Flight Delays - The Facts
Compensation can be claimed where you are either:
- Delayed arriving at your final destination by more than 3 hours due to causes within the carrier's control (but not if the delay was caused by "extraordinary circumstances" unavoidable by all reasonable measures).
- You are told of a cancellation less than 14 days prior to the planned departure date due to matters within the airline's control (but not extraordinary circumstances unavoidable by all reasonable measures), unless you are offered a re-route allowing departure and arrival at your final destination:
- Cancellation between 13 and 7 days prior to the scheduled departure and you are offered re-routing, to depart no more than 2 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure and to reach your destination less than 4 hours after the scheduled arrival time or
- Cancellation less than 7 days before the scheduled departure and you are offered re-routing, to depart no more than 1 hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than 4 hours after the scheduled arrival.
Compensation Levels (delays of 3 hours or more)
If you fly from an airport within the EU to another airport within the EU:
- £210 / €250 for flights less than 1500km.
- £340 / €400 for flights over 1500km.
If you fly from an airport within the EU to an airport outside of the EU (or vice versa):
- £210* / €250 for flights less than 1500km.
- £340* / €400 for flights over 1500km.
- £510* / €600 for flights over 3500km.
If your flight is cancelled, but the airline offer you an alternative replacement flight, compensation is reduced by 50% if you arrive at your final destination within:
- 2 hours of your scheduled arrival time, for flights of 1,500 km or less.
- 3 hours of your scheduled arrival time for all flights within the EU of more than 1,500 km and for all other flights between 1,500km and 3,500km.
- 4 hours of your scheduled arrival time for all other flights.
Refreshment and Accommodation
- In the event of long delays (2 hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails;
- If the time of departure is delayed until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation;
- When the delay is five hours or longer, passengers may opt for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure.
Does Your Case Qualify?
You may be entitled to compensation if:
- Its an EU* regulated flight, which in practice means the flight must have departed from an EU airport, regardless of the airline, OR it's a flight to EU airport with an EU airline. For example if you fly Turkish Airlines (a non EU airline) from Gatwick to Ankara (a non EU destination) you will be covered if you arrive in Turkey 4 hours late but you will not be covered if the return flight back to Gatwick is 4 hours late but you would have been covered if you had flown the same return journey with Ryanair or Jet2.com as they are both EU Airlines! So it can be a bit of a lottery.
- The passenger had a confirmed booking on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation, present themselves for check-in at the time stipulated by the airline or, if no time is indicated, not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time.
- The flight delay occured within the last 6** years for claims brought in the Courts of England & Wales.
[*For these purposes the EU also includes Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The other European countries covered are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom]
[**A small number of airlines argue that the time limit is 2 years, but most lawyers and airlines do not agree with this, and we will always argue this point with the airline if the 2 year defence is raised. We do however suggest that you do not delay making your claim.]
If you are unsure of whether you can make a claim for a flight delay, please get in touch with us on 0161 763 8282 and we will be able to advise you further.