Delayed Flight Compensation

Delayed Flights: Your Rights and Compensation

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Picture this: you’re at the airport, bags packed, and ready to embark on your long-awaited journey. However, as the minutes turn into hours, you realize that your flight is delayed. Flight delays can be frustrating and disrupt your travel plans, but if you’re flying within the European Union (EU), it’s crucial to know that you have specific rights and may be entitled to compensation when your flight is delayed. In this blog post, we’ll delve into your rights and the compensation you could receive when facing flight delays in the EU.

Understanding Flight Delays

Flight delays can occur for a multitude of reasons, including adverse weather conditions, technical issues, and air traffic congestion. While airlines make every effort to adhere to their schedules, flight delays remain an unfortunate aspect of air travel. When your flight is delayed, understanding your rights can help you navigate the situation more smoothly.

Your Rights When Your Flight is Delayed

When your flight is delayed in the EU, you have specific rights and options to consider:

  1. Information and Assistance: Airlines are required to provide you with information about the delay, the estimated departure time, and the reason for the delay. If the delay exceeds two hours for short-haul flights (1500 km or less), three hours for medium-haul flights (within the EU over 1500 km and other flights between 1500 and 3500 km), or four hours for long-haul flights (over 3500 km), airlines must also offer you free meals, refreshments, and access to communication (e.g., phone calls or emails). If an overnight stay becomes necessary, they should provide accommodation and transportation between the airport and the hotel.
  2. Refund or Re-routing: If the delay is significant (five hours or more), you have the right to receive a refund of your ticket instead of flying. This refund covers the part of your journey not taken and, if applicable, the part you’ve already completed if the flight no longer serves your original travel plan. It may also include a return flight to your first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.

Compensation for Delayed Flights

While compensation for delayed flights is subject to specific conditions, you may be entitled to compensation in the following cases:

  • Delays of 2 Hours or More (Flights of 1500 km or Less): Passengers are entitled to care and assistance, including meals, refreshments, accommodation, and transportation between the airport and the hotel if necessary.
  • Delays of 3 Hours or More (Flights Within the EU Over 1500 km and Other Flights Between 1500 and 3500 km): Passengers have the right to care and assistance, just like in shorter delays, but the compensation amounts also come into play.
  • Delays of 4 Hours or More (All Other Flights Over 3500 km): In this case, passengers are entitled to the same care and assistance as with shorter delays and compensation.

Compensation Amounts for Delayed Flights

The compensation you may receive for a delayed flight depends on the duration of the delay and the distance of your flight. The compensation amounts are as follows:

  • Flights of 1500 km or less:
    • Two hours or less: €125
    • More than two hours: €250
  • Flights within the EU over 1500 km and other flights between 1500 and 3500 km:
    • Three hours or less: €200
    • More than three hours: €400
  • All other flights (over 3500 km):
    • Four hours or less: €300
    • More than four hours: €600

How to Claim Compensation for a Delayed Flight

If your flight is significantly delayed, your first step should be to contact the airline and inquire about your options, including care and assistance and potential compensation. Airlines are generally required to provide written information about your rights and the rules for compensation and assistance.

If the airline does not resolve your complaint or you believe you are entitled to compensation that the airline refuses to pay, you can escalate your complaint to the appropriate national enforcement body. Each EU member state is responsible for departures from airports within its territory and arrivals into those airports from third countries on EU/EEA-licensed carriers.

In Ireland, the national enforcement body is the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). You can file a complaint with the IAA online. Here are the contact details:

Irish Aviation Authority (IAA)

  • Address: The Times Building, 11-12 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
  • Phone: +353 1 671 8655
  • Fax: +353 1 679 2934
  • Homepage:
  • Email:

By understanding your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to in case of a delayed flight, you can better navigate these situations and make informed decisions about your travel plans. Safe travels!

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