Rights in the event of a delayed flight
If an overnight stay proves necessary as a result of the delay, the air carrier must also offer you hotel accommodation as well as transport between hotel and airport.
The right to care (meals and refreshments) comes into effect when there is a:
- 2 hour departure delay on flights under 1500 km
- 3 hour departure delay on flights over 1500 km within the EU and on flights between 1500 and 3500 km outside of the EU
- 4 hour departure delay on flights that are longer than 3500 km and outside of the EU
In the event of a departure delay of a minimum five hours, you can choose to cancel your trip and have the ticket price refunded.
If the air carrier fails to offer you reasonable care while waiting for your delayed flight, you may purchase meals and refreshments (non-alcoholic) yourself and subsequently claim a refund for your purchases from the air carrier. Remember to keep the receipts for your purchases so you can document your expenses to the air carrier.
You may be entitled to compensation if your arrival at your final destination is delayed by a minimum of three hours.
You are not, however, entitled to compensation if the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather, some forms of industrial action, manufacturing faults on the aircraft or air traffic controller restrictions.
As a passenger, you may be entitled to the following compensation amounts:
Within the EU:
- 250 euro for flights under 1500 km
- 400 euro for flights over 1500 km
Outside the EU:
- 250 euro for flights under 1500 km
- 400 euro for flights between 1500 km and 3500 km
- 600 euro for flights over 3500 km
In certain instances, the air carrier may reduce your compensation by 50 % if you are rebooked on another flight. This depends on how far you are travelling and how quickly you arrive there.
In which circumstances may I be entitled to compensation?
You may be entitled to compensation if your flight’s arrival at your final destination is delayed by three hours or more.
You are not, however, entitled to compensation of the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather, some forms of industrial action, manufacturing defects on the aircraft or air traffic controller restrictions.
What can I get refunded from the air carrier?
You may also get a refund for reasonable expenses for hotel accommodation and transport to/from the hotel if a hotel stay was necessitated by the delay.
In order to have expenses refunded you must be able to present documentation of your purchases.
Which expenses is an air carrier normally not obliged to refund?
What am I entitled to if my flight was part of a package tour?
Read more on your claiming rights for package travels on the website of the Travel Industry Complaints Board.
Do passenger rights also apply to flights from Greenland and the Faroe Islands?
Regulation (EC) 261/2004 applies to flights from Greenland and the Faroe Islands if the flight is arranged by an EU-registered air carrier.
Regulation (EC) 261/2004 does not apply to flights from Greenland and the Faroe Islands if the flight is arranged by an air carrier that is not domiciled in the EU, for example Air Greenland and Atlantic Airways.
Regulation (EC) 261/2004 applies to flights to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, irrespective whether the flight is arranged by an air carrier domiciled in the EU or not.
Can I receive compensation if I miss a connecting flight because the first flight was delayed?
If this is not the case, the air carrier's liability is limited to the delayed departure.
Who do I complain to if the delay occurs in another EU country?
You should file a complaint in the EU country where the delay occurred.
If the delay occurred in a non-EU country while you were travelling to an EU country with an EU-registered air carrier/a community carrier, you should file a complaint with the competent authority in the EU country in which you arrived.