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Business & Investment

Know the EU Regulations on Delayed Flights

The EU regulations on delayed flights protect the rights of air passengers when they are faced with flight delays. Flight delays cause great inconvenience to the passengers, and they should be duly compensated. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of their rights under European law.

What is the EU Regulation About?

The EU regulation 261/2004 is also known as the flight compensation regulation for air passengers against severe flight disruptions. It applies to you if you meet the following criteria:


  • You have a valid ticket and booking confirmation.
  • Your flight is taking off from an EU member state.
  • Your flight is landing in an EU member state but with a European airline.
  • You were not informed of the possible delay at least 14 days before departure.
  • You checked in at least 45 minutes before departure.


The compensation is regardless of your ticket price or whether it’s a business trip or for a child. As long as you have a valid ticket and not a free or discounted one unavailable to the public, you are good to go.

What Does the Flight Compensation Entail?

The EC regulation 261/2004 makes you entitled to compensation and the right to care. Some of the things you may be entitled to under this law include:


  • Monetary compensation of €250 – €600 per person, based on the flight distance. Short distance – €250; Medium distance €400; Long distance – €600.
  • Access to complimentary food and drinks for a delay longer than two hours.
  • Free hotel booking for a delay that lasts the night.
  • The right to request a seat on another flight or schedule another flight if it’s delayed for more than 5 hours. In this case, you can also cancel the flight and ask for a refund.
  • The right to be informed of your rights by the airline.

How to Claim Compensation for Delayed Flights

Claiming compensation for delayed flights would take a process. First, you need to check the criteria and be certain that you qualify for compensation. This is to avoid going through the stress and only finding out midway that it does not apply to you. Then, you need the airline to confirm in writing the cause of the delay. After this, gather all your documents and contact the airline.


You can speak to an agent from the airline if you’re still at the airport, or email them or check their website for any compensation form. As long as you have all your valid documents, and you meet the criteria, you should be compensated.

In many cases, air passengers would rather hire an attorney or an established firm like Flightright to do the work for them. Not only will this save you some stress, but it also makes the process seamless.

Bottom Line

No one should have to be inconvenienced because of the inefficacy of any airline. If your flight has been delayed for long hours for reasons within the airline’s control, you should get duly compensated. Beyond flight delays, this regulation also protects you when you experience flight cancellations, missed connecting flights, or denied boardings.

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