EU regulation flight delay: what is it and how to apply it?

A flight delayed more than 3 hours, or leading to a more than 3 hours delay at final destination, is eligible for up to 600€ compensation from the airline according to the European flight delay compensation rules.

Flight delay compensation

A  flight delayed   more than 3 hours, or leading to a more than 3 hours delay at final destination, is eligible for up to 600€ compensation from the airline according to the European  flight delay compensation   rules.

According to European Commission Regulation 261/2004 and Turkish Regulation On Air Passenger Rights, for a flight delayed, the passenger is eligible for compensation. The flight must satisfy some conditions listed below.

Airline delay compensation

The compensation for a delayed or a cancelled flight, or even  denied boarding   ranges from €125 to €600. It depends on flight distance and delay duration, detailed information can be found below.

The condition are the following:

  • The flight is delayed for more than 3 hours,
  • The flight is delayed for less than 3 hours, but a connecting flight has been missed and arrival to final destination was more than 3 hours late.

Other conditions that might lead to a compensation :

  • Your flight is cancelled,
  • You were  denied boarding   because of lack of vacant seats (overbooking).

These conditions must also be respected :

  • The flight must not be delayed due to weather or other extraordinary conditions independant on the airline,
  • The flight must have been commenced no later than 6 years ago.

EU regulation flight delay

The flight route and airline should comply to one of the following possibilities :

  • Route from outside EU to EU, by an airline from EU,
  • Route from EU to outside EU, any airline,
  • Route from EU to EU country, with any airline.

Routes from outside EU to outside EU are not valid for European compensation claim according to the flight delay rights.

Passenger rights flight delay

Unrelated to the compensation that will be given later, if necessary by using the help of claim companies such as CompensAir, the following must be provided to the passengers :

  • refreshments,
  • meals corresponding to the delay,
  • hotel accomodation when the passenger has to spend the night,
  • hotel transfer if a hotel night is necessary,
  • two complimentary phone calls, faxes or emails.

Please notice that the compensation doesn't have to be given if an alternative flight has been given, or if the cancellation was notified more than 14 days in advance.

For a flight cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances, the airline must give a ticket refund, an alternative transport to the destination, or a rebooking.

For connecting flights, all flights must be under the same booking code.

EU flight delays compensation

 flight delayed   2 hours : no compensation.

Flight of 1500km or less, delayed 3 hours or more can be compensated 250€.

Flights between 1500 and 3500km, or inside EU more than 1500km, must be compensated 400€ for more than 3 hours delay.

Flights with arrival or departure outside EU, longer than 3500km, must be compensated 300€ for a 3 hours delay, and 600€ for a delay of 4 hours or more.

Claim compensation for delayed flight

Use our compensation calculator to check your compensation right, or fill a claim directly on our partner  CompensAir   website.

Flight delay compensation letter

Name, address and phone number.

Airline name and address.

Letter date.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you regarding flight [Flight number]. My booking reference for this flight was [Booking reference number].

This flight was scheduled to depart from [Departure airport] on [Date] at [Scheduled departure time]. However, the flight was delayed and did not arrive at [Arrival airport] until [Insert time at which at least one door of the aircraft was opened on arrival] meaning it was [insert number of hours and minutes] late.

The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Tui & others v CAA confirmed the applicability of compensation for delay as set out in the Sturgeon case. As such, I am seeking compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 for this delayed flight.

The passengers in my party were [List passengers’ full names].

I am seeking compensation of [select from €250/€300/€400/€600, depending on the length of your flight in kilometres – see information above] per passenger, due to the fact that the scheduled length of my flight was [insert number in km]. This compensation is per delayed passenger in my party, resulting in a total of [insert total in euros for entire party].

I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome a response within 7 days.

Yours faithfully,

Your name.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does EU canceled flight compensation mean?
In accordance with the European Commission Regulation 261/2004 and the Turkish Air Passenger Rights Regulation, a passenger is entitled to compensation for a flight delay, but the flight must meet certain conditions.
What are the key aspects of the EU regulation on flight delays, and how can affected passengers effectively apply these regulations?
The EU regulation on flight delays entitles passengers to compensation for delays over 3 hours. Affected passengers should gather evidence of the delay, file a complaint directly with the airline, and follow up persistently to apply these regulations.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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