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What are my rights if my flight is delayed?

How much can I claim?

If your delay is superior to 3 hours, you are entitled to get:

  • 250 euros for flights of 1500 km or less;
  • 400 euros for intra-Community flights of more than 1500 km and for all other flights flights between 1500 and 3500 km;
  • 600 euros euros for all other flights.

In which situations European law is applicable?

The European Regulation 261/2004, that you can read here applies to:

  • passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State (for example a London - New York flight)
  • passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier (for example a New York - London flight operated by British Airways).

In both cases, you are entitled to claim compensation if your flight delay is superior to 3 hours.

However, in case of extraordinary circumstances, the airline can be exempted from its liability. The airline is therefore not obliged to pay you compensation.

What can I do if European law is not applicable?

If Regulation 261/2004 is not applicable to your situation, the Montreal Convention is. You can read the Convention here.

For example, for a New York - London flight operated by American Airlines, the European Regulation 261/2004 is not applicable. You have to apply the Montreal Convention.

What can I do if my flight delay is inferior to 3 hours?

Only the Montreal Convention is applicable. The judge will decide whether or not you should receive compensation. If the delay is reasonable (1 or 2 hours), the judge will probably not oblige the airline to pay you compensation. But if the delay is superior to 2 hours, you should definitely start a claim !


One of our clients was travelling from Montreal to Paris. His flight had a 2h40 delay. The European Regulation was not applicable but the Montreal Convention was. The airline agreed to pay compensation to our client after several months of negotiations. Our client received 150 euros.

You have questions on your rights? You can call us everyday for 9 am to 7 pm at +44203 823 6404 or you can start a claim here.

by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder & Director

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