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EU261 Compensation Final Information (Flight Delays and many others.)

Embarking on a journey by air at all times holds the promise of latest adventures and unforgettable experiences! And but… amidst the thrill of journey, sudden disruptions equivalent to flight delays and cancellations can rapidly dampen our spirits. However enter Regulation 261/2004, generally often called EU261 — a beacon of safety for vacationers inside the European Union! (EU261 Compensation)

If that is your first encounter with this legislation, take into account your self lucky. Shockingly, almost 90% of air vacationers stay unaware of this regulation, lacking out on the chance to say compensation for flight delays or cancellations in Europe. Which is a disgrace as a result of it’s SO simple and quick to file for an EU261 compensation.

⚠️ It helps to notice that an EU261 compensation is separate from the compensation it’s possible you’ll obtain from your personal journey insurance coverage for a flight delay or cancellation. So think about getting DOUBLE the compensation from your personal journey insurance coverage AND from the airline due to the EU261 legislation — superb, proper?

So with out additional ado, I’ll delve into the intricacies of EU261 on this article, shedding mild on the rights and perks that you could declare must you encounter an issue along with your flight whereas within the EU zone!

» Fast Journey Planning

What’s EU261?

EU261, formally often called Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 or EC261, is a European Union legislation established in 2004 to guard the rights of air passengers of ALL nationalities.

In contrast to some areas the place airways decide their very own insurance policies for dealing with flight delays and cancellations, EU261 ensures that ALL passengers are entitled to sure protections and compensation. This legislation mandates that airways should present help and compensation to passengers dealing with any of the next:

  • Flight delays
  • Flight cancellations
  • Denied boarding
  • Missed connecting flights

Because of EU261, air vacationers flying inside Europe get pleasure from enhanced rights and protections in comparison with different elements of the world.

– – –

What Flights Fall Below EU261?

As a common rule, in case your flight departs from or arrives at an airport inside the European Union (EU) and experiences a delay or cancellation, you’re eligible to file a EU261 compensation declare.

Moreover, the legislation extends protection to flights departing from or arriving at airports in Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and 9 particular territories related to EU member states. These territories, additionally known as the outermost areas, embrace French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, La Réunion, Saint Martin, Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

Flying from the UK? Regardless of the UK’s departure from the European Union in early 2020 following Brexit, it has applied a legislation, UK261, which carefully mirrors the EU261 rules.

Maybe you’re questioning: does EU261 nonetheless apply if I’m flying with a non-EU airline? The reply is sure! To make clear when the legislation applies and when it doesn’t, confer with the desk under.

Flight Itinerary EU Airline Non-EU Airline
EU airport → EU airport
EU airport → non-EU airport
Non-EU airport → EU airport X*
Non-EU airport → non-EU airport X

*In sure cases, you should still be eligible for compensation underneath EU261, so it’s price making an attempt to file a declare with the airline.

– – –

What Flights are NOT Lined?

The airline reserves the suitable to withhold EU261 compensation if the delay, cancellation, or denied boarding was as a result of ‘extraordinary circumstances,’ together with…

  • Dangerous climate (i.e.: snowstorms, windstorms, low visibility)
  • Strikes of the airport personnel, visitors management, or workers
  • Air visitors management restrictions (together with runway closures)
  • Political and civil unrest
  • Terrorism

Nonetheless, regardless of some airways itemizing technical points as grounds for withholding compensation, such issues are NOT thought-about extraordinary circumstances as a result of the upkeep of the plane is the airline’s duty. Due to this fact, if a mechanical concern causes a flight delay or cancellation, the airline should be liable to pay you compensation.

NOTE: Flights which can be FREE or on diminished fares (normally not accessible on to the general public) don’t apply for the EU261 legislation.

– – –

What are Different Eligibility Necessities?

For so long as you could have a confirmed flight reservation on the flight involved, and one of many following situations apply to you, EU261 applies:

  • You arrived for check-in on the designated time specified upfront by way of written communication by the airline, tour operator, or licensed journey agent (or, if unspecified, no later than 45 minutes earlier than the scheduled departure time).
  • You have been transferred by an airline or tour operator from the flight for which they held a reservation to a different flight, whatever the purpose

• • •

Your EU261 Rights

Flight Delays

…then you possibly can declare EU261 compensation for the flight delay which may vary between €250 to €600 per passenger relying on the gap of your journey. There’s actually no want for a flight delay compensation calculator, as a result of the allocation is simple to see as seen within the desk under:

Flight Delay to Your Closing Vacation spot Flights Much less Than 1,500km Flights Between 1,500km to three,000km Flights Extra Than 3,500km
Lower than 3 hours No compensation No compensation No compensation
3 hours or extra (by no means arrived) €250 €400 €600

Within the occasion of prolonged flight delays exceeding 5 hours, you could have the suitable to get reimbursement inside seven days, overlaying the total value of the ticket for any unused parts of the journey or for elements that now not serve the passenger’s unique journey plan. Moreover, if relevant, a return flight to the preliminary departure level ought to be organized on the earliest alternative.

Along with this financial compensation, underneath EU261, passengers are entitled to have the “proper to care” from the airline. This consists of the next provisions:

  • The suitable to learn on why the flight is delayed and if you find yourself anticipated to take off
    • Within the occasion of any flight disruption, airways should furnish you with this data in written kind. The airline can be obligated to show the EU261 textual content at its check-in counter and supply every affected passenger with a written discover detailing the foundations for help and compensation.
  • 2 FREE telephone calls, emails, or fax messages
  • FREE complimentary meals and drinks
  • FREE lodge lodging if the flight has been delayed in a single day in addition to the transportation bills between the airport and the lodge (advisable to maintain the receipts for these transportation bills)

– – –

Flight Cancellations

In case your flight is canceled, you’re protected underneath EU261 or EC261 supplied you meet the next situations:

  • You have been the one who bought the tickets
  • The flight cancellation occurred lower than 14 days earlier than the scheduled departure date
  • The canceled flight was supposed to depart from an EU airport or operated by an EU service
  • It was the airline’s fault and never a unprecedented circumstance

When you meet the entire above situations, you’re granted the next rights:

  • Full refund of your used and unused tickets (for instance, a connecting flight that you could’t attain due to the cancellation)
  • Entry to an alternate flight; this substitute flight provided should depart on the earliest alternative
  • Proper to compensation of as much as €600 (see desk under)
  • “Proper to care” just like the one for flight delays

The next compensation applies when an airline proposes an alternate flight

Discover Brief Flights (lower than 1,500km) Medium Flights (1,500km to three,500km) Lengthy Flights (Greater than 3,500km)
7-13 days’ discover €125 – new flight arrives lower than 2 hours after the outdated flight
€250 – new flight arrives greater than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
None – new flight departs lower than 2 hours earlier than the outdated flight and arrives lower than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€200 – new flight departs greater than 2 hours earlier than the outdated flight, and arrives lower than 3 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€400 – new flight departs greater than 2 hours earlier than the outdated flight, and arrives 3 to 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€400 – new flight arrives greater than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€300 – new flight departs greater than 2 hours earlier than outdated flight, and arrives lower than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€600 – new flight arrives greater than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
Lower than 7 days’ discover €125 – new flight arrives lower than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€250 – new flight arrives greater than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
None – new flight departs lower than 1 hour earlier than the outdated flight and arrives lower than 2 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€200 – new flight departs greater than 1 hour earlier than the outdated flight, and arrives lower than 3 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€400 – new flight arrives greater than 3 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€300 – new flight departs greater than 1 hour earlier than outdated flight, and arrives lower than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival
€600 – new flight arrives greater than 4 hours after the outdated flight’s scheduled arrival

The next compensation applies when an airline does NOT suggest an alternate flight OR when you refused the provide

Discover Brief Flights (lower than 1,500km) Medium Flights (1,500km to three,500km) Lengthy Flights (Greater than 3,500km)
For flights between EU & non-EU cities €250 €400 €600
For flights between two EU cities €250 €400 €400

– – –

Denied Boarding

Within the occasion of denied boarding, you’re additionally eligible to obtain EU261 compensation. More often than not, earlier than denying boarding, airline employees will search volunteers to relinquish their seats in alternate for negotiated advantages. If an inadequate variety of volunteers is discovered, the airline will proceed to disclaim boarding to passengers. Your entitlements in such circumstances are as follows:

  • “Proper to care” just like the one for flight delays
  • Re-routing on the earliest attainable time or a later date of your comfort
  • Refund of the ticket value
  • Financial compensation

In the case of financial compensation, it’ll rely in your flight’s complete distance:

Flights Much less Than 1,500km Flights Between 1,500km to three,000km Flights Extra Than 3,500km
€250 €400 €600

• • •

EU261 Compensation: The way to Declare?

Even when you’re eligible for compensation underneath EU261, sadly, it’s not robotically granted — you’ll have to file a declare your self, however relaxation assured, it’s less complicated than it sounds!

As an example, I efficiently claimed mine with Aegean Airways by filling out their contact kind, and so they responded inside a couple of days (after following up and nudging them too by way of Twitter). Along with their response, they proceeded to switch the compensation to my checking account.

Whereas it’s true that the benefit of the declare course of can differ relying on the airline, you could be assured that in case your flight meets the standards, you’ll ultimately be compensated. In any case, the EU imposes stringent penalties on airways that fail to adjust to the regulation, making certain accountability.

Now, earlier than delving into the assorted strategies of claiming your settlement, let me first provide some useful suggestions when you encounter a qualifying occasion underneath EU 261.

  • Collect as a lot data and proof for as a lot as you possibly can.
    • Begin saving or taking screenshots of all communication associated to your involved flight.
    • Ask the airline employees in regards to the purpose for the delay. You’ll want to report the time; for example, in case your flight is delayed, make a remark of the particular departure time.
  • Ask the airline to respect your proper to care.
    • Particularly for delayed flights, make sure that to ask about your proper to entry free meals and drinks. If the delay extends in a single day, request lodging. To achieve the lodging, you possibly can both request a taxi from the airline or hold observe of any taxi bills incurred (retain the receipts) and search reimbursement later.

When you’ve accomplished these steps, you possibly can proceed to make a declare utilizing ANY of the next strategies:

Personally Complain to the Airline

This preliminary step is important for YOU to do. It’s essential to exhaust this selection first earlier than contemplating the opposite options.

  1. To lodge a grievance with the airline concerning your prolonged flight delay, flight cancellation, or deboarding, start by conducting a Google search utilizing your airline’s title together with the time period ‘EU261’ (e.g., seek for “Aegean Airline EU261”).
    • Every airline manages complaints in another way: some provide readily accessible automated on-line varieties, whereas others could require you to e-mail them. If not sure, find their customer support contact particulars and proceed accordingly. (You’ll be able to even strive contacting them by way of their social media channels).
    • In the event you’re on the lookout for a flight delay compensation letter pattern template, you should utilize this: [click]
  2. When you’re performed doing step #1, it additionally helps to finish this manner: ‘Air Passenger Rights-EU Grievance Type‘.
    • This preliminary screening service goals to help you in acquiring data on the way to contact your respective airline, significantly when you encounter difficulties find their contact particulars.

If the airline fails to reply inside a couple of weeks or as much as a most of two months, you possibly can then discover the next choices…

– – –

Lodge a Grievance to Nationwide Authorities

As beforehand talked about, if the airline fails to reply inside two months or if you’re unhappy with their reply, you possibly can proceed to the subsequent step of your flight compensation declare, which includes submitting a grievance with the related nationwide authority within the nation the place the working airline is predicated.

The official web site of the European Union presents an inventory of hyperlinks to every nation’s nationwide client our bodies: [link]. On this situation, it’s best to submit your grievance to the Nationwide Enforcement Physique within the Member State the place the incident occurred. Present them with the grievance you beforehand despatched to the airline and clarify the scenario: both the airline didn’t reply, otherwise you discover their response unjust.

The nationwide authority will then give you a non-binding authorized opinion on the way to proceed along with your declare. Please be aware that if the incident occurred at an airport exterior the EU, it’s best to contact the nationwide enforcement physique within the Member State of your flight vacation spot.

If you’re an EU nationwide, you may also discover these different choices:

  • Make the most of neutral out-of-court entities like conciliation providers, mediators, arbitrators, and ombudsmen or grievance boards. They’ll overview your case and counsel a decision, or implement one if a mutual settlement between you and the airline can’t be reached.
  • In the event you bought your ticket on-line, you could have the choice to lodge your grievance by way of the EU on-line dispute decision website. This service is freed from cost, and they’re going to deal with your dispute accordingly.
  • Lastly, if the airline refuses to compensate you and also you determine to take authorized motion, you possibly can go for the European Small Claims process. This entails submitting your compensation declare to a reliable courtroom, which may very well be the place of arrival or departure for flights between EU international locations (operated by one airline), or the courts within the nation the place the airline is registered.
    • To provoke this process, you’ll want to finish kind A and embrace any supporting paperwork equivalent to receipts or invoices. Upon receiving your declare, the courtroom will assess it, and if any needed data is lacking, they may request you to finish kind B. Take into account that there’s a courtroom payment related to the European Small Claims process, however this payment can be reimbursed in case your case is profitable.

– – –

Rent a Firm to Get the EU261 Compensation for You

I extremely advocate making an attempt to file a declare by yourself FIRST to make sure you obtain the total compensation. Moreover, based mostly by myself expertise and normally, this course of could be fast and easy particularly when the airline involved is from the EU (examples being like RyanAir, EasyJet, Lufthansa, Air France, and lots of others).

Nonetheless, I perceive that this will not at all times be possible with different airways; plus, it may very well be a problem so that you can do choice #2 of lodging a grievance with nationwide authorities. Time is efficacious, in spite of everything!

In such instances, there are a number of corporations specialised in dealing with EU261 claims on behalf of passengers, albeit for a payment. These charges could be fairly vital, typically reaching as much as 25% to 30% of your declare quantity! For households or bigger teams, this proportion may end up in a considerable sum — however then the upside too is that they will actually assist; plus, in the event that they fail in claiming a settlement, you don’t must pay something in any respect to them.

But when that is the one remaining choice you’d wish to take, a fast Google search will reveal quite a few choices, however when you ask me, AirHelp constantly ranks as one of many prime corporations for EU261 compensation claims.

• • •

Deadlines to Declare EU261 Compensation

EU international locations have various rules concerning the timeframe inside which you’ll be able to declare compensation, because the regulation doesn’t set up a uniform limitation interval throughout the EU.

The time restrict for claiming compensation will depend on the situation of the airline’s headquarters:

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

*Czech Republic: It’s essential to tell your airline in regards to the flight delay inside 6 months of the incident. As soon as notified, your declare stays lively for as much as 3 years.
**Germany: The interval expires on the final day of the third yr.
***Sweden: The limitation interval resets every time a declare is made. Due to this fact, for any subsequent claims, the limitation interval could be 3 years from the date the final declare was filed.

• • •

EU261 Compensation Type of Fee

Your EU261 compensation could be disbursed in numerous varieties equivalent to money, digital financial institution transfers, financial institution orders, or financial institution cheques. Alternatively, if agreed upon, it might be issued within the type of journey vouchers or different providers.

At occasions, airways could initially suggest vouchers somewhat than money. Nonetheless, it’s important to notice that EU261 ensures money compensation, which you’re entitled to if most well-liked.

IMPORTANT TIP: Upon receiving a response from the airline, be certain that the provided compensation aligns along with your scenario earlier than continuing additional.

• • •


When ought to I submit my EC261 compensation declare?

As quickly as attainable! If possible, attain out to the airline on the day of the delay itself. Appearing promptly will increase the probability of a good final result.

Can an airline refuse my EU261 compensation declare?

Definitely, the airline has the authority to reject your declare, particularly if the delay was attributable to extraordinary circumstances. Nonetheless, when you really feel your declare was unfairly denied, you possibly can discover the choice strategies I outlined on this article.

Are connecting flights coated for EC261 compensation?

Definitely. In case your journey is booked as a single itinerary, any flight departing from an EU airport qualifies for flight delay compensation underneath EU261 rules. It’s necessary to know as nicely that your ultimate vacation spot can be thought-about with reference to EU261 eligibility.

What if my flight was booked with miles—is it eligible for EU261?

No matter whether or not you booked utilizing bank card factors, redeemed an award ticket with frequent flyer miles, or paid with money, EU261 nonetheless applies. The one exceptions are tickets acquired free of charge or at diminished fares not sometimes accessible to most of the people.

I traveled with my child, can I additionally get flight delay compensation?

It varies. In line with the EU regulation, passengers are eligible for compensation if their flight is delayed by greater than three hours. Nonetheless, passengers touring free of charge are exempt from claiming compensation. As an example, if an airline permits dad and mom to deliver infants alongside for free of charge, compensation can’t be looked for the toddler. Nonetheless, when you paid for a seat to your child, even at a diminished charge, you possibly can request compensation.

Are inns and meals coated by EU261?

aspect from money compensation, EU261 mandates provisions for lodge lodging and meals. This provision, often called the “proper to care,” obliges airways to supply meals and refreshments proportionate to the ready time. Whereas different worldwide airways embrace comparable provisions of their contracts of carriage, that is somewhat a assured entitlement in Europe.

My airline positioned me in a decrease class, completely different from the ticket I bought. Can I nonetheless ask for compensation?

Completely. Inside seven days, the airline is required to refund you:
– 30% of the ticket value for flights as much as 1500 kilometers.
– 50% for intra-community flights exceeding 1500 kilometers.
– 75% for flights between European territories and French abroad departments.
– Moreover, 75% for flights not coated within the earlier instances.

We traveled as a bunch, can I ask for compensation for all of us?

Sure, you possibly can, however it’s preferable to file for compensation individually for every particular person.

How do I write a letter of compensation for flight delay?

Take a look at this pattern template I made: [click]

• • •


I hope this complete information helps you declare the compensation that’s rightfully yours!

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