Fortunately, we’ve never been victim to any delayed or cancelled flights, but if you have you may find the guide below useful in terms of your rights and how to claim back some compensation for your inconvenience.
If you’re departing from an EU airport (via any airline) or if you are flying to the EU via an EU airline you will be covered under the Denied Boarding Regulation under European Law.
If your flight is delayed:
If you arrive at your destination airport more than 3 hours late (or your flight was cancelled) you are most likely entitled to compensation. How much you’re entitled to will depend on the length of your journey:
Short-haul (flights under 1,500km) – £180
Medium-haul (flights between 1,500km and 3,500km) – £289
Long-haul (flights over 3,500km) – £444
If you are delayed more than 2 hours (short-haul flights), the airline must provide you with ‘reasonable’ refreshments. The same applies for medium-haul and long-haul flights however the amount of time that has to pass before you’re entitled to any refreshments changes to 3 hours for medium-haul flights and 4 hours for long-haul.
If your delay takes you overnight you are also entitled to hotel accommodation.
How to Claim:
This is where you have to jump through some hoops but don’t lost sight of the fact that you’re entitled to compensation.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) offers guidance on their website about how to claim but check the individual airlines websites as many have forms that you can fill in. Failing that, you should write to the Customer Relations Department, any receipts (for extra refreshments you required) or evidence you have should be used to back up your case for compensation.
Can my claim for compensation be declined?
Lets face it, no airline want to part with their money if they don’t have to so you’re best to explain that you’re entitled to compensation (state how much exactly) by law. It is worth bearing in mind however that airlines are entitled to avoid paying any compensation should they prove that the delay was down to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as freak weather, political instability or decisions made by air-traffic control.
How quickly do I need to claim?
Surprisingly, you have up to 6 years to claim. At least you can make good use of the time of your flight delay!