EU261: Europe Flight Delay Compensation Explained

EU261: Europe Flight Delay Compensation Explained

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The European Union has the most consumer friendly policies when it comes to what passengers are entitled to in the event that their flight is significantly delayed or canceled. For example, if your long haul flight is delayed by at least four hours, you could be entitled to 600 Euro cash, which is huge. In this post I wanted to go over everything you need to know about how this policy works.

What is EU261 flight delay compensation?

Regulation 261/2004 (commonly referred to as EU261) is the European Union’s official rule that dictates what airlines owe passengers in the event of flight delays or cancelations. This can include everything from cash compensation, to hotels, to meal vouchers. This is truly the most generous protection you’ll find anywhere in the world when it comes to airline passenger rights.

Europe flight delay compensation basics

Under what circumstances are you entitled to compensation in Europe if your flight is delayed or canceled? As you might expect, this can be difficult to understand at times, since rules differ based on the airline you’re flying with, the cause of the delay, etc. In this post I’ll go over all the details.

Which airlines & countries are covered by EU261?

EU261 rules apply in the following situations:

  • If you are traveling from a European Union airport on any airline
  • If you are traveling to a European Union airport on a European Union-based airline

In other words:

  • If you’re flying from Frankfurt to Newark, EU261 would apply regardless of whether you’re traveling with Lufthansa or United
  • If you’re flying from Newark to Frankfurt, EU261 would only apply on Lufthansa, and not on United (since United isn’t a European Union-based airline)

A couple more things to note:

  • Even though Norway and Switzerland aren’t in the European Union, EU261 applies for these countries as well; furthermore, the United Kingdom has separate rules that are almost identical to EU261
  • You’re only eligible for EU261 coverage if you have a confirmed reservation, and are traveling on a revenue or award ticket (in other words, staff travel or other industrial discount tickets don’t qualify)
EU261 also potentially applies on non-EU airlines

How much money is EU261 compensation?

The amount of cash compensation you’re entitled to under EU261 varies based on the length of the flight… sort of:

  • If your flight covers a distance of under 1,500km (930 miles), you’re entitled to 250 Euro compensation if you’re delayed by at least two hours
  • If your flight covers a distance of 1,500-3,500km (930-2,200 miles), you’re entitled to 400 Euro compensation if you’re delayed by at least three hours
  • If your flight covers a distance of over 3,500km (2,200 miles), you’re entitled to 600 Euro compensation if you’re delayed by at least four hours

So as you can see, the longer the flight, the longer the delay has to be in order to get compensated. However, you’re also potentially going to get more compensation.

There are a couple more details to be aware of:

  • A delay is calculated based on the time that you arrive at your gate and the doors open, rather than based on when you touch down at your destination
  • Furthermore, the delay is calculated based on how late you reach your final destination; if you’re flying from Berlin to Frankfurt to New York, and your Berlin to Frankfurt flight is delayed by an hour and causes you to miss your connecting flight and arrive in New York at least four hours late, you’d be entitled to cash compensation
EU261 compensation can get you up to 600 Euro

Which delays qualify for EU261 compensation?

If you’re looking for compensation through EU261, you’re entitled to that for any delay or cancelation that isn’t due to “extraordinary circumstances.” The issue is that this can be a bit of a gray area, and airlines have been known to play games. That’s because what constitutes “extraordinary circumstances” isn’t explicitly defined.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Weather delays, air traffic control delays, delays due to strikes, delays due to political instability, etc., would be considered extraordinary circumstances, so EU261 compensation wouldn’t apply
  • A mechanical problem, a late inbound aircraft, a crew-related delay, etc., wouldn’t be considered extraordinary circumstances, so EU261 compensation would apply
Extraordinary circumstances aren’t eligible for compensation

Do flight cancelations qualify for EU261 compensation?

Not only does the above compensation apply if your flight is delayed, but it also applies if it’s canceled. EU261 compensation applies in the event that your flight is canceled within 14 days of departure. If your flight is canceled further out than that, then the compensation wouldn’t apply.

Furthermore, as is the case with delays, extraordinary circumstances are excluded from being eligible for compensation.

Flight cancelations also qualify for EU261 compensation

How do you claim EU261 compensation?

Claiming EU261 compensation is potentially the tricky part, as airlines often do everything in their power to get out of paying this compensation. There are two general ways you can approach this:

  • You can contact the airline to try to claim EU261 compensation, and some airlines have forms on their websites through which this can be done
  • You can use a third party service that helps consumers with this, though they usually take a significant cut; I’ve never used one of these so can’t personally vouch for any, but you can easily find them online

I’d always recommend doing everything in your power to request the compensation directly, so you can keep the entire amount. If you’re going to claim EU261 compensation, a few things to keep in mind:

  • This isn’t something you need to do at the airport, so don’t take this up with airport staff, but rather take it up with customer relations after the fact
  • I’d recommend keeping as much documentation as possible, including taking pictures of the flight status page reflecting the delay, keeping boarding passes, etc.
  • Expect that airlines may try to do everything in their power to get out of paying this compensation; this can include claiming that there were “extraordinary circumstances,” just not responding for a long time, etc.
You can claim EU261 compensation directly with an airline

Does EU261 cover hotels & meals?

Not only does EU261 offer cash compensation in the event of a delay or cancelation, but it also offers passengers other forms of assistance, including:

  • Hotel accommodation in the event of an overnight delay, including transport to & from the hotel
  • Meals and refreshments
  • Two telephone calls or emails

This should be offered proactively in the event of a significant delay or cancelation. There’s no promise of how efficiently any of this will be offered, though. For example, if you have a flight canceled at an outstation (non-hub airport), you might have two agents trying to work on hotels for hundreds of passengers, which could take hours. So be prepared to be patient.

What’s also nice is that the duty of care applies even if the delay or cancelation is due to extraordinary circumstances. So if your flight is delayed overnight due to weather, you’d still be owed a hotel room and meals.

EU261 compensation should also cover hotels

Should EU261 compensation impact how you plan travel?

As I said, EU261 is the most consumer friendly government regulations out there when it comes to flight delays and cancelations. In the United States, airlines can delay your flight by 12 hours or cancel your flight, and you’re entitled to exactly zero dollars compensation. So it’s great to see that in at least some part of the world there’s some protection for consumers.

EU261 compensation certainly makes me feel less frustrated in situations where my flight is delayed or canceled. But I think there’s also an interesting angle here in general, which might put consumers at ease.

Many European airports have unrealistically short minimum connection times, and then they encourage passengers to book very short connections. Often people will misconnect, though perhaps one silver lining here is that you could end up getting EU261 compensation.

As mentioned above, the length of the delay is measured based on how late you arrive at your final destination. Say you’re flying Lufthansa from Chicago to Munich to Berlin with a 45 minute connection. If your Chicago to Munich flight is delayed by an hour (causing you to misconnect), and you end up being rebooked on another flight that gets you to Berlin more than four hours late, you’d be entitled to 600 Euro cash compensation.

That certainly takes the sting out of misconnecting a bit…

EU261 compensation takes the sting out of misconnecting

Bottom line

The European Union has the most consumer friendly rules that you’ll find anywhere in the world when it comes to flight delays and cancelations. Under EU rules, you’re entitled to 600 Euro in cash compensation in the event that you’re traveling long haul and arrive at your destination at least four hours behind schedule.

While there are some terms to be aware of, in many ways the rules are as good as they sound. Actually getting an airline to pay, especially in a timely manner, could be a different story, though.

Hopefully the above is a useful rundown of how EU261 works. While there’s a bit more nuance, I tried to strike the right balance between keeping this brief and easy, and being thorough.

Have you ever been able to get EU261 compensation? If so, what was your experience like?

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  1. Curious Flyer Guest

    Stupid question but is one not entitled to compensation when transiting the EU as the connection point? I recently took an AF YVR-CDG-JNB return flight where the CDG outbound and JNB inbound flights were cancelled owing to mechanical and was just denied. I thought it would have been covered but because my origination and final destination were outside the EU AF is saying no.

  2. Sharon Davies Guest

    My flight left out of JFK via Frankfurt to Singapore with a layover of 12 hrs in Frankfurt. It was delayed leaving Frankfurt for 19 hours. Singapore airlines are saying that as flight originated in USA I’m not entitled to claim. Does anyone know if this is correct? Thanks!

  3. Jan Kristian Kristoffersen Guest

    Hi, can anyone point to or cite a EU court ruling relevant for the following situation, which has been denied by AA after submitting their claim form:
    AA flight AA39 from LHR to MIA was delayed 20 hours because of late inbound aircraft. The inbound was late because of an extraordinary cirumstance that occured 12 hours before the scheduled departure if my flight (medical emergency). It was not cancelled.
    I tried to claim...

    Hi, can anyone point to or cite a EU court ruling relevant for the following situation, which has been denied by AA after submitting their claim form:
    AA flight AA39 from LHR to MIA was delayed 20 hours because of late inbound aircraft. The inbound was late because of an extraordinary cirumstance that occured 12 hours before the scheduled departure if my flight (medical emergency). It was not cancelled.
    I tried to claim that a late inbound aircraft is not a valid reason to exempt compensation regardless of reason for the inbound delay. AA claim that I have misunderstood the EU261 rights on this point, but agrees that all other factors qualify for compensation.
    I asked Bing Chat to write a complaint letter, and it wrote that the EU court have ruled what i claimed about incomming aircraft. But I am not able to find such rulings by searching the net.
    The ticket was from Norway to Miami with a connection in London. So the EU261 is applicable even though the delay was on a flight out of London.

  4. Felix02 Guest

    @Ben

    The article contains a widespread misunderstanding.

    The threshold for a delay is always 3 hours unrelated to the distance.

    The differentiation between 2,3 and 4 hours for the corresponding distance only relates to the question when a carrier is required to support you with water, food, and telephone calls.

    I kindly ask you to do some further research because I was also confused until recently and thought the same as you.

    1. Michael Guest

      This is not fully true either. The last bracket (3500+ KMs) can have compensation cut in half for delays more than three hours but less than 4 (so 300 euros).

    2. Felix02 Guest

      Good point!

      I feel you refer to Amtsgericht Frankfurt, Urteil vom 21.10.2014 (Az.: 31 C 1623/14) https://openjur.de/u/746521.html.

      Even if I am not a legal expert, I understand the phrase "besteht im Anwendungsbereich der FluggastrechteVO eine planwidrige Regelungslücke", meaning that there is an unplanned regulatory gap in the scope of application of the EU261 regulation.

      EU261 explicitly states that the compensation may be reduced when a flight is cancelled and you get alternative transportation reducing...

      Good point!

      I feel you refer to Amtsgericht Frankfurt, Urteil vom 21.10.2014 (Az.: 31 C 1623/14) https://openjur.de/u/746521.html.

      Even if I am not a legal expert, I understand the phrase "besteht im Anwendungsbereich der FluggastrechteVO eine planwidrige Regelungslücke", meaning that there is an unplanned regulatory gap in the scope of application of the EU261 regulation.

      EU261 explicitly states that the compensation may be reduced when a flight is cancelled and you get alternative transportation reducing your delay, e.g. from 600 to 300 Euros if the delay is below four hours but more than 3 hours on a distance above 3500km.

      The judgement on the top clarifies that the reduction is not only applicable on cancelled flights with alternative transportation but also on regularly delayed flights.

      Hope this eliminates some confusion.

      There is an excellent article published by travel-dealz. They even provide an English translation with further references to the EU261 regulation and judgements.

      https://travel-dealz.com/guide/compensation-delay/

  5. susan Guest

    Any suggestions here what to do next appreciated. Oct /2022 Thai Airways approved a 600 Euro compensation, DUB-Per. As of today, they still have not paid. Only reminded they once, so far.

  6. Jimmy K Member

    A friend of mine won a pair of free tickets from UK to USA before Brexit and on the return leg the flight was delayed for maintenance reasons resulting in a 4 hour delay. He and his travelling companion received the full delay payment, so they were actually paid to go on holiday!

  7. Jere Brown Guest

    I believe the article is a bit over-optimistic about reimbursement. Our MUC-ORD flight on Lufthansa June 27 was cancelled at 4 am date of departure. I applied for compensation and was denied with vague reference to "weather conditions" at one of the airports. Meanwhile we were re-routed on SWISS through Zurich and delayed 9 hours. The 40 Euro voucher Lufthansa provided for lunch in Zurich was not valid as it had to be used in Munich!

    1. Michael Guest

      My strategy is to not ask for things and just file for reimbursement afterwards. If you ask, you'll get a voucher that won't buy you anything. If you advance the funds, you can just get what you want and keep the reciepts.

  8. Jose Guest

    I'm a frequent reader of this blog which I do enjoy. Nevertheless, some information is incorrect when it comes to the length of the delay triggering the compensation.

    A distinction is needed between:

    - the right to assistance (drink, meals,...): the length of the delay influence the right to assistance : up to 1,500km at least two hours / 1,500-3,500km at least three hours / over 3,500km at least four hours;

    - the right to...

    I'm a frequent reader of this blog which I do enjoy. Nevertheless, some information is incorrect when it comes to the length of the delay triggering the compensation.

    A distinction is needed between:

    - the right to assistance (drink, meals,...): the length of the delay influence the right to assistance : up to 1,500km at least two hours / 1,500-3,500km at least three hours / over 3,500km at least four hours;

    - the right to compensation: the compensation is due when the delay is over 3 hours, whatever the distance covered. The distance influences the level of compensation: up to 1,500km = 250 EUR / 1,500-3,500km = 400 EUR / over 3,500km = 600 EUR. For the record, the EU regulation does not itself specifically institute a compensation in case of delays, but a longstanding jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union clarifies the regulation as stated, and local/national courts must follow that jurisprudence.

  9. flying100 Member

    "delays due to strikes" is only called extraordinary circumstances if it was strikes by border force, ATC, airport security etc. not strikes by airline staff.

  10. Juraj Member

    Ben, time to update the notes:
    In March 2021, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that staff strikes are not considered extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline's control. As such, passengers are still entitled to compensation.
    Even ATC strikes qualify for duty of care, although you may not be eligible for financial compensation.

    This is so significant that Ryanair has been heavily lobbying passengers to sign a petition to exempt these cases....

    Ben, time to update the notes:
    In March 2021, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that staff strikes are not considered extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline's control. As such, passengers are still entitled to compensation.
    Even ATC strikes qualify for duty of care, although you may not be eligible for financial compensation.

    This is so significant that Ryanair has been heavily lobbying passengers to sign a petition to exempt these cases. Sucks to be them. Here's some reading on the judication: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5eadd403-ac83-4d26-9787-080766a28e28

  11. Marco Guest

    This winter I had a 3+ hours delay on AF FLR-CDG for "operational issues". I have submitted the EU261 form on AF website once I have arrived in Paris. 3 days later I've received an email confirmation stating that I was entitled to compensation and I got my 250€ refund on my bank account while still on holiday in Paris. A pleasant and unexpected suprise, good job Air France.

  12. Tom Guest

    My flight got canceled due to technical problems in FRA airport in 2018 while traveling with my kids to Greece from NY with Lufthansa. The connection flight heading to Greece got cancelled and they had to rescheduled us for a flight leaving in 7 hours from FRA with connection to MXP and we got over 1400€ for my family , also the gave us food vouchers to use in FRA airport.After i send Lufthansa the...

    My flight got canceled due to technical problems in FRA airport in 2018 while traveling with my kids to Greece from NY with Lufthansa. The connection flight heading to Greece got cancelled and they had to rescheduled us for a flight leaving in 7 hours from FRA with connection to MXP and we got over 1400€ for my family , also the gave us food vouchers to use in FRA airport.After i send Lufthansa the email it took less than 10 days for us to get the compensation. Because of that law and the service I avoid using any American based airline when traveling overseas .

  13. Mike kessaris Guest

    Airline will try to avoid the compensation, whatever you are going to do. Just file a complain to the airline and send a copy to the local aviation authority. Each European country has an aviation authority and each aviation authority has a dedicated department. You will be paid within one week cost free. No need for third party assistance. They are expensive, they delay too much and probably will not do anything better.

    1. Evita Guest

      Has this worked for you Mike? Thanks

  14. Anthony Parr Guest

    I was due to fly VCE-ORD-SFO on AA a couple of years ago. Flight was cancelled due to mechanical and I was rebooked on the same flights but 2 days later. I called in and asked if there were any alternatives to get me home sooner. AA rebooked me on DL via JFK the next day. They denied my request for €600 plus hotel because they claimed that my flight change was voluntary. I fought...

    I was due to fly VCE-ORD-SFO on AA a couple of years ago. Flight was cancelled due to mechanical and I was rebooked on the same flights but 2 days later. I called in and asked if there were any alternatives to get me home sooner. AA rebooked me on DL via JFK the next day. They denied my request for €600 plus hotel because they claimed that my flight change was voluntary. I fought it through a claim shameful who took it to court in Italy and I lost.

    I’ve had about 4 or 5 trips over the years where I was entitled to compensation but I’ve always been denied.

  15. Tennen Gold

    @Ben and others, FYI, airline-caused strikes are controllable and aren't considered extraordinary circumstances. So, for example, if pilots, flight attendants, ground staff, etc. go on strike, EU261 applies.

  16. Eze Guest

    We were denied AF VCE-CDG for 2.5 hour delay as they quoted it wasn't past the 3 hour mark. Other sites do mention it's a 3+ hour delay even for under 1,500km, so not sure what is correct..

  17. Spencer Guest

    Last summer I was bumped from an ITA flight FCO-LAX and rebooked on ITA FCO-BOS 26 hours later. The entire experience dealing with ITA—from check-in to the in-flight experience itself—was miserable, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a €600 deposit in my account less than a week later, without ever even having put in a request. The US needs EU261-style protections.

    1. Marco Guest

      Are they really giving EU261 compensations without a customer request? No wonder our airline is always going bankrupt LOL

  18. beachmouse Member

    Delta stuck us in Munich for an extra day summer 2022 when they cancelled our original flight due to crew scheduling issues. (Ie. fault of the airline.) They offered a choice of 600 euros cash or 800 euros in eCredits and we figured we’d use the eCredits in 2023 so went with those. No agent available to help us find a hotel-Delta only has a part time check-in desk there- so we went back to...

    Delta stuck us in Munich for an extra day summer 2022 when they cancelled our original flight due to crew scheduling issues. (Ie. fault of the airline.) They offered a choice of 600 euros cash or 800 euros in eCredits and we figured we’d use the eCredits in 2023 so went with those. No agent available to help us find a hotel-Delta only has a part time check-in desk there- so we went back to the Munich Airport Hilton on the other side of the courtyard where we’d stayed the night before for a reasonable price and checked back in at a pretty eye watering walk up rate (about 400 euros, which is twice what Delta apparently likes to cover). I think that’s where being a Platinum Medallion helps because they ended up covering the whole hotel bill for that. Compensation process took about 60 days. ECredits were applied to our accounts when I got the successful claim e-mail. For the cash reimbursement for hotel and food, you could either set up some sort of intermediary account with Chase so you could digitally move it to your bank account within a day or so or you could get a check issued and mailed to you.

  19. Christian Guest

    As a UA 1K, I had UA cancel my flight recently from FRA to EWR due to a mechanical issues. I was rebooked the next day and filed a claim with UA when I got back to the US, Getting close to 30 days since filing complaints with UA and so far nothing! Any recommendations?

    1. Here Hare Guest

      Last summer AC was over three hours late leaving DUB, then we spent another hour on the tarmac (to top up fuel so we could fly higher and faster the pilot said!). Failed to get compensation. Hired a collection agency. It took five months (and, yes, they took 30%) but was worth it.

    2. Klaus Guest

      Wait and drink a tea. (Not meant in an offensive way but why should you stress…)
      If UA does not reply within 6 months, involve national enforcement body of Germany: https://soep-online.de/

      You could also involve it now but it’s quite some work (30 minutes) to upload all documents.

      More info here:
      https://transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-themes/passenger-rights/national-enforcement-bodies-neb_en

    3. carol sherwood Guest

      Email directly the VP of Cust

    4. Christian Guest

      Got an email address?

  20. frank Guest

    Let's see how one of the collection agencies works. Three of us were delayed 16 hours. BA took months and finally denied the claim on the grounds of "exceptional circumstances". When I asked for an explanation, I was told they could not inform me of the circumstances as that would result in a disclosure of internal policies (?). Hate to give up a third, but it beats the alternative of 100% of nothing.

    1. DT Guest

      Considered going through: https://www.caa.co.uk/home/

    2. Klaus Guest

      Use the national enforcement body - their lawyers are free of charge (in the sense that the airline must pay for them either way).

      More information here:
      https://transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-themes/passenger-rights/national-enforcement-bodies-neb_en

      Okay…BA is not an EU airline…but EU261 does apply

  21. Al Guest

    Does this apply if you fly between non-EU countries transiting through the EU?

    Examples:

    EWR-FRA-DEL, with the first flight operated by either UA or LH and the second by LH

    DEL-FRA-EWR, with the first flight operated by LH and the second flight by either UA or LH

    1. Icarus Guest

      No as it’s India - US and vice versa. Has to start / end in the EU/U.K. Unless it’s a stopover and eg FRA DEL is over 24 hrs later.

  22. Creditcrunch Diamond

    There is currently some lobbying by consumer groups to make EC/EU 261 compensation payments automatic rather than passengers having to claim personally in each instance. UK train companies are obliged to automatically refund passengers if their train is delayed or cancelled and the argument is that airlines should be in a position to offer the same. I fear this is many years away from being implemented but hopefully it will progress and make everyone life’s easier.

  23. Infrequent Flyer Guest

    If one used the ordinary meaning of extraordinary, cancellation/delay of an Air France flight due to a strike would be eligible for compensation,since such strikes are run of the mill.

    1. Icarus Guest

      You realise Air France itself hasn’t had a significant strike for years thanks to
      it’s much better management. So an air traffic control strike, which is frequent, is extraordinary.

  24. Robin Guest

    Morning of departure, my connecting flight from FRA to EWR at 3:30 pm was cancelled due to mechanical issues. (Stated on the app) was automatically rebooked on a flight the following morning from FRA to Chicago and back to EWR. Lufthansa could not get me back to EWR on any other flight but offered FRA to JFK at about the same time. Car was in EWR so contacted United to ask for car service reimbursement....

    Morning of departure, my connecting flight from FRA to EWR at 3:30 pm was cancelled due to mechanical issues. (Stated on the app) was automatically rebooked on a flight the following morning from FRA to Chicago and back to EWR. Lufthansa could not get me back to EWR on any other flight but offered FRA to JFK at about the same time. Car was in EWR so contacted United to ask for car service reimbursement. they said no saying I got to my destination within 3 hours of original time. I would argue EWR was my destination, not JFK. How does EU261 define “destination”? And how do I appeal ?

    1. Icarus Guest

      They can refund reasonable costs between airports. So don’t expect to be refunded for a usd300 taxi when there’s public transport.

  25. Sean M. Diamond

    The clause regarding exemptions isn't just "extraordinary circumstances" but rather "extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken".

    The full wording is important, because even an extraordinary circumstance cannot be used as a defense if there was a reasonable measure to avoid it available. Of course, the definition of "reasonable measures" is highly subjective and different courts have ruled differently given seemingly similar sets of facts.

    ...

    The clause regarding exemptions isn't just "extraordinary circumstances" but rather "extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken".

    The full wording is important, because even an extraordinary circumstance cannot be used as a defense if there was a reasonable measure to avoid it available. Of course, the definition of "reasonable measures" is highly subjective and different courts have ruled differently given seemingly similar sets of facts.

    The extension of the regulation to cover delays is also not part of the regulation itself, but rather is a judicially enforced extension which was explicitly rejected by the EC when drafting the legislation if you refer to the drafting notes. This is why some of the non-EU jurisdictions (notably Switzerland) who have voluntarily accepted regulation 261/2004 do not always apply the judicial extension of this regulation to delays as opposed to cancellations and other provisions.

    It is a well intended piece of legislation which unfortunately shows that unintended consequences may always arise from any situation.

  26. Siebzillo Guest

    Recently I had an extremely positive experience regarding compensation claims. My flight from FRA to MUC on LH got cancelled and I was rebooked the same day. I made my claim based on the cancellation via the LH-website and got my money within four working days. Well done, LH!

  27. Nomad_dc Guest

    We’re informed a collision with a bird affected your flight (in the airline industry it’s called a “bird strike”).
    While aircraft are built to withstand this type of damage, a thorough inspection is still required to ensure that there’s absolutely no risk to the passengers who’d board the craft.
    Due to their unpredictable nature, bird strikes are considered extraordinary circumstances, and airlines aren’t required to pay compensation for them.

    1. CN Guest

      Not correct. A different aircraft could have been available...

  28. Michael SEA Member

    I was just delayed a couple weeks ago on an Aer Lingus itinerary PHL-DUB-LHR in C booked with AS MileagePlan. The inbound aircraft to PHL was late, so we left 2+ hours late. Aer Lingus rebooked us on a later connection to LHR and that flight was also late and we arrived in LHR 4h43m after our originally booked flights would have arrived in LHR. I made an EU261 claim through Aer Lingus' website. Does...

    I was just delayed a couple weeks ago on an Aer Lingus itinerary PHL-DUB-LHR in C booked with AS MileagePlan. The inbound aircraft to PHL was late, so we left 2+ hours late. Aer Lingus rebooked us on a later connection to LHR and that flight was also late and we arrived in LHR 4h43m after our originally booked flights would have arrived in LHR. I made an EU261 claim through Aer Lingus' website. Does this delay fall under EU261 as the origin and destination are outside the EU but the carrier and connecting point are in the EU?

    1. Icarus Guest

      It still applies. The U.K. just transferred EU261 to its own legislation and called it UK261.

      If you travelled New York Frankfurt Cairo then eu261 would not apply.

  29. Melissa Guest

    We claimed and received 600€ each for 4 of us last summer from Air Lingus. Had booked award tickets with United points - 3 from my husbands bank and 1 from mine.

    Connecting flight from CDG to DUB had the tire popped during the tow out from the gate thus causing us to leave CDG almost 4 hours late. Missed our connection to MCO. Hotel and food vouchers were initially a cluster at DUB...

    We claimed and received 600€ each for 4 of us last summer from Air Lingus. Had booked award tickets with United points - 3 from my husbands bank and 1 from mine.

    Connecting flight from CDG to DUB had the tire popped during the tow out from the gate thus causing us to leave CDG almost 4 hours late. Missed our connection to MCO. Hotel and food vouchers were initially a cluster at DUB but got worked out.

    Filed both claims for compensation as soon as we arrived home - mine first, then my husband and daughters (had boarding passes, screen shots of delays in flight aware - we sat on the plane the entire delay). My husband and daughters received full compensation within 10 days. Took mine 4 months almost to the day and emails/calls almost weekly but finally got the check for the full amount.

    If you qualify - keep your docs and stay on them! More or less paid for our entire trip (17 days in Italy, Netherlands and France) for the four of us.

  30. Klaus Guest

    Funny you are showing a picture of Swiss here as my MUC-ZRH flight tonight was just cancelled.

    Anyway: you should write an own post about the European national enforcement bodies. They are amazing.

    1. DT Guest

      Wouldn't you say it is a bit odd to chose a picture of a Swiss plane as the headline photo of anything EU related?

  31. JJ Guest

    I recently had to do this for a 4 hour delay from LIS-MAD on TP. (January 2023)
    TP did not respond for 4 months. Then they denied my claim (without any reason). I knew it was mechanical so I resubmitted with AirHelp and they got the $ in about a month. Of course, they took out a 30% cut but EUR 175 is better than nothing.

  32. Eskimo Guest

    Maybe some clarification when the ticket involves more than one airline who do you claim.

    Also given Canada's recent changes, under the right circumstances, can you claim under both EU and CTA?

    1. Michael Guest

      You claim under the operating airline, regardless of the marketing carrier. You cannot claim both APPR and EU261. EC261 is more beneficial unless your flight is delayed by more than 9 hours, then APPR is better (About 700 euros).

  33. Bob Guest

    Had to file a claim against BA. They initially denied it and I went through some regulatory body called CEDR (similar to the DOT). BA eventually caved in and I got compensation close to seven months after my cancelled flight.

  34. Sean Guest

    You are also covered if a US domestic flight as part of an EU originating trip is delayed. I flew HEL-DFW-MCO and was delayed 4hrs in DFW on the domestic leg. AA paid out €600 for the delay.

  35. Andy Diamond

    This is the theory - and it’s quite ironic to put picture of a LX plane on this story.

    LX does not pay anything, unless you report your case to the FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation). For this step you need to add the fruitless correspondence with LX. So you need to know how and also better do not get exhausted too quickly in case of Swiss …

    1. Art_Czar Member

      Lufthansa group of airlines (Swiss, Austrian, etc) refuse most claims. The only way to get them to pony up is use a Claims Agency who take a 30% to 35% success fee, once the airline pays.

    2. Icarus Guest

      Please provide evidence to support this argument

    3. Art_Czar Member

      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/swiss-international-air-lines/2102553-261-2004-deliberate-evasion.html

    4. Icarus Guest

      Swiss is different as it’s not based in the EU. They have an argument that in many cases it can’t be enforced Lufthansa on the other hand, is pretty quick at paying.

      What’s sad is his airlines are penalised and litigated against for a delay which in some cases doesn’t inconvenience people.

      600 euros when they paid 200 for a ticket makes no sense. It would make more sense to be a percentage...

      Swiss is different as it’s not based in the EU. They have an argument that in many cases it can’t be enforced Lufthansa on the other hand, is pretty quick at paying.

      What’s sad is his airlines are penalised and litigated against for a delay which in some cases doesn’t inconvenience people.

      600 euros when they paid 200 for a ticket makes no sense. It would make more sense to be a percentage of the fare upto 600.

      Did you read a woman took an airline to court as they refused to compensate her dog and won. Totally stupid.

      On the other hand, try to get compensation from rail companies. If your train is cancelled delayed for technical reasons and over 4 hrs it should be the same ie eur250 in most cases.

      You should avoid claim agencies as many of them are offshore and operating fraudulently stealing information.

    5. grichard Guest

      Interesting. I just had a six hour delay on a flight from IAD to Frankfurt. I filled out their online claim form for the three of us, and they emailed me back the next day agreeing that compensation was owed. I was really surprised, to put it mildly.

      This just happened a week ago, so I haven't seen the money yet. We will see if it appears.

    6. _ar Guest

      LX gave me the run around too. Then I wrote a letter to the CEO and the Chairman. We were paid out in full.

  36. GroeneMichel Gold

    Love it so much.. Bingo during a delay each time.. I don't mind arriving 6 hours late but making 600 EUR on the spot.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Sean M. Diamond

The clause regarding exemptions isn't just "extraordinary circumstances" but rather "extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken". The full wording is important, because even an extraordinary circumstance cannot be used as a defense if there was a reasonable measure to avoid it available. Of course, the definition of "reasonable measures" is highly subjective and different courts have ruled differently given seemingly similar sets of facts. The extension of the regulation to cover delays is also not part of the regulation itself, but rather is a judicially enforced extension which was explicitly rejected by the EC when drafting the legislation if you refer to the drafting notes. This is why some of the non-EU jurisdictions (notably Switzerland) who have voluntarily accepted regulation 261/2004 do not always apply the judicial extension of this regulation to delays as opposed to cancellations and other provisions. It is a well intended piece of legislation which unfortunately shows that unintended consequences may always arise from any situation.

3
CN Guest

Not correct. A different aircraft could have been available...

1
Mike kessaris Guest

Airline will try to avoid the compensation, whatever you are going to do. Just file a complain to the airline and send a copy to the local aviation authority. Each European country has an aviation authority and each aviation authority has a dedicated department. You will be paid within one week cost free. No need for third party assistance. They are expensive, they delay too much and probably will not do anything better.

1
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