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Your rights in the event of a delayed flight.

Weclaim's world-class travel legal experts have prepared for you practical answers to the most common questions you may have regarding your rights pursuant to the EU 261/2004 Regulation if your flight to or from the EU was delayed. If you don't find the answer to your question,contact us or check the amount you are entitled to free of charge now.

What to do if your flight is delayed.

When will my EU 261 claim become time-barred?

The EU 261 Regulation does not provide an harmonised statute of limitation periods for filing a claim.

As such, the domestic law of the signatories thereto (EU Member States) will apply.

The applicable statute of limitation period therefore depends on the country with jurisdiction over your claim.

In France the limitation period is 5 years.

Find here the various limitation periods and jurisdiction rules

If the carrier offers me a voucher instead of a bank transfer, am I obliged to accept?

No. You are completely free to choose to be compensated in cash.

If the carrier refuses to pay you, start a claim with us today.

How do I calculate my flight distance to determine my compensation?

The relevant distance is that between your initial point of departure and your final destination.

You are eligible for compensation under the EU 261 Regulation if your flight is delayed for more than 3 hours.

The various levels of compensation are as follows:

  • 250 euros for flights travelling a distance less than 1500km;
  • 400 euros for flights travelling between 1500km and 3500km or for intra-member state flights travelling more than 3500km; and
  • 600 euros for international flights travelling more than 3500km

N.B.: If your international flight travelling more than 3500km arrives at its final destination with a delay of less than 4 hours, your compensatoin will be divided in half (i.e. 300 euros).

Are technical issues considered extraordinary under EU 261 Regulation?

Yes. Technical problems are not considered an extraordinary circumstance. The company is therefore required to compensate you in the even of a delay.

Are strikes considered extraordinary cirucmstances under the EU 261 Regulation?

This depends on whether the strike is internal or external.

Internal strike: You have the right to compensation if the strike is internal, e.g. a strike organised by the company's staff.

External strike: You are not entitled to compensation if the strike is external, e.g. a strike organised by airport staff.

Be aware that in any case, you have the right to be re-routed to your final destination as soon as possible without any extra cost to you. If you are not re-routed, you have the right to be refunded the entirety of your journey.

Can I make a claim for any extra losses not covered by fixed compensation amounts provided by the EU 261 Regulation?

Yes. If you have suffered any particular losses, you can make a claim for extra damages or the refund of the various expenses made as a result of the delay, as long as these expenses were reasonably foreseeable by the company. For example:

  • Partial/total loss of a car rental reservation;
  • Partial/total loss of a hotel reservation;
  • Moral damages if the delay is exceptionally long.

Does the EU 261 Regulation apply to my Flight?

The EU 261 Regulation will apply in the following situations:

  • All journeys for which the departure (airport) is located within an EU Member State, regardless of the nationality of the carrier;

OR

  • All journeys for which the arrival airport is located within an EU Member State, as long as the carrier is based within the EU. In this scenario, the point of departure is indifferent. In the case of an indirect journey, only the final destination matters.

A question or query? Check your compensation eligibility with our online simulator and see what compensation you can get!

When can the company refuse to compensate me under EU 261?

You are not eligible for compensation for "extraordinary circumstances", provided that they were (i) beyond the control of the air carrier and (ii) unavoidable even if all reasonable steps had been taken. Below is a non-exhaustive list of circumstances considered extraordinary.

Unfavourable weather conditions compromising the safety of the journey: you can find more details on weather conditions here:

  • Natural disasters: fires, earthquakes etc.
  • Terrorist attacks, civil wars, armed military conflicts etc.
  • Decisions taken by the air traffic authorities or the authorities responsible for public security and public policy, as well as decisions taken to respond appropriately to urgent transportation needs.
  • Industiral action taken by airport staff.
  • A bird strike occuring on your flight.

N.B.: Be vigilant, as companies tend to regularly invoke the extraordinary circumstances defence in order to escape liability. Do not hesitate to demand written proof from the company of the existence of the alleged circumstances. If the company refuses to do so, start a claim on our site and we will gather all the relevant information.

Are adverse weather conditions considered extraordinary circumstances under EU 261?

You will not be entitled to the EU 261 compensation if:

  • Your journey was delayed because of unfavourable weather conditions which compromised flight safety; and
  • The air traffic control authorities prohibited all arrivals and/or departures.

How much am I entitled to under the EU 261 Regulation?

The relevant distance is that between your initial point of departure and your final destination.

You are eligible for compensation under the EU 261 Regulation if your flight is delayed for more than 3 hours.

The various levels of compensation are as follows:

  • 250 euros for flights travelling a distance less than 1500km;
  • 400 euros for flights travelling between 1500km and 3500km or for intra-member state flights travelling more than 3500km; and
  • 600 euros for international flights travelling more than 3500km

N.B.: If your international flight travelling more than 3500km arrives at its final destination with a delay of less than 4 hours, your compensatoin will be divided in half (i.e. 300 euros).

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