Flight delays can be a miserable time. Whether you’re travelling for work, a holiday or visiting family or friends, there is never a convenient time for your travel plans to be scuppered. In fact, flight delays came out top in a recent poll of people’s holiday gripes. However, with over half a million flights delayed every month around the world, we need to be prepared for such events.
However, should you be delayed, all is not lost. The silver lining of such a situation is that, in certain circumstances, you can claim for a refund under the EU’s flight delay compensation scheme.
Denied Boarding regulation
Under the EU’s ‘Denied Boarding’ regulation, travellers are entitled to help and assistance should their flight be delayed beyond a certain point. The following criteria must be met to be covered by the ‘Denied Boarding’ regulation:
- They are travelling with an EU-based airline
- They are travelling from a non-EU-based airline, but from an EU airport
- They have a confirmed booking
- They checked in on time and at least 45 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart (unless specified otherwise)
Under the Denied Boarding regulation, travellers are entitled to free meals and refreshments, two free phone calls or emails, free overnight accommodation (where applicable) if certain criteria is satisfied.
How do I know if my delay qualifies for delayed boarding?
If your flight is:
- Under 932 miles and delayed for 2 hours or more
- An EU flight more than 932 miles is delayed for 3 hours or more
- A non-EU flight that is between 932-2,174 miles and delayed for 3 hours or more
- Any other flight delayed in excess of three hours
Am I entitled to compensation?
It is perhaps easier to begin with delays which are not applicable for compensation. “Extraordinary circumstances” beyond airline control, including security risks, political instability, staff strikes or dangerous and severe weather is not likely to warrant compensation.
However, you may be entitled if you have grounds to challenge the conditions. For example, if other airlines are still flying despite supposed extraordinary circumstances that are grounding your flight.
Levels of compensation
<932 miles, for 3+ hours = €250
Any EU flight, 932 miles+ for 3+ hours = €400
Any flight over 2,175 miles+ for 3-4 hours = €300
Any flights over 2,175 miles+ for more than 4 hours = €600
The right to compensation explicitly set out by the Denied Boarding Compensation Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004
How do I claim for my compensation?
If your delay qualifies above, you must then submit an air passenger rights EU complaints form to your delayed airline. Be sure to keep a copy for your own records.
We hope you found this blog useful. We hope you never need to use this information, but it always pays to be prepared in a stressful travel delay scenario. Remember our experts are on hand with any help you may need.