Has your flight been cancelled or delayed? You could be entitled to compensation.

Throughout the summer months there have been a series of delays and cancelled flights which have stranded thousands of passengers across the UK. In July thousands of passengers became stranded at Gatwick airport for up to 48 hours with airlines cancelling inbound and outbound flights due to problems with the air-traffic control system. With passengers being placed on the next available flight, many remain unaware that they may be eligible, under EU Regulation 261/2004, to claim compensation of between €250 and €600 per person.

EU Regulation 261/2004 applies to passengers who start their trip at an EU airport or land at an EU airport. A passenger is entitled to compensation if the flight is delayed by three or more hours, if the flight is cancelled or if the flight is overbooked to which a passenger is denied boarding.

There are however certain exceptions under which compensation is not due. These ‘extraordinary circumstances’ imply that airlines cannot always be held accountable when a situation is beyond their control. These situations include bad weather, an ill or unruly passenger and airline strikes that the airline could not have foreseen.  Unfortunately, airlines often rely on extraordinary circumstances in attempts to convince passengers that any claim will fail.

If a passenger does qualify for compensation, the amount of compensation is dependent on the distance of the flight. For short distance flight delays passengers could be entitled to up to €250 compensation, and for long distance flight delays passengers could be entitled to €600 compensation.

Claiming compensation can be done through the airline directly, with most airlines providing a compensation form through their website. If you require further information on this subject please do not hesitate to contact our litigation team to discuss.