What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed

Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, finding out that your flight is delayed is an unsettling experience. Passengers have certain legal rights and if you find yourself subject to a delayed flight, there are things that you should know to do.

Firstly, approach your airline's reception desk and ask them what has caused the delay. Try to get as much information as possible from them. If your flight is delayed for more than 3 hours, you may be entitled to seek compensation from them.

Speak to your Airline's Reception Desk

Keep Essential Paperwork

You will need to keep the following paperwork:

  • Your boarding pass. 
  • Flight tickets.
  • Booking Confirmation.
  • Any written communication from the airline's desk.
  • Receipts for any food and refreshments which you have paid for.
  • Receipts for any accommodation or transportation that you have paid for. 
  • Details of any other passengers that you are aware of, who have experienced the same delay.

If your delay is at least 2 hours, then you are entitled to ask the airline's staff for meals and refreshments, this doesn't affect your future right to seek compensation from them. It's important to keep all your receipts for anything you buy directly.

Paying for Meals and Refreshments

Overnight Accommodation

When your flight delay means you will have an overnight wait at the airport, ask for accommodation to be provided. The airline will also be responsible for providing transportation for you, to get to and from that accommodation.

If you find yourself with a delay of over five hours, then you are entitled to ask for a refund of your original ticket price or an alternative flight. Affected connecting flights are also subject to all or partial refunds and you may be entitled to a return flight to your original destination. 



Prolonged Flight Delays

Are you entitled to Compensation?

If your actual time of arrival, when the plane doors open at your final destination, is more than 3 hours from the planned time of arrival, you may be entitled to compensation. Extraordinary circumstances do sometimes exist which deem the airline not responsible.

This flight delay compensation calculator will easily help you determine how much you can claim for your delayed flight.



According EU261 flights out with EU flight routes are not entitled to compensation.

  • EU flight routes are entitled to compensation.
  • Flights departing from EU territories to non-EU arrival destinations - only entitled if your airline is registered within the EU.
  • Flights departing from non-EU territories to EU territories arrival destinations - both EU registered and non-EU registered are entitled. 
  • Some other destinations are also entitled due to their administration being dependent on EU territories.

Other Compensation Criteria

Compensation Levels

The original cost of your flight doesn't affect the amount of compensation that you could be entitled to. The maximum compensation available is €600. The actual compensation award depends on your distance travelled:

  • Flights up to 1,500 km: €250
  • All flight in EU over 1,500km: €400
  • All remaining flights between 1,500 and 3,500km: €400
  • Remaining flights over 3,500km: €600

If the airline offers you a written offer of a friendly settlement and you accept, then you won't be entitled to seek compensation. Compensation must be applied for through written means. Either by email, letter or through the airline's website.

You can also use a specialist company and ask them to act upon your behalf. You can access further specialist advice and more information on what to do if you find your flight is delayed by visiting givt.com.


Seeking Compensation for your Delayed Flight