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Everybody knows that travelling can be stressful, and as fast and convenient as air travel is, unfortunately there are often a lot of things that can go wrong which are out of your control such as delays.

Flight delays are extremely frustrating for passengers who are then stuck in an airport and made to wait until the plane is eventually ready or one has been made available. This is extremely inconvenient and can lead to travellers missing some of their precious holiday, important business meetings or time with family.

What a lot of people don’t know is that the EU law is on your side and under EU rule 261/2004, you could be entitled to flight delay compensation.

Flight Delay Compensation Eligibility

Introduced in 2005, EU 261 was designed to hold airlines responsible for their passengers when flights were overbooked, cancelled or delayed. In order to be eligible for compensation then your flight would need to have been EU regulated, which includes:

  • Flights within the EU that are operated by either an EU or a non-EU airline.
  • Flights that arrive at the EU from outside of the EU and are operated by an EU airline.
  • Flights that depart from the EU to a non-EU country and are operated by an EU or a non-EU airline.

The other criteria for you to be eligible to claim includes;

  • The flight must have been at some point in the past 6 years.
  • The delay ‘landing’ at your destination must have been at least 3 hours or more.
  • The airline was responsible for the delay and it was not due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ which were out of their control and therefore they are not liable to pay compensation.

What Are Categorised As ‘Extraordinary Circumstances?

If your flight was delayed as a result of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ which are deemed as being out of the airlines control, then they are not responsible for paying out compensation to passenger.

These include things such as – adverse weather conditions, terrorist acts, air traffic control strikes, political strife and civil unrest, security risks on the ground and bird strikes.

However, things such as technical problems are not considered an extraordinary circumstance, as they fall within the airlines obligation to maintain the plane. Airlines aren’t always transparent with the reasons behind a delay in order to avoid paying out compensation and frequently passengers can make a claim only for it to be denied, citing extraordinary circumstances which then turn out to not be the case.

Professional flight delay claim specialists have the tools and resources to get straight to the bottom of the matter and find out if you do in fact have grounds for a legitimate claim.

Who Can Claim For Flight Delay Compensation?

Every single person who has been on a flight in the past 6 years that was delayed for more than 3 hours, that falls under the EU Regulation, has the right to claim flight delay compensation. This is calculated on a per person basis, not per booking or per family.

This includes adults, children and infants. If your baby travelled for free on the flight then you will not be able to claim for them, however for all of those who had a paid ticket, even at a reduced rate, you will be entitled to make a claim for.

How Much Flight Delay Compensation Could I Be Entitled To?

Flight delay compensation has no relevance to the ticket you purchased, this is not a refund and how much you paid for the flight is immaterial. This is financial compensation for the time lost and inconvenience caused to you as a result of the delayed flight.

The amount of flight delay compensation that a person is entitled to will depend on the distance of the journey and the length of the delay, but the amounts tend to range between €250 and €600 per passenger.

Delay                         Distance                                  Compensation

3 Hours                      Up to 1500 km                        €250

3 Hours+                     1500km to 3500km               €400

3-4 Hours                   Over 3500 km                          €300

4 Hours+                     Over 3500 km                          €600


The airline can often try to offload airline vouchers as their way of compensation but don’t be fobbed off or persuaded, you are fully entitled to real money paid into your account that you are free to do as you wish with.

How Do I Make A Claim?

If you are unsure of how to proceed or if you are eligible to make a claim, then Sarah Waddington Solicitors are here to help. Our professional team of flight delay compensation experts are on hand to manage your claim for you, taking the stress and confusion out of the whole process and giving you a much greater chance of success.

We work on a no-win, no fee basis in order to help our clients proceed with their claim, safe in the knowledge that there are no upfront fees and that they will not have to pay a penny if the claim is not successful.

To find out more or to speak to one of our advisors, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will get you on the path to obtaining the flight delay compensation you deserve.

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