10 Frequently Asked Questions Answered about Flight Delay Compensation 

Airline compensation for flight delays has been a topic of interest to many travelers, as they are common in the airline industry. Several factors can contribute to a flight delay, including mechanical issues, bad weather, and air traffic control. 

For example, if your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the delay’s circumstances and the flight’s distance. This article answers some questions about flight delay or cancellation compensation, including information about British Airways compensation and Wizz Air compensation.

How long does my flight have to be delayed to be eligible for compensation?

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, which sets out the rules for flight delay compensation, you are entitled to compensation if your flight gets delayed by at least three hours. 

However, the compensation you are entitled to will depend on your flight’s distance and the delay’s length.

  • For flights of 1,500 kilometers or less, you are entitled to 250 euros if the delay is between three to four hours and 400 euros if the delay is more than four hours. 
  • For flights within the EU that are more than 1,500 kilometers or for flights outside the EU that are between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometers, you are entitled to 400 euros for delays of more than three hours.
  • For flights outside the EU that are more than 3,500 kilometers, you are entitled to 600 euros for delays of more than four hours.

Is my flight eligible for compensation if it was delayed due to “extraordinary circumstances”?

EU Regulation 261/2004 specifies that airlines do not have to pay compensation for delays caused by “extraordinary circumstances.” These are circumstances that cannot be avoided even if all reasonable measures are taken.

Such circumstances include strikes, inclement weather and security concerns. However, the airline must provide evidence that the delay was caused by these extraordinary circumstances.

Can I receive compensation for a delay on a connecting flight?

You may be eligible for compensation in case of a delay on a connecting flight. However, the amount of compensation you are eligible for is based on the distance of the entire trip and not just the delayed flight segment. 

For instance, if you’re traveling from London to New York via Paris, and your flight from London to Paris experiences a delay, you can claim compensation based on the distance of the full trip, which is from London to New York.

How do I go about claiming delay compensation?

When seeking compensation for a flight delay, the initial step is to reach out to the airline and make a request for compensation. Most airlines have established procedures in place for handling delay compensation claims.

They may ask you to fill out a claim form or provide certain documentation, such as a copy of your ticket and a statement outlining the details of the delay. If the airline denies your claim, you can appeal the decision or file a complaint with a consumer protection agency. As per the EU regulations, you are even entitled to get compensation in case of denied boarding.

How much compensation am I entitled to receive for a flight delay?

The amount of compensation you can receive for a flight delay is dependent on the distance of the flight and the length of the delay. 

  • For flights shorter than 1,500 kilometers, you are eligible for 250 euros if the delay is between 3-4 hours and 400 euros if the delay is over 4 hours. 
  • For flights that are longer than 1,500 kilometers within the EU or between 1,500-3,500 kilometers outside the EU, you are entitled to receive 400 euros for any delay of more than 3 hours.

Is there a time limit for claiming flight compensation?

There is a time frame within which you have to claim flight delay compensation as per EU Regulation 261/2004. This time frame is two years from the flight date. You should claim within this time frame to avoid the waiver of your right to compensation. It’s important to note that the time limit for making a claim may vary based on the laws of the country where the flight took place.

What if my claim for delay compensation is denied? Can I appeal the decision?

If your claim for delay compensation is denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision. The process for appealing a denied claim will depend on the airline and the laws of the country in which the flight took place.

Are there any other rights or protections to which I may be entitled if my flight is delayed?

Aside from the compensation for flight delays, EU Regulation 261/2004 also bestows certain rights to passengers in case of a delay. These rights include the right to assistance, like providing meals, refreshments and accommodation if the delay is going to last for a certain duration.

Does flight compensation apply to flights not covered by EU Regulation 261/2004?

As per EU Regulation 261/2004, it applies to flights that either depart from an EU member state or arrive in an EU member state and is operated by an EU-based airline. 

In case your flight is not covered by this regulation, it’s possible that you may still be eligible for compensation under the laws of the country where the flight took place or according to the terms of your ticket. It’s best to consult with the airline or a consumer protection agency to understand your rights during a flight delay.

Can I claim compensation for a delayed flight that occurred in the past?

It is possible to claim compensation for past flight delays as long as you file the claim within the time limit as set by EU Regulation 261/2004 or the laws of the country where the flight took place. 

If you have experienced a flight delay and are uncertain about your rights or how to claim compensation, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a consumer protection agency or a lawyer with expertise in aviation law.

Hopefully, you have some clarity on how to deal with compensation matters. Still, experts can deal with circumstances much better than you. So a little advice never hurts. 

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