between two EU States€400
Over 3,500km€600

If you do volunteer to miss the flight, then you can’t claim compensation under EU261, but you should negotiate with the airline staff at the time for cash or vouchers for your inconvenience.

When Can I Claim Compensation?

You are entitled to flight delay compensation If you were flying from an EU airport or If you were flying into an EU airport on an EU airline and under the following circumstances:

  • Your flight was delayed 3 hours or more on arrival
  • The delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances
  • You are making your claim within 6 years of your flight delay

When Can’t I Claim Compensation?

You cannot claim compensation for a delayed flight if the cause of the delay was not within the control of the airline or inherent in the running of an airline. This is classed as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and is the only defence for an airline in avoiding paying compensation.

You may not be able to make a claim for compensation if your delay was caused by any of the following:

  • Freak weather affecting your flight
  • Restrictions by air traffic control
  • Civil or political unrest
  • Terrorism or sabotage
  • Hidden manufacturing defects
  • Bird strikes

If you have been told your delay was due to any of the above reasons, it is still a good idea to check. Often airlines will tell you that the flight delay was an extraordinary circumstance because they don’t want you to try and claim compensation from them.

Does My Airline Have To Provide Anything Else?

You can’t claim flight delay compensation until you’re delayed by 3 hours or more, but if your flight is delayed by 2 hours or more on short flights, 3 hours on medium flights (between 1,500 and 3,500km) and 4 hours on long haul flights of over 3,500km, your airline must provide you with ‘care and assistance’.

Under EU Regulation 261 care and assistance includes the following:

  • Two phone calls, emails
  • A reasonable amount of food and drink
  • Overnight accommodation if needed
  • Transport to and from that accommodation

Your airline is required to provide you with this assistance, so make sure that you claim it from them.

If you paid for a hotel because you had to wait overnight for a replacement flight, or if you incurred any other costs that were impacted because of the delay, you can claim these back from the airline as additional expenses. Make sure that you keep all of your receipts and any correspondence so that you can present evidence of expense.

Get An Instant Decision On Your Flight

Our flight compensation checker is the most accurate on the web. It checks the following instantly.

  • The length of your delay
  • The cause of your delay
  • Legal validity of claim
  • How much you could claim

Check Your Flight