Claim Your Rights with EU 261 Flight Compensation

The EU regulation 261/2004 is in place to establish robust passenger protection against the inconveniences caused by long flight delays or cancellations. Under the law, you may be eligible for up to €600 for a disrupted flight. Submit EU261 compensation claims and protect your rights with Skycop!

What are the Regulations on European Flight Delay Compensation?

Compensation for Delayed European Flights: How Is It Calculated?

The amount of EU261 compensation you are entitled to depend not on your ticket price but on the duration of a flight delay and the distance you were travelling. Noteworthy, the delay is calculated based on the time when you reach the final destination since even if your flight departs late, it can still make up the lost time in the air.

It’s also crucial to know that according to the European Court of Justice, the arrival time is defined by the moment when an aircraft lands at the final destination and at least one of its doors is opened. Keep that in mind to be more precise when making EU 261 compensation claims and increase your chances of getting approved.

Please note that delays shorter than 3 hours do not qualify for financial compensation, and if the waiting time lasts longer than 5 hours, you can claim a full refund for your ticket instead of flying.

What Is the Maximum EU Flight Compensation?

There is a common misconception that EU 261 applies only to European flights, but that’s not the case. EU Regulation 261 covers all flights that depart from EU and UK airports, irrespective of the airline you choose. In addition, the law applies to all flights that arrive in the EU or UK as long as they are operated by local aviation groups. Check out the table below to know what EU flight delay compensation you may get depending on the route distance:

Distance Delay time
Less than 3 hours 3 hours or more Over 4 hours
All short-distance flights: 1,500 km or less €0 €250/£220 €250/£220
Internal flights (within the EU): over 1,500 km €0 €400/£350 €400/£350
International flights from 1,500 km to 3,500 km €0 €400/£350 €400/£350
International flights over 3,500 km €0 €600/£500 €600/£500

Flights within the EU

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International flights

International flights feature the biggest EU delay compensation of €600 in case passengers travel over 3,500 km, and the waiting time exceeds 4 hours. Hence, even US-based flyers may be affected by the regulation if the route is operated by a UK or EU carrier. However, the maximum compensation amount is cut in half if the delay time ranges from 3 to 4 hours. Disrupted mid-length international flights are eligible for as many as €400.

EU 261 Compensation: Deadline for Filing a Claim

There is no uniform period for filing EU 261 compensation claims, and it does not depend on the citizenship of a passenger either. The deadline varies by the country where the airline’s headquarters are located. We highlighted specific time limits for filing the EU 261 compensation form in the table below:

Deadline Country
No limitations Malta
10 years Lithuania, Luxembourg
6 years Cyprus, Ireland, UK (except Scotland)
5 years Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Spain
3 years Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic*, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany**, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden***
2 years Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland
1 year Belgium, Poland
10 months Latvia

*Czech Republic: notify your carrier about the flight disruption within 6 months, and then your claim for EU delay compensation will remain active for 3 years.

**Germany: the limitation period expires on December 31 of the third year.

***Sweden: the deadline for submitting an EU 261 compensation form renews each time a passenger makes a new claim, extending for 3 subsequent years from the date the last form was filed.

Steps to Take if Your Flight Is Cancelled or Delayed

It’s crucial to be on top of your rights anytime it comes to submitting delay or EU flight cancellation compensation. So, if you find out that your flight is disturbed, take the following steps to ensure that your claim will have the best chance of success:

  1. Collect as much information as you can:
    • check out the reason for flight delay or cancellation to know whether your EU261 compensation is claimable;
    • save any messages you obtained about the flight;
    • gather evidence that the flight was delayed or cancelled (take a photo of the departure board, screenshots of the relevant information on the carrier website, etc.);
    • if the flight was delayed, note the arrival time at your final destination.
  2. Keep all travel documents, including your boarding pass.
  3. Save your receipts in case flight disruption tailors any additional expenses.
  4. Take free meals and refreshments if the delay time exceeds two hours and do not hesitate to ask for accommodation in case of flight cancellation.
  5. Never sign any documents that make you waive your rights to EU flight compensation.

How to Claim EU Flight Compensation

The process of filing EU 261 compensation claims seems a bit tricky, so many travellers give up trying to get funds from carriers already at the early stage. Skycop is here to make things simple, so the below-mentioned information will come you in handy.

Requirements for getting EU flight compensation:

  1. 1

    you have checked in for a flight on time;

    the delay took place due to the fault of an airline;

    flight disruption occurred no longer than 6 years ago (for UK-based airlines);

  2. 2

    you may qualify for European flight delay compensation even if you travel with a tour package or have a business trip;

  3. 3

    the flight departed/landed in the EU or UK and the carrier is headquartered in one of the local countries.

Once you find out that you are entitled to EU261 compensation, you have to make your claim. There are two ways to handle this task:

Claim EU261 compensation on your own

Sometimes, airline operators send passengers all the information they need to get the reimbursement, including the qualifying amount and a link to an EU 261 compensation form. In this case, you need to prepare the required documentation (boarding pass, records of the disruption, and flight details) and go ahead making your claim.

But in most cases, you will need to look for the relevant resources on your own by contacting your carrier. Some airlines allow passengers to fill out the EU 261 compensation form online, while others provide guidelines on how to file a claim through email or mail. Regardless of the option, you will need to send a copy of your boarding pass, include the reason for flight disruption, and specify the amount you are claiming in accordance with EU261 terms.

The carrier may offer European flight delay compensation in the form of vouchers, but you are not obliged to accept them since EU 261 implies payments in cash, checks, or e-transfers.

Get professional help

Skycop can handle EU 261 compensation claims on your behalf on a no-win no-fee basis. Our experts will stay by your side throughout the process and fight for your rights while dealing with carriers directly. You just need to fill out a quick compensation form, and we will do the rest for you. No hassle, no stress, no financial risk.

Time limit to file flight claims

Although time limits to submit European flight cancellation compensation differ in each EU country and the UK, it’s still better to act actively so as not to miss out on the funds you deserve. There are cases when airlines intentionally delay the procedure, waiting for the validity period of a claim to expire. So, try to apply for EU 261 compensation as soon as possible, better within six months after the flight disruption.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am eligible for EU flight delay compensation?

Check out the criteria listed above the page or take advantage of the power of Skycop and find out your compensation eligibility right away by completing our short online form.

What is the process for claiming EU 261 flight delay compensation?

Contact the airline operator to argue your case directly or use specialised online companies like Skycop to negotiate on your behalf and thus increase your chances of a successful result.

How much compensation can I receive for a flight delay?

You can get as much as €250 for a route up to 1,500 km and claim EU flight delay compensation of up to €400 for a disrupted mid-length trip between 1,500 km and 3,500 km. The biggest €600 compensation is paid to passengers travelling further than 3,500 km.

How long does it typically take to receive EU flight compensation?

Although there is no fixed timeframe in which the air carrier must respond to passenger claims, this period typically takes up to 4-6 weeks. However, it happens that the operator processes claims for several months. If you fail to get a response for a while, you may need to lodge a complaint with the Civil Aviation Authority.

Help Provided at These Airports and More

Our team of EU 261 specialists has already solved all kinds of flight-related issues in numerous European airports. We will help you get the service you deserve at these and many other venues: