Which late flights qualify for compensation?
- UK or European flight - Any flight that has a UK or European departure and arrival airport then depending on the cause you may be entitled to compensation
- International flight leaving UK/Europe - If you have an international flight that is delayed in reaching its destination by more than three hours and the destination is over 3500km, then depending on the cause of the delay you are entitled to compensation
- International flight arriving into UK/Europe -If your flight into the UK or Europe is delayed in reaching its destination by more than three hours and the departure airport was more than 3,500km away and you are travelling with an airline based in the UK or Europe then, depending on the cause of the delay, you can claim compensation
- You are only able to claim compensation if the delay was the airline's fault, something within their control
*When you complain about a flight, always make sure you add in your flight number, a booking reference and contact details, including a telephone number and a postal address*
How long do I have to claim?
In theory you can claim back to 2005 for any compensation. However, in England and Wales going to court has a limitation of 6 years and in Scotland 5 years.
What countries are included in the delayed/cancelled flight regulations?
All EU member countries are covered by EU261 regulations, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. If you are flying out of the European Union, the regulations are based on the distance of the flight. If you are flying into an EU airport, the carrier must be based within the EU.
Do you have to be an EU citizen?
No, the regulation covers all those flying, although we have heard that British Airways is trying to claim the regulations do not cover non-EU citizens.
What if my interconnecting flight is delayed?
If you have bought the tickets as a single booking, and your first flight is delayed, any compensation should be based on the delay when you arrive at your final destination. However, this area of the law is currently grey as there is no legal precedent to prove this point as yet.
When is a delayed counted from?
Your flight delay is based on the scheduled arrival time. This is counted from when the doors are opened on the plane and not when it lands (as some airlines may claim).
What information do I need to submit?
Resolver will ask you for some key infomation to help with your submission including flight name, date of the flight, take-off and landing airport, booking reference number and the names of those flying. It might also be helpful to fill in the official EU claims form for delayed or cancelled flights and attach this to your Resolver complaint. For a copy of this, click here.
Which airlines covered?
All EU airlines are covered, plus international flights that are over 3,500Km leaving from or arriving into the EU.
For non-EU airlines, only flights leaving the European Union that are over 3,500Km are covered by the regulations.
For those who flew on an EU airline from outside the EU to somewhere in the EU other than the UK (eg, KLM from New York to Amsterdam) – you can still use Resolver to go to the airline, but if your claim is rejected, Resolver currently escalates it to the wrong regulator.
What is the compensation?
Compensation can be 250, 400 or 600 euros depending on the flight category:
Category 1: UK/European flights less than 1,500 km in distance - 250 euros
Category 2: UK/European fligths: 1,500 to 3,500 km in distance - 400 euros
Category 3: International flights into/out of the EU greater than 3,500km - 600 euros
Can you claim for technical faults?
Until recently, airlines have always successfully argued that technical faults or maintenance issues were exceptional circumstances. They were therefore outside of the control of the airline and - crucially - passengers would be unable to get any recompense for the delay. However, the Court of Appeal held up a verdict against budget flight operator Jet2 in October 2014 over a claim for a delayed flight caused by a technical fault with the aircraft. So now, if you claim for a flight delayed by more than three hours, the airline cannot use maintenance issues or technical faults as an excuse not to pay up.
Can you claim for delayed incoming plane, or late flight crew?
This is within the airline's control and therefore you should be entitled to compensation. If the issue was caused by an issue outside of their control, provided the airline has done everything in their power to try and provide a plane, then they can argue that the delay is not their fault. As a result, these cases will be looked at by the airline on a case-by-case basis.
Can you claim for diverted flights?
If the diversion was outside of the operator's control, you cannot claim compensation.
Can you claim for bad weather?
This is outside of the airline's control and you cannot claim compensation.
Can you claim for air traffic control delays?
This is outside of the airline's control and you therefore cannot claim compensation.
Resolver will help you submit your case for free
Submit your issue through to the airline with Resolver. They should respond back to you within 14 days but airlines can sometimes take longer to address the issue.
If the issue is not addressed
Resolver will remind you when you can escalate your case file and knows who to escalate your case to within the airline.
What if the airline says no?
You have three options:
If your airline rejects your complaint, Resolver permits you to raise the issue with the relevant regulator under EC261. If you depart from a UK airport or land at a UK airport on an EU carrier (e.g. BA from New York to London), you send your case to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.
For all other flights your claim will go to a different regulator – we will tell you the right one for your case. The only instance we can’t do this is for those who flew on an EU airline from outside the EU to somewhere in the EU other than the UK (eg, KLM from New York to Amsterdam) – you can still use Resolver to go to the airline, but if your claim is rejected, Resolver currently escalates it to the wrong regulator.
Small Claims Court
The second is to take the airline to court, which you can do through the Small Claims Court using the Government online court called Money Claims OnLine or using a claims management company to submit your case. You can export your Resolver case file and send the PDF copy to the Court as evidence.
Claims management company
These will take between 15% and 30% of your compensation to cover their costs and will manage your case for you. They may not take your case, however, as they tend to focus on low-effort cases. Our recommendation is to try to claim yourself to begin with - either directly or through Resolver - before you use a claims management company.