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How to Get Compensated for a Delayed Flight

Flight delay is not uncommon, as many travellers must have experienced it at some point. No one likes to be delayed, especially when it spans many hours and you are left stranded at the airport. If this ever happens to you, do you let go or ask for compensation? Most often than not, when travellers are delayed, they get upset and think of the many possible ways to get comforted from this. This could come in the form of an apology from the airline but that is not always enough, which is why some seek out for some sort of compensation.

Not everyone is aware that they can get compensation for a delayed flight, so they end up complaining, accept a simple apology and move on. However, the delayed flight had probably cost you more. This includes your time, as you most likely dashed out of your house as early as you can without eating. It could also cost you money, as you would have to spend on edibles at the airport. If you had another flight to catch, you might also miss it because the current one has been delayed. All these, when added together, shows you deserve to be compensated for such discomfort.

The question now is HOW?

1. Know When You Are Eligible

Before you can claim your compensation right, you need to know if you are eligible for one. The EC 261 gives you the right to claim compensation of up to €600 cash under these conditions:

  • You arrived at your destination 3 hours later than you should have.
  • Departure was from the EU or the airline is with the EU.
  • You checked in on time.
  • The reason for the delay was within the airline’s control. 

2. Contact the Airline

Take it upon yourself to reach the airline directly and lay down your complaints about the delay. The easiest way to go about this is by sending an email. This should include details of your flight, a description of what happened, how much money you claim for the delay, and most importantly, a quote from the EC 261 guiding this rule. 

3. What if you got a NO?

It is not uncommon for airlines to deny passengers of compensation and lie about what happened. If you have your claims and would love to press further, here’s what to do:

  • Reach out to a National Enforcement Body (NEB) or an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme. While the decisions made by ADRs schemes are binding, that of the NEB are not binding.
  • Try small claims court. This option should come last if you were not compensated appropriately after trying other means.


The process of getting compensation for a delayed flight might look daunting but there’s no harm in giving a try before quitting. If you don’t have all the time to go through the process, you could get the service of AirHelp to do it on your behalf and in no time, you will cash out. The next time your flight gets delayed, you now know what to do,

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