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UK Flight Delay Compensation

UK flight delay compensation?

Is it even possible to claim compensation for delay after Brexit? Yes, it is. In fact, nothing much has changed. Because the United Kingdom has put laws in place to replace EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004. We will call it the Regulation UK261. And just like before — if your flight has been delayed, cancelled or you’ve been denied boarding, you may get compensation. As long as your flight meets certain criteria.

In this article, we will focus on flight delay compensation.

Read on to find out more.

1. Regulation UK261

In which situations does the Regulation UK261 apply?

Here’s a little reminder, the UK Regulation applies to:

  • All flights within the UK, no matter what airline;
  • All flights departing from the UK, regardless of the airline you are travelling on and destination;
  • All flights landing in the UK, if the operating airline is a UK or EU airline;
  • All flights landing in the EU, if the operating airline is a UK airline;
  • Both scheduled and charter flights.
  • Both full service and low cost airlines.

In many situations, it works with all airlines.

2. UK Flight Delay Compensation

The UK flight delay compensation rules are very simple.

You can get flight delay compensation, if you reach your destination at least 3 hours later than the scheduled time, and the airline is responsible for the delay (e.g. technical issues with the aircraft or missing crew). If your flight meets these conditions, you will be eligible to compensation of up to £520.

Could you be entitled to UK flight delay compensation?

Yes, if:

  • It’s a 3+ hour delay;
  • It’s your airline’s fault;
  • Flight is to/from/within the UK and EU.

2.1 Extraordinary Circumstances

Flights get disrupted due to number of reasons.

Sometimes it happens due to extraordinary circumstances.If your flight has been delayed due to “extraordinary circumstances,” the airline is exempted from the obligation to pay compensation. Extraordinary circumstances are situations which are considered out of airline’s control. These are situations such as bad weather, national strike, hidden manufacturing defects, security risks, terrorism threat, political or civil unrest.

As you can see, technical problems aren’t on this list. Only hidden manufacturing defects are listed under “extraordinary circumstances”. Why this is important to know? Because not always airlines are telling the real reason for delay. If you are claiming compensation yourself (not with a help of a compensation company), your claim may be denied. And the reason often is “extraordinary circumstances — technical problems”. To avoid paying compensation, sometimes airlines refer to aircraft technical problems as extraordinary circumstances. That’s what they tell their passengers.

But it’s not true. Technical problems are not considered “extraordinary circumstances,” unless it is some hidden manufacturing defect. If your flight is delayed due to technical problems, you should contact the airline and request compensation. 

Or fill in our claim form, and our partners will do that for you.

2.2 How to Calculate the Delay Time?

Flight delay time is calculated based on the actual time of arrival.

You can’t calculate the delay time based on the time of departure. It is only considered a 3 hour-delay when doors of the aircraft are opened 3 or more hours later than the original arrival time. In this case, you may be entitled to compensation.

This also applies to connecting flights, which consist of two or more consecutive flights. In this case, your destination is the final destination. You don’t have to calculate how much later you arrived at any of the layover airports. Only the final destination matters. 

2.3 Right to Care

According to the UK261, you also have a right to care.

When your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least 3 hours, and because of that you have to wait at the airport, you have a right to care. This also applies to denied boarding. 

The airline must offer you free meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, two free phone calls, e-mails or faxes. If your flight is delayed overnight, you should be offered a free hotel stay and transfer to this hotel, and back to the airport. It’s airline’s obligation to provide all of these services.

Euro banknotes
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

3. How to Claim Compensation For Delayed Flight?

How to claim flight delay compensation?

There are two ways you can do it.

1. Contact the airline yourself. Call, write a message or send an e-mail to the airline’s customer support centre and request compensation for flight delay. Or fill in the flight delay compensation form on airline’s website. Keep in mind, that this process may take a few months, and be prepared to fight for your rights. Make sure you have all the necessary information about your flight. Also it’s good to know the reason why your flight was delayed, and how long exactly the delay was. The more information you have, the better.

2. Legal representation. It’s the easiest option. 

In this case everything is done by professionals (flight compensation company). All you have to do is to fill in one form. The rest is done on your behalf by a team of professionals. Our partners offers such a service.

When choosing this option, here is all you will have to do:

Go to
this page

Fill in a claim form

Upload documents*

Sign online

And that’s it — the rest is handled by professionals.

* Your boarding pass and passport or ID copy.

3.1 How Long Does It Take?

It takes at least a couple of months. 

If the airline doesn’t cooperate, and it’s necessary to take your case to a national enforcement body or court, it will add 2-6 months to the process.

3.2 How Much Can You Claim?

The amount depends on the distance of your flight.

In the UK, they range from £220/€250 to £520/€600.

How to calculate your flight delay compensation?

Use this simple flight delay compensation calculator.

When your destination is within the EU/UK:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1500 – 3500 km

When your destination is outside the EU/UK:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1500 – 3500 km


If the distance of your flight is more than 3500 km

There’s one exception. When the flight distance is 3500+ kilometres and you reach your destination 3 to 4 hours later than planned, you are entitled only to 50% of the compensation amount (that means €260, not €520).

4. Compensation or Voucher Refund?

You might be offered a voucher instead of compensation.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to offer any coupons or vouchers. According to the Regulation UK261, compensation must be paid in cash or by bank transfer.

5. Budget Airlines and Regulation UK261

The rules are identical with all airlines.

As long as the flight falls under the UK261, you are entitled to compensation and right to care. It doesn’t matter what airline you are flying with, be it a budget airline, traditional airline or charter airline. Also, the price of your ticket doesn’t matter. If your £5 flight is heavily delayed due to the fault of the airline, you may be entitled to full flight delay compensation.

Featured photo by Wayne Jackson from Pexels