We have put together a very helpful FAQ to help answer the most common questions with regards to flight delays. These could be general concerns regarding flight delays or questions related to how to get compensation for your troubles, and losses due to the delay.
Where To Get Started
Q: What is an ‘actionable’ flight delay?
A: The first thing you should know is that claiming flight delay compensation is a customer’s RIGHT. If your flight was delayed for a long period of time, and you incurred additional expenses because of the delay, then you qualify for flight delay reimbursement.
What does that mean?
It means that you’re entitled to get paid for the trouble caused TO YOU by the inconvenience regarding a 3-hour or more delay in your flight carrier’s scheduled departure/arrival.
You can even file a complaint to address this issue and proceed legally if the company refuses to pay out. Of course, you’ll not be in it alone since all the passengers of your delayed flight would have been in the same position as you; there are plenty of companies in the UK that offer expert solicitor’s advice and services in such matters.
What if the delay was shorter than three hours? Unfortunately, that would not be considered an actionable flight delay.
Q: What should I do to claim my flight delay compensation?
A: If your schedule was adversely affected because you experienced a VERY long flight delay, we have some good news for you! According to EU Regulation 261/2004 you have the right to receive care and compensation for any EU flight delay, from 3 hours and up the delays are actionable and indemnisation is required. You can do the following to claim said compensation:
1. Submit a compensation claim to the airline. Most of them have an option to do this in the customer support section on their respective websites.
2. Buy flight delay compensation insurance. Instead of dealing with the airline. You will be assisted by your insurance provider.
3. If the airline refuses to payout you can hire legal assistance provided by UK-based companies that deal with this type of issue. The UK has many regulations in place to uphold passenger’s rights and safety.
4. Go to our website for quick and easy flight delay compensation.
Q: What can you do during flight delays?
A: There are plenty of options for you to spend your time during a flight delay.
Since almost no company wants to go to court for this matter, they will try to please you with a wide array of services that are otherwise paid separately.
That could go from free meals according to the time of day, to phone calls, or internet service so you can communicate your delay to any parties you will be meeting at your destination.
They could even set up a hotel room for you to spend the night if that were the case and they would take care of the charges. If you are delayed for a whole night and you decide to stay in a hotel of your choice you’ll have to keep the receipt for a full or partial refund claim, depending on the airline’s policy.
We highly recommend that you keep very good notes with the name of every person you speak with, both in person and over the phone.
Always be polite when speaking with airline personnel. Keep in mind, while it is frustrating, they are not personally responsible for the delay as most delays are caused by weather. And even though some airline personnel believe this, they are not God.
Q: What is causing my flight delay?
A: There are many reasons why your flight could have been delayed, including but not limited to:
1. Maintenance issues. Aircrafts are machines, and as they operate heavy hours, their parts must be replaced frequently to ensure maximum safety and performance, but this maintenance schedule can often interfere with the original time of departure, causing a flight to be delayed.
2. Fuelling. Delays in the fuelling schedule can set back a flight’s departure a couple of hours at the least. In spite of the fact that engine consumption standards are something that every airline and fueling company should know about and plan accordingly; flight delays due to planes needing fuel are very common.
3. Bad weather. Safety in flights has been one of the top priorities for years and thus, the carriers must ensure there is little to no chance of accidents for a flight to proceed to its destination without risking the lives of its passengers. They make use of weather measurement technology to spot tornados or dense fog to decide whether the flight will be delayed due to these extreme conditions or not.
4. Airline mistakes. The air travel industry is one of the busiest and most crowded businesses, which means that some scheduling and pricing errors may occur.
Otherwise known as flight fare errors, these are mistakes in the pricing of flight tickets that may occur from time to time due to the large amount of transactions that take place every minute.
Currently this is ranking up as the first cause of flight delays; it could potentially cost a lot of money to the airlines, and this same reason lands a compensation for flight delays to the customer, who is given a reason to claim a discount for wrongly-priced tickets.
Q: What are some extraordinary circumstances regarding flight delay compensations?
A: Some of the exceptional circumstances, which can make the airlines exempt from refunding any money, for flight delays are: war, civil unrest, National Security issues, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions (snow storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning storms, among others), restrictions from air traffic control, airport staff strikes, on board medical emergencies and other various crew-related issues and such.
You can get more information about extraordinary circumstances by checking with our team, they are experts in the matter of flight delays and will advise you on the best course of action to save money and get your compensation.
Q: How to handle a flight delay?
A: Picture this: you are traveling to Rome for your holiday. You have arranged for private guides to take you on tours, including picking you up from the airport and attending a special event at the Coliseum.
However, your flight’s delayed and you’re stressed. The pickup and the event that evening is very expensive and is a “can’t miss.” There are two ways you can handle this. You can approach an agent of the airline, yell, scream, throw a tantrum like you are two years old, and swear like a sailor.
Demanding to be compensated and making a huge scene. Or, you could take our advice…
There is a magical phrase that works nearly every time in the airline industry, and that is “I need your help.” Customer service and gate agents have stressful jobs. They aren’t usually paid well and deal with a lot of rude people. Don’t be one of them.
This phrase is one of the best disarming phrases, and nearly each time used, the agent will snap into a genuine “how may I help” mode. What you may not know is that airlines can, at their expense, put you on another airline so you can make it to your destination if that is available. But they won’t unless there is a reason to.
Instead of asking for it or demanding it, tell the story. Don’t look at their name tag and then say their name. That is poor manners.
Look them in the eye and sincerely ask them their name. Introduce yourself. “Can I share with you a quick story, it will only take two minutes.” Of course they will agree.
Tell them of the surprise trip you planned to Rome, a place your spouse has always wanted to go. About how you made detailed plans on getting picked up at the airport and taken to a special event at the Coliseum that evening.
You should also add, “While I realise this is not a life or death situation, the event tonight would make my spouse’s life. Can you help to get us there on time?” That’s it. Let them work their magic.
As long as the delay is not weather related, they will do what they can to get you there. Of course, it helps if you have status with the airline. The key is explaining why it is important you get to your destination on time, be polite, short and to the point.
No one likes someone who is overly dramatic and won’t shut up. However, do not forget to exercise your passenger’s rights, after all your flight was delayed and you have to set things straight with the airline, meaning you can get compensation.
So if the agent does not give you what you want, get on the phone and call the airline direct. At minimum they should offer you meals and phone cards so you can contact the tour company to re-arrange your pickup.
As mentioned before, write down the name, the time, and the location of each airline employee you spoke with and a summary of the conversation. This will greatly help you when you file for compensation.
Q: When does a flight delay become a cancellation?
A: Depending on the policies of the airline, a flight delay becomes a cancellation under very specific circumstances. No carrier wants upset customers.
A flight might be cancelled due to circumstances related to passenger safety, such as bad weather or aircraft related issues: last minute failures or less than satisfactory performance.
In other cases, the reason for a cancellation may be linked to the staff; eventual strikes or other issues in that matter can have a major impact in whether the flight gets cancelled or just delayed.
Q: What is delayed flight insurance?
A: This insurance shouldn’t be confused with your foreign travel insurance; they are two completely different insurances that passengers may need. Flight delayed insurance isn’t obligatory and it can be used inside the UK.
This is a type of insurance you can book to assure you’re getting compensated every time your flight is sufficiently delayed, no matter what. Many companies offer this service and if you’re a frequent traveler with a lot of miles on your record; this is something you will find very handy. Make sure you make this a priority in your traveller’s checklist.
Think of it as an investment, not an expense, because the more you travel, the more you are exposed to unpleasant flight delays.
Q: What does my delayed flight insurance cover?
A: The coverage of such a service often includes the following: extreme weather, stolen passports, cash or other travel documents, delays due to quarantine of you or a travel partner, hijacking, unannounced strikes, natural disasters, civil unrest and riots.
All of the above must be within the limits stated in the Insurance Company’s policies and your personal contract, so be mindful of the range of your insurance coverage regarding late flight compensation.
Q: Who is responsible for flight delays?
A: We all want to know who’s responsible for our travel related mishaps. Even more so when the only way to reach our destination on time is by a relatively expensive mean of transportation such as an aircraft.
Sometimes, nature is responsible for our delays; since you can’t talk the fog or a heavy rain into dissipating itself, you just have to wait until the weather clears.
On the other hand, when the responsible party is a human being, you sure have some options; it usually ends up being a whole chain of roles that contribute to an intricate butterfly effect, somebody “misplaced someone’s luggage” and caused a delay for the rest of the passengers.
Someone fell asleep and arrived late to their job, or simply the whole system went off-sync and caused the house of cards to hit the ground. Either way, your complaint should be always directed to the airline or flight company.
They sold you the tickets, they are responsible for most of what could happen around the trip. Our flight delay claims experts will ensure that your rights are observed and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Q: How to calculate flight delay payout?
A: Your flight delay compensation stands between 250 and 600 euros; our team will be able to calculate your reimbursement after we’ve received your claim, in less than a day you’ll have an estimate.
The exact amount is calculated taking the distance and the flight delay time into account. Be sure to check your flight number and other valuable information on your ticket, this way you will be able to support your case with important facts that will have a direct impact in the outcome of your compensation claiming process.
There are online tools to calculate your estimated flight delay compensation based on distance and time. We advise you to contact our team and let us assist you to avoid any confusion such as having the airline refuse to payout or pay you less than you deserve for your troubles.
Q: What is the procedure to complain about a flight delay?
A: After you have processed the fact that your plans have gone awry, the smart thing to do is to write a letter. Address the issue in a calm and formal matter.
Be clear and concise instead of venting out all of your frustration. Focus on facts and precise information about your flight. Use the data on your ticket and all other important details that might help you support your claim.
Take the letter to the front desk. They’ll be sure to help you as this is not an uncommon situation for airlines; its more frequent than you think, and we offer you the best services to help you handle these situations easily and stress-free.
Q: How to write a flight delay letter?
A: You won’t get much if you don’t speak your mind; so it’s critical that you put together all the info you can about your flight in your letter; such as distance, departure/destination and scheduled times, delayed time and every other detail you consider relevant to support what you’re requesting.
Be mindful of your language, be formal and go straight to the point without stating anything less than the most vital information for the purposes of the letter. Avoid getting emotional, keep steady and write your complaint to the airline company.
This is why it is vital that you write down the names, location, and times of each member of the airline that you spoke with regarding your delay. It will make the compensation process much easier. Our team will handle this for you, be sure to contact us with your worries and we’ll take them right off your hands.
My Own Experience: Personal Worries Regarding Flight Delays
Some of the most important questions you might ask yourself if your flight is delayed.
Q: My flight was delayed for over 6 hours, what are my rights regarding settlement?
A: Customers that have experienced a flight delay for more than three hours are legally entitled to receive a compensation for delayed flight.
Meaning that you have the right to receive a cash compensation proportional to the distance and waiting time regardless of the ticket price. Given the right circumstances you might qualify for a free hotel room if you have to stay overnight due to your flight delay. Check in with our team and find out what your rights are and how to proceed in order to get the payoff you deserve.
Q: My flight is going to be delayed and I’ll probably go nuts, how can I deal with being stuck in the airport for over 10 hours?
A: At this point all you can do is cope with the fact that your schedule isn’t going to come as planned.
However, not everything should be on the downside; any experience can be turned into a positive one with the right mindset, you could end up with a memorable story to remember for years about the food you ate, the things you saw, the room you stayed in, and above all, the fact that the airline who put you through all that hassle is giving you a treat to make up for the trouble for free!
We recommend trying to stay calm and collected; it won’t do you any good to stress and be miffed, airports can be quite annoying and leave you shattered.
Here are some things you can do to pass the time: try finding relaxing games on your phone, working on that presentation you still have to finish, calling your family or getting in touch with your friends.
Also, almost every airline has a “crown room” for high status passengers. Often, with long delays of 10 hours, they will make an exception and allow you access with no additional fee.
Often these are equipped with showers, light food provided and alcohol, which can really help your delay.
Q: Is there any way for me to find out if my flight will be delayed before going to the airport?
A: Yes, there there are several tools, apps and websites dedicated to flight tracking, providing real-time stats and info about flights worldwide.
Some airlines have their own tracking systems on their apps and websites. It is best to have the apps downloaded BEFORE you leave for the airport, as with delays internet access is often slow with so many people accessing the signal.
You can use these convenient tools to monitor the current status of the flight that you’re taking to avoid wasting more time than necessary.
Q: I fly regularly and flight delays are always messing up my schedule. What can I do to avoid a flight delay?
A: There is a reasonable chance you can keep flight delays to a minimum, such as avoiding airports which rank high in flight delays. There are also some tips you could use to avoid this sort of situation, as of February 2016 they are:
1. Book Non-Stop Flights. As with the tube, the less transfers you take, the less time you’ll spend on your trip.
2. Pick Your Travel Days Right. Flying in the middle of the week could ensure you enjoy a more pleasant trip. Flying midweek you will experience the lowest amount of air traffic and will improve your chances of avoiding flight delays.
3. Morning Before Evening. Even if you’re not a morning person, try to choose an early departure hour. The morning staff may be more attentive and efficient since they are still fresh and well rested; take advantage of a staff that’s willing to move things along and you may be able to beat flight delays.
4. Size Matters. As in most things in life, the size of the airport will influence flight delays. Choose smaller airports over big hubs whenever you can; reduced space, fewer aircrafts, lower air traffic, less delays, it’s simple as that.
Even though the infrastructure of a top-tier airport comes with its benefits, if your schedule is a bit tight you shouldn’t hesitate in playing it smart and picking a smaller, less crowded airport to keep your schedule on time.
5. Mind The Rankings. What people think of an airport matters, if an airport has smashing reviews, then use it.
Be sure to research the current statistics regarding the worst airports, especially the stats on traffic delays.
This way you’ll make sure you’re traveling with the top notch in the business and avoiding poorly reviewed airports.
Q: How can I prove to my Flight insurance company that I had a flight delay?
A: You can easily prove that your flight was delayed for whatever reason using online flight tracking tools. These provide sufficient information to support you.
Just enter your flight’s data and take a screenshot. It will include Departure/Arrival estimated times, Actual times, distance and more.
All this information will be necessary to claim a reimbursement regarding flight cancellation insurance or delayed flight compensation.
Q: I’m traveling with a group/relatives. Can I claim a compensation for them as well?
A: Yes, you can. Keep mind that some companies could claim passengers under 2 years of age aren’t entitled to reimbursement for their flight delayed as they are boarding using reduced price tickets or they didn’t have their own tickets.
All of this makes no difference as any and every passenger flying with an EU carrier is eligible for a delayed flight compensation if the flight was delayed for more than 3 hours and there were no extraordinary circumstances involved.
Q: Can I claim compensation for a flight that I took several months ago?
A: You can claim compensation for as far as SIX years in the past as long as you still have all the required information to support it; don’t throw away your tickets or insurance forms after a flight delay, it make take some time but the airline should pay you for your inconvenience.
Q: I used air miles to pay for my ticket. Can I still claim compensation?
A: You can claim compensations for as far as SIX years in the past as long as you still have all the required information to support it; don’t throw away your tickets or insurance forms after a flight delay, it make take some time but the airline should pay you for your inconvenience.
Q: I agreed to board a flight from a different airline. Am I still entitled to claim the compensation?
A: Yes, however, you should address the original company; the one you were supposed to fly with instead of the other airline, since they are the airline on record for your flight and they are still held responsible for any delays or other mishaps that might occur during your flight. Get in touch with us for more information on how to claim your compensation.
Q: The Airline is offering vouchers and/or fly miles instead of cash money. Should I accept that?
A: Think carefully about accepting such an offer. Vouchers or miles are more affordable alternatives for the Carriers to pay you for your troubles instead of a simple cash refund.
As they represent an option of less value, you shouldn’t take anything other than cash as a flight delay compensation, regardless of what the airline claims or offers.
Q: I bought my ticket through a travel agency. Does that mean that I’m not entitled to a flight delay compensation?
A: That is not true. You are in the position of claiming a flight delay compensation even if your ticket was purchased through a travel agency or any other third party.
As long as someone paid for the ticket and it has your information in it, you can claim a flight delay compensation.
Q: My flight was delayed and I missed my connection. Can I claim a flight delay compensation?
A: As long as the delayed time to your final destination surpasses the legal limit of 3 hours you are entitled and eligible for a delayed flight compensation. It doesn’t matter by how much you missed your connection. You should be reimbursed according to the distance and time you were delayed.
Q: I booked a charter flight and it was delayed. Does that qualify for flight delay compensation?
A: Yes, any flight departing or arriving to any EU members qualifies for a flight delay compensation and such an issue should be addressed as indifferently, as if it were a regular flight. You should contact your carrier and carry out the process with no additional requirements from those of regular flights.
Q: I was traveling in a group and our plane was delayed. Do I have to claim compensation for each per person separately?
A: Claiming for flight delays can be done as a group, however it’s advised that you proceed separately.
As a Civil Law matter, the case could be addressed in a much more efficient way by taking each individual’s case and data as an independent issue, making it much easier to check the overall progress of every single one.
Q: I have lost my travel documents. Can I still make a claim for a flight delay?
A: We advise you to always keep your travel documents in a safe place and never lose sight of your bags, wallet or purse; losing your travel documents might mean more than losing a flight delay claim, you could be stranded on a foreign country without a way to prove who you are, be vigilant and careful.
However, if you have lost them you can easily get your flight information back by asking your travel agent or an airline for a copy from their archives. That way you could follow the claiming process without any further consequences in that matter.