Flight delay compensation rules

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Under the EC261 passengers’ rights rules, as interpreted by the European Court of Justice, passengers who arrive at their destination at least three hours behind schedule are entitled to cash compensation. Claims are allowed as far back as the statute of limitation permits: six years in England and Wales, and five years in Scotland.

flight delay

Airlines despise the rules, and the way the courts have interpreted them. Many carriers are defending claims robustly. They frequently cite “extraordinary circumstances,” which can cover anything from air-traffic control strikes to disruptive passengers, as grounds for not paying out.

If the delay was caused by a straightforward technical fault or a crewing issue, there is some prospect of success. But you will have to choose between engaging in a potentially long-drawn-out battle on your own, or placing your case with a claims handler.

In addition, compensation on a fixed scale is due to passengers flying from a European Union airport, or on an EU airline anywhere in the world, whose flight is cancelled or arrives at least three hours late. It also applies to cases when a passenger is denied boarding involuntarily. But if the airline can successfully demonstrate that the delay was due to “extraordinary circumstances,” it need not pay compensation – though it is still obliged to provide the duty of care.  Contact our team today to pursue your NO WIN NO FEE claim for compensation.

The amount of compensation varies according to the length of the flight. Under 1,500km, €250 (about £175); 1,500-3,500km, €400 (£280); over 3,500km, €600 (£425), but half as much for delays between three and four hours.

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