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Flight Delay Claims Process

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Getting The Compensation You Are Owed

The last thing anybody wants to hear when they are at the airport is that their flight is delayed. Depending on who you are and where you are travelling to this can be more than a mere inconvenience and for some can be a serious issue. Whilst we cannot go back and prevent the delay from occurring, at Sarah Waddington Solicitors we can help you get the flight delay compensation that you are entitled to!

We know how frustrating, confusing and time consuming it can be for passengers who try to tackle the claims process themselves only to come up against an airline citing excuses or using delay tactics and legal jargon to deter customers from pursuing things further. We work to protect the rights of our air passenger clients to ensure that they receive what they are rightfully owed by taking care of all the administrative and legal duties for them. This not only takes the stress and hassle out of the process but gives them a much higher chance of being successful and getting reimbursed the money they are owed.

Do You Have Grounds To Make A Claim?

If you’ve experienced a flight delay in the past 6 years, then you could be entitled to compensation. There are typically 2 main factors that determine if your claim is valid and how much you could get which is both the distance you were travelling and how long the delay was.

Under the EU 261 Rule, passengers who departed from an EU airport or arrived at an EU airport with an EU regulated airline and land at their destination more than 3 hours later than anticipated, could be entitled to claim flight delay compensation.

At the time of delay your airline should have automatically offered you complimentary food and drinks, vouchers or even a hotel room should the delay require a stopover. However, if that didn’t happen and you have kept receipts of any reasonable expenses you incurred at the airport due to the delay then these should be included to help support your claim.

It is worth noting that if your flight was delayed for more than 5 hours then you were under no obligation to take the flight. In this scenario the airline has a legal obligation to provide you with a full refund for the flight, for any missed connections and a flight back to your airport of origin if your delayed flight was part of an onward connection. If you did take the delayed flight, then your compensation could be paid at the highest rate for delays.

There are sometimes other caveats to the above guidance, which would affect your compensation but the team at Sarah Waddington’s Solicitors can talk you through it all and check to see if you are entitled to compensation.

Flight Delay Compensation Stages

We understand that being stuck at an airport for hours wasn’t in your travel plans, and that it may have resulted in a lot of stress as well as cause you to miss some of your holiday, business meetings, special events or whatever you were travelling for. Our solicitors are here to fight your corner and give you the best chance of winning the compensation you deserve.

When we handle your flight delay case, we will tailor the situation accordingly in relation to the type of delay, the airline involved and the delay duration. Below is a detailed breakdown of the stages we follow next:

Details Regarding Your Flight Delay: Following your initial flight details we will conduct an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding the flight delay. We will then ask you to provide any proof, documentation, supporting evidence and information to our team that can be useful when putting our case forward to the airline.


Writing to the Airline: Once we’ve collated all flight delay details from you, we will compose a legal document which will be sent directly to the airline. Within this letter will be outlined the proposed case, all necessary information and the amount of compensation that we think you are entitled to.

Airline’s Response: We will then need to patiently await the airlines response, during which time we will stay in contact to keep you updated on any recent or new progressions that have taken place.

Next Course of Action: If the airline responds in good time, then our next course of action will depend upon the reply we receive. If the response isn’t as expected, then we may need to take alternative action which is something we will discuss with you, the client, in detail.

Why We Recommend Enlisting Professional Assistance

It is not uncommon for passengers who have experienced a flight delay to attempt to claim compensation themselves. Although you are entitled to do so, making a claim can be an extremely arduous, time consuming and complicated process, especially if the reason for the delay isn’t clear-cut. Airlines can use lack of legal understanding to their advantage and reject claims or fail to comply with the necessary compensation guidelines.

When you engage Sarah Waddington Solicitors as your legal representative for your flight delay claim, you can rest assured that your case is in the best possible hands. We work to provide expert advice and guidance using our years of experience in the industry and will act on your behalf to successfully execute your claim and achieve the best possible outcome.

What is EU 261?

EU Regulation 261/2004 or EU 261 is a European law relating to flight delay compensation. It was created to help the enforce and protect the rights of air passengers and to make airlines responsible for them during long delays as well as flight cancellations or cases of overbooking that result in denied boarding.

EU 261 is designed to compensate passengers for the inconvenience and loss of time as a result of the delay, it is not a reimbursement for the cost of the ticket and the is calculated on a sliding scale based on the flight distance and the length of the delay.

This can be one of the trickiest parts of making a flight delay claim. If your flight was delayed due to reasons that are the airlines fault such as – staff shortages, denied boarding due to overbooked flight, technical problems with the plane and airline staff strikes, then you have a strong case for compensation.

However, there are instances where flight delays are as a result of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that are out of the airlines control and for which affected passengers will not be entitled to compensation. This includes things such as – security threats or acts of terrorism, extreme weather, travel bans, drone disruption, natural disasters and sick or unruly passengers.

If you are unsure whether or not your claim is eligible then do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to look into it for you.

If you were travelling with family when your flight was delayed, then we are happy to handle the claim as a group with a nominated person to handle the claim with us. Family members will still be required to sign their own documents and terms and conditions, and all payments will be made separately to each individual, not as a lump sum for the group.

If you travelled with your children then they too are eligible for the same flight delay compensation as adults, regardless of their age as long as they had a paid ticket and were not travelling free of charge. Even if your child didn’t have their own seat and you paid a reduced fare, you can still claim compensation. All claims for children and infants will require the appointment of a ‘litigation friend’, a responsible adult over the age of 18, to act on their behalf.

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Widbury Barns, Widbury Hill, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 7QE