It is unfortunate that when we choose to travel abroad we cannot always guarantee that our journey will be stress free. Certainly in the peak holiday season many flights get delayed cancelled or passengers are denied boarding.

In these circumstances airline passengers are entitled to compensation subject to the following stipulations:-

General provisions for all types of compensation

These provisions are in accordance with EC Regulation 261/2004:-

  • All flights must have been within the past 6 years
  • The airline must not be able to claim extraordinary circumstances these being for example severe weather conditions, political unrest or airline strikes.
  • You must either be departing from an EU country or arriving into an EU country on an EU registered airline.
  • You must have checked in at least 45 minutes before the departure time.

Flight Delay Compensation

If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to get your money back for all the parts of the ticket that you haven’t used. If however you still wish to travel to your chosen destination the airline must find you an alternative flight. Depending on the timing of that new flight you may be entitled to compensation.

Generally if the following applies then you are not entitled to compensation:-

  • You are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or
  • You are informed of the cancellation between 7-14 days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, and the departure is no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and you reach your final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or
  • You are informed of the cancellation less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

If any of the above applies then you are unable to claim compensation. Again the general provisions must also be considered when determining eligibility.

Put simply if your flight was cancelled less then 7 days before you were due to fly, to claim compensation the following must apply - for short haul flights the flight must be delayed over 2 hours, for medium haul flights over 3 hours and for long haul flights over 4 hours.

Denied Boarding Compensation

If the airline company overbooked your flight, where you held a valid ticket reservation then you are entitled to compensation and assistance as if your flight had been cancelled or delayed.

Other points to note

As well as providing you with compensation, the airlines at the time of the event are required to provide you with overnight accommodation, food, drink, 2x telephone conversations, 2x faxes and internet where required.

How much compensation will I receive?

Generally when calculating the amount of compensation you will receive the following-

  • (a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 km or less;
  • (b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 km, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km;
  • (c) EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).

However, please note that in certain circumstances the airline is able to reduce the compensation by up to 50 % depending on the length of delay and the length of the flight.

Katie Rees

Legal Executive

Ben Barber - Partner



If you think that any of the points mentioned applies to you or anyone else please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be able to assess whether or not you are entitled to compensation.

For more information or to talk to our Airline Claim Department team call -

  • Grimsby on 01472 240 251
  • Louth on 01507 600 610
  • Barton on 01652 632215
  • Scunthorpe on 01724 847 888


We work on a no win no fee basis; if your claim is successful we limit our fees to 33 % including VAT of any compensation received. If your claim is unsuccessful then we do not charge you a fee for our services.