How to get Compensation for your Delayed Flight: Step-By-Step Guide 

how to Get Compensation for your Delayed Flight

Easy Ways to Get Compensation for your Delayed Flight!

Flight delays can be a frustrating experience, often causing disruptions to travel plans and unforeseen expenses. However, travellers flying within or to/from the European Union may be eligible for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004 (EU261).

In this article, we’ll explore the eligibility criteria, the compensation process, and I will provide a template letter to help you claim compensation for your delayed flight.

Understanding EU261 Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for compensation under EU261, your flight must meet the following conditions:

  1. The flight must be operated by an EU-based airline or departing from an EU airport.
  2. The delay must be at least 3 hours upon arrival at your final destination.
  3. The delay must be caused by factors within the airline’s control, such as technical issues or overbooking.
  4. Delays caused by extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather or security concerns, do not qualify for compensation.

Note: Operational problems are not extraordinary circumstances unless they are the type that you could not expect to encounter when operating a flight. The decisions made in the Wallentin-Hermann vs Alitalia case (2009) and Jet2 vs Huzar case (2014) have confirmed that routine technical difficulties are not extraordinary circumstances. 

Compensation Amounts: The compensation amount is determined based on the flight distance and the length of the delay:

  • Short-haul flights (less than 1,500 km): €250
  • Medium-haul flights (1,500 – 3,500 km): €400
  • Long-haul flights (more than 3,500 km): a. €300 for delays between 3-4 hours b. €600 for delays of 4 hours or more

Additionally, airlines are required to provide care and assistance during the delay, which may include meals, refreshments, communication facilities, and accommodation if necessary.

how to Get Compensation for your Delayed Flight

Steps to Claim Compensation for your Delayed Flight:

  1. Check your eligibility: Ensure that your flight meets the eligibility criteria outlined above.
  2. Gather documentation: Collect relevant documents, such as boarding passes, flight tickets, and any receipts for expenses incurred due to the delay.
  3. Contact the airline: Reach out to the airline’s customer service department to file a compensation claim. Provide your flight details, the reason for the delay, and any supporting documentation. You can use the template letter provided below as a guide.
  4. Follow up: If the airline does not respond or disputes your claim, you may need to follow up or consider escalating the issue to a national enforcement body or an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) organisation, such as CEDR Arbitration.

Template Letter to Claim Compensation for your Delayed Flight:


[Your Full Name]

[Your Address]


[Airline Name]

[Airline Address]

Subject: EU261 Compensation Claim for Flight Delay

Dear [Airline Customer Service],

I am writing to request compensation under European Union Regulation EC 261/2004 for my delayed flight on [Date of Flight].

Flight Details:

  • Flight Number: [Flight Number]
  • Departure Airport: [Departure Airport Name, IATA Code]
  • Arrival Airport: [Arrival Airport Name, IATA Code]
  • Scheduled Departure Time: [Scheduled Departure Time]
  • Scheduled Arrival Time: [Scheduled Arrival Time]
  • Actual Arrival Time: [Actual Arrival Time]

My flight was delayed by [Number of Hours] hours, which significantly disrupted my travel plans. According to EU261, I am entitled to receive compensation for this delay, as it exceeded three hours upon arrival at my final destination, and it was not due to extraordinary circumstances.

Based on the flight distance of [Number of Kilometers] km, I kindly request compensation in the amount of €[Compensation Amount] as outlined by EU261.

In addition to the monetary compensation, I also request reimbursement for any expenses incurred due to the delay, including [meals, accommodation, transportation, etc.].

I request that you review my case without delay, and I look forward to receiving the sterling equivalent to the sums owed within the next 14 days.

My bank details for reimbursement are below [insert these].

Yours sincerely,



Evidence Items

[add evidence]


Alternative Ways to get Compensation for your Delayed Flight:

#1 If the above doesn’t work, try using Compensair to get compensation for your delayed flight.

Compensair is a UK based online service that can help you receive up to €600 compensation from airlines in case of a flight delay, cancellation, or denied boarding.

It takes care of all the paperwork, negotiations with the airlines, and legal proceedings, on a “no win, no fee” basis.

Airline passengers can also gain extra peace of mind at the airport by taking out global travel insurance.

Nomad Insurance with SafetyWing is amazing as it covers travel delay, lost checked luggage, as well as emergency response, natural disasters and personal liability.

In the case of an airline going bust before you can get home, taking out the right travel insurance before jetting off helps give you protection.

While I hope you don’t have to use your travel insurance, it’s there in case of emergencies that can seriously rack up expenses.

You can check out SafetyWing for yourself here:


Final Thoughts

Empowering yourself with knowledge of legal hacks can massively enhance your ability to successfully claim compensation for delayed flights. This not only eases the frustration associated with flight disruptions but also helps you reclaim some of your time and money, turning an inconvenient situation into an opportunity!

Remember, the ultimate goal of travel is to explore, enjoy, and enrich your life, not focus on boring legal issues. By leveraging these legal hacks, you’re giving yourself more room to focus on all the fun parts of travel.

If you know of any other effective ways to claim compensation for delayed flights, do let me know in the comments below.

Also, remember to share this article with your loved ones to save them any hassle – sharing is caring!

Happy exploring! ✈️

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.

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