• 12.January.2024
  • 5 min
  • By: Steve Reid

Air travel is an exhilarating experience that often comes with the anticipation of reaching your destination promptly. Unfortunately, flight delays and cancellations can disrupt even the most meticulously planned trips, leaving passengers stranded and frustrated. The good news is that compensation is available for such inconveniences, and understanding the process can make a significant difference. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of claiming compensation for flight delays and cancellations, particularly tailored for UK residents.

Understanding Your Rights: Regulation UK261

Your rights as an air passenger are protected under Regulation UK261, a vital piece of legislation that applies to flights departing from or arriving at an EU airport. It covers delays, cancellations, and denied boarding, ensuring that passengers receive compensation, refunds, or alternative flight arrangements when faced with unexpected disruptions.

Qualifying for Compensation

To qualify for compensation under Regulation UK261, you must hold a confirmed ticket, and present yourself for check-in on time. The regulation applies to flights departing from EU countries, including Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, or departing from a non-member country with a destination within an EU member state.

How much compensation am I entitled to for my flight?

The good news is, if you’ve had your flight delayed or cancelled, you could claim up to £1040 per couple. The compensation you can claim depends on the distance of the flight path, and the ticket cost doesn’t affect this calculation.

Short-Haul Flights (Less than 1,500 km):

£220 per person

Up to £440 per couple

Medium-Haul Flights (Up to 3,500 km):

£350 per person

Up to £700 per couple

Long-Haul Flights (Over 3,500 km):

£520 per person

Up to £1040 per couple

While there might be slight variations if the claim falls under EU rather than UK jurisdiction, the overall compensation structure remains similar.

Eligible Flights

The geographical scope of Regulation UK261 includes flights departing from EU member states, as well as flights departing from non-member countries if the airline is licensed in a member state.

Types of Compensation

Delays: Depending on the length of the delay, passengers are entitled to assistance, including meals, refreshments, and communication, as well as accommodation and transportation if the delay exceeds a certain duration.

Denied Boarding: Passengers denied boarding are immediately eligible for compensation, reimbursement, rebooking, and care.

Cancellations: In the event of a cancellation with less than 14 days’ notice, passengers are entitled to care, compensation, reimbursement, and alternative flight arrangements.

Extraordinary Circumstances

Airlines are not obligated to pay compensation if the delay or cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances, such as acts of terrorism, unrelated workers’ strikes, or extreme weather conditions.

Filing Your Claim

While Regulation UK261 provides valuable protection for passengers, claiming compensation isn’t always automatic. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ease the process:

Gather Information: Collect relevant details, including the reason for the disruption, messages received from the airline, and any other pertinent information.

Know Your Rights: Understand the specific rights and compensation amounts outlined in Regulation UK261 for your situation.

Check Airline Procedures: Some airlines proactively provide information and claim forms. If you need to, familiarise yourself with the EU261 regulation details and the airline’s claim procedure.

File Your Claim: Whether through the airline’s process or independently, file your claim, keeping records and screenshots of the process.

Be Persistent: In some cases, airlines may offer vouchers instead of cash. Remember that Regulation UK261 specifies the right to cash compensation, and you can insist on this option.

UK Travellers and Brexit

With the UK’s exit from the EU, there have been questions about the eligibility of UK travellers for compensation under Regulation UK261. As of the latest information, the regulation applies to flights departing from the UK, providing similar protection for UK passengers.

Airports and Airlines: The good or bad?

Understanding the performance of airports and airlines in terms of delays is crucial for informed travel choices. Recent data from a new study a new study by MoneyTransfers.com reveals insights into the best and worst performers in the UK:

Top 3 Worst Airports for Delays:

Gatwick Airport (74.1% of flights delayed)

Bournemouth Airport (73.6% of flights delayed)

Newcastle Airport (73.6% of flights delayed)

Top 3 Best Airports for Punctuality:

Belfast City Airport (46.3% of flights delayed)

Exeter Airport (53.6% of flights delayed)

Southampton Airport (54% of flights delayed)

Top 3 Worst Airlines for Delays:

Kenya Airways (89.97% of flights delayed)

Uzbekistan Airlines (87.18% of flights delayed)

Air Malta (86.06% of flights delayed)

Top 3 Best Airlines for Punctuality:

Air Europa (19.37% of flights delayed)

Transavia France (24.57% of flights delayed)

Air Baltic (32.39% of flights delayed)


Streamlining Your Compensation Journey with Air Travel Claim

Navigating the process of claiming compensation can be overwhelming, especially when time is of the essence. Air Travel Claim understands the value of your time and offers a streamlined service to simplify the process by claiming on your behalf.

Simplifying the Process: Our experts handle the complexities of the claim process, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you.

A Personalised, End-to-End Service: We take full ownership of your case, guiding you through the process from start to finish.

No Win, No Fee: Operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, ensuring you only pay for our services if we successfully claim your compensation.

Transparency is Key: Keep you informed at every step, ensuring a stress-free and positive experience throughout.

Our Success is Your Success: At Air Travel Claim, we celebrate the number of successful claims and the time saved for our clients, making every moment count. Why not try our free compensation calculator and see what you could be owed?

In conclusion, claiming compensation for flight delays and cancellations is not only your right but a crucial step toward holding airlines accountable for disruptions. With the right knowledge, persistence, and support from services like Air Travel Claim, you can navigate this process effectively, ensuring that you’re compensated for your time and inconvenience. Remember, every moment spent claiming what you’re entitled to is a moment gained for the things you love.

For further assistance and to reclaim your time, reach out to Air Travel Claim and let us handle your claim while you focus on your next adventure. At Air Travel Claim, we believe that while compensation is valuable, your time is priceless.

Steve Reid is a seasoned traveler and passionate advocate for passenger rights. With years of experience navigating the skies, Steve has become an expert in understanding the intricacies of flight delays, cancellations, and compensation.

As the go-to authority on all things related to air travel compensation, Steve brings a wealth of knowledge to our blog. Whether you’re seeking advice on claiming compensation or understanding your rights, Steve's insights give practical advice when things don't go as planned with air travel.

Connect with Steve on LinkedIn to stay updated on the latest travel news and receive expert advice.

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