It is very common that airlines and flights get behind schedule, no matter how much they try to avoid this. It can happen for a variety of reasons including bad weather, air traffic delays, mechanical issues, missing a crew member and more.
If your flight is delayed for more than 3 hours you might be eligible for compensation by the airline. The amount you get from the airline depends on the length of your flight, and how long of delay you experienced. Within the European Union, if your flight is delayed for 4 hours and your flight length was greater than 3,500 km you can get up to €600, if the distance is less compensation can range from €250 to €400. Unfortunately, the United States does not have this type of protection, the passenger only gets compensated if they are being bumped from a flight that is oversold, but Canada is starting to apply a similar method to prevent airlines from being delayed.
To be eligible for a compensation in case of delay, you have to have a delayed flight either to, from, or within the EU. This flight delay compensation regulation covers 27 countries including non-EU European countries like Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
You can also be eligible for compensation if you are denied boarding even when you arrive at your flight on time with the correct boarding documents, but you are bumped due to overbooking or operational reasons. In this particular case you can ask to get a reimbursement, rebook your flight, choose to reroute or get a monetary compensation. If you choose compensation, you can get anywhere from €250 to €700 depending on the distance you were supposed to fly. This is why you often see airlines ask for volunteers to switch flights at a compensation cost lower than the law requires if it is an involuntary bump.
The airline must also offer compensation in the case of a missed connection on a combined booking. If the airline denied you boarding on your first flight, causing you to miss your second flight. This is only if the second flight is within the same airline and booking, otherwise airlines are not required to provide compensation if a delay on the first flight causes you to miss your connection. However, if your first flight is delayed for more than 3 hours, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline that caused the delay.
The airline also legally had to help you with the things you need while you were waiting at the airport for your replacement flight. This includes:
- Food and drink
- Access to phone calls and emails
- Hotel accommodation if you are delayed overnight, as well as shuttle between the airport and the hotel.
If they did not receive any type of help, you can also claim receipts for your expenses with your claim. Airlines only pay for ‘reasonable’ expenses – you won’t get money back for alcohol, expensive meals, or luxury hotels.
Getting compensation is not always easy and is not automatic, meaning it can take time and a lot of effort. If you are eligible for compensation, we recommend using Click2Refund to claim your compensation without having to deal with the back and forth with an airline. All you have to do is visit the website and fill out a form. It only takes about two minutes to fill out the form and can save you a headache. They charge a small fee for the work, taking the fee out of the refund, but if for any reason you do not get compensated for an airline they do not charge a dime.
Click2Refund has a success rate of 98% compared with individuals which can vary from 5 to 10%.