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Delayed Flight? Find out what your rights are

Delayed Flight? Find out what your rights are

If you’re one of the huge number of people in the UK who take a flight each year for either business or pleasure, you’ve probably been worried about your flight being delayed at some point. Delays can be so stressful and frustrating, and they can place a negative cloud over your trip before it has even started.

But do you know your rights? You need to make sure that before your next trip you are completely clued up on what the rules are, and where you stand if the worst comes to the worst. Whether you can claim for anything depends on two things – how long the flight is delayed, and the distance that you were planning to travel. Read up on the rules below, and make sure to inform your family and friends too!

Delayed less than two hours?

Unfortunately, if you are delayed for under two hours, The Commission for Aviation Regulation states that you will be unable to claim any form of compensation at all. Although this is incredibly frustrating and a delay of any kind can be a nightmare, you have no rights in this instance.

What’s the distance of your journey?

Whether you can claim depends on the distance of your flight and how long you were delayed for:

1500km or less: You will be permitted to claim if your flight is delayed by two hours or more.
1500km or more within the EU: You will be entitled to claim if your flight is delayed three hours or more.
1500km to 3500 km outside the EU: You can claim if your flight is delayed three hours or more.

All other flights: You will be entitled to claim if your flight is delayed four hours or more.

What are you entitled to if you qualify above?

If you fall into any of the criteria above, then make sure you claim these entitlements below – it’s the law. Your airline has a duty of care towards you.

– Two free phone calls or emails.
– Information – the airline must keep you up to date about what is going on and keep you informed about your rights.
– Meals and refreshments must be provided for free, with the amount depending on the length of the delay.
– Hotel accommodation for free if the delay extends overnight. Transport to and from the hotel also needs to be provided.
– For delays of more than five hours, you can choose to be re-routed or reimbursed for the part of the journey which was delayed.

How about compensation?

Firstly, your flight must be delayed by at least three hours to be entitled to any form of monetary compensation, and the amount to be compensated depends again on the length of your journey.

1500km or less: the amount payable would be €250 or around £212.
1500km – 3500km and EU flights 1500km and over: the amount payable is €400 or around £339.
3500km or more and three to four hours late: You will be entitled to claim €300 or around £254.
3500km or more and at least four hours late: You will be entitled to claim €600 or around £509.

However, if the airline is able to prove that the delay was caused by circumstances which were completely beyond their control, then no compensation is payable at all.

A few last points…

To be eligible to claim at all, you need to have made sure that you checked in on time, you had a confirmed booking, and you were flying from an EU airport. So always ensure you get to that airport with plenty of time to spare – just in case!

Make sure to share these tips with your friends and family, to make sure that they are clued up on their rights as well.


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