In case if the flight is delayed for 3 hours or more, the passengers are entitled to financial compensation ranging from 250 to 600 EUR.
The amount of compensation is dependent on the flight distance between the departing airport and the final destination and is calculated as follows below:
- If the flight distance is below 1500 km – EUR 250;
- If the flight distance is between1500-3500 km. – EUR 400;
- If the flight distance is above 3500 km. – EUR 600.
In case of the flight delay, the passenger is entitled to compensation if following pre-conditions are met:
- The passenger arrived at the airport of final destination with the delay of 3 or more hours.
- The flight departed from the airport of the EU member state or the flight departed from the airport of Non-EU member state, but the airport of the final destination is located within EU and the flight was operated by EU airline company.
- The flight delay is not caused by “extraordinary circumstances” outside of the airline's control.
You should also know that:
- The price you paid for the flight is not relevant. You are entitled to compensation irrespective of the price paid for the ticket.
- In case if the flight is delayed for 2 hours or more, you are also entitled to food and refreshments.
Delay time calculation
The airline is under the obligation to pay the compensation to passengers if the flight arrived at the destination airport with the delay of 3 hours or more. Therefore, you should know that for the purposes of compensation, what matters is the time of the arrival of the final destination, not the time of the departure. According to the precedential judgment of the European Court of Justice, the arrival time is interpreted as the moment on which one of the doors of the plane is open and the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft. Therefore, in cases when the flight arrives at the final destination with the delay of 3 hours or more, the passenger may be entitled to the compensation.
In cases when the passenger has a direct flight to final destination everything is easy – the passenger may be entitled to compensation if it reached the destination with the delay of 3 hours or more. However, passengers often have to take a connecting flight to reach the final destination. For instance, the passenger may travel from Madrid to London through the connection in Munich. In this case, the London Airport if the final destination and the passenger may be entitled to compensation if it arrived at London (i.e. final destination) with the delay of 3 hours or more. It is irrelevant if the flight from Madrid to Munich was delayed or not and for how long. It is crucial that the passenger has to arrive at the final destination airport with a delay of 3 hours or more. Please note that in this case the whole flight ticket should be purchased from the same airline, under the same booking reference.
Please be informed that the air carriers are under no obligation to issue the compensation if the flight delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided by the airline. In general, the “Extraordinary Circumstances” refer to the reasons which are outside of the airline’s control. There is no exhaustive list of the “Extraordinary Circumstances” and it shall be determined case by case basis. Worth noting, that the scope of “Extraordinary Circumstances” can be changed/updated by judgments and decisions of various courts. Generally, the following fall within the scope of “Extraordinary Circumstances”:
- Bad weather conditions;
- Political or civil unrest;
- Bird strike;
- Security risks not caused by airlines;
- Governmental decisions;
- Any other circumstances outside the airline’s control.
What should I do in case of flight delay?
- Consult with the airline representative and request to explain the reasons for the delay.
- Keep all travel documents (Boarding pass, e-ticket, vouchers provided by Airlines, alternative flight tickets offered by Airline, etc.).
- Inform other passengers about the possible compensation;
- Contact us, tell us the details of your case and send the copies of your travel documentation.
Please note that the information provided on this page related to the passenger rights in case of flight delay is of general informative nature and only serves the purpose of providing general information to the passengers. This information should not be considered as legal consultation or the guarantee of compensation or a certain legal outcome. In order to provide you legal assistance, please contact us and our team will study the details of your case.