The rules on claiming compensation if your flight is delayed

The rules on claiming compensation if your flight is delayed


If you are delayed for more than 3 hours or your flight is cancelled, EU rule 261/2004 states that you are often entitled to claim compensation up to the value of €600.

On the 12th October 2012 the issue of Long flight delays was considered following a landmark ruling by the European Courts of Justice.

The effect of this ruling was to clarify the fact that Passengers were entitled to compensation for long delays, subject to meeting a predetermined criteria, following a challenge mounted by some of the airline companies.

Since this time, travellers had been applying to the airlines to claim compensation for delayed and cancelled flights.

Unfortunately, not everyone was successful in their endeavour and some Companies tried to block people from Claiming for flights that were over two years old, and for unforeseen technical faults. However, recent court rulings have put an end to this.

Until recently, there had been some doubt regarding some of the rules surrounding delayed and cancelled flights and whether compensation could be claimed in certain circumstances and what exemptions, if any there should be.

This has recently been tested in court.

Two of the major airline companies had been fighting cases before the courts, which challenged when passengers can claim compensation in relation to flights.

Thomson’s attempted to overturn a court decision, which stated that passengers could claim going back 6 years in England and Wales. Their argument tried to limit the time period to 2 years. This was unsuccessful; as were Jet2 who argued that unforeseeable technical faults should not count as an airline's fault.

We are aware, from experience, that claims which were made during the latter part of 2014 were being met with resistance from the airlines, who were refusing to process claims pending the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision. The Supreme Court refused permission to appeal on 31st October 2014 in respect of the cases of Huzar V Jet2 and Dawson V Thomson.

This was very welcome news for the thousands of travellers who had their claims held pending the decision.

This therefore leaves the Airlines in a position where they have no proper grounds or realistic prospect of being able to appeal this decision.

We are aware that claims which had been put on hold pending the court’s decision are now being revisited and settled by the Airlines, in line with the recent court ruling.


• This means that Passenger can claim for flights going back 6 years.

• Passengers can claim for flights delayed by technical problems that haven’t been caused by “extraordinary circumstances” which means general wear and tear should not be considered as being “extraordinary”

You should be aware that these rules are being adopted in court's in England and Wales, but airlines and courts which are based in Scotland and Northern Ireland are likely, to adopt the same rulings.

You need to check whether your flight was delayed for over 3 hours and also the distance of the flight as both of these factors affect the compensation available.p>

Do not be unduly worried about not having retained your documentation. You will, however, require proof of payment for a cancelled flight and also for a delayed flight proof that you actually checked in for the flight.

Most airlines will have their own procedures, which may involve form filling, and liaison with the airline.

We have experience in successfully claiming against the airlines and are on hand to assist with these claims which we are happy to take on a “no win no fee basis”.

Contact us today if you feel that we can assist you either with an ongoing claim, which you are experiencing difficulty with, or to start a fresh claim. Remembering of course, that you can claim back over the last 6 years.


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