Flight delays and cancellations: Your ultimate guide to airports worldwide

At Flight-Delayed.co.uk, we provide you with essential information on claiming compensation and refunds and different conditions that apply to airports in different regions.

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Key takeaways:

  • If your flight is delayed for at least 3 hours, you may be entitled to compensation of up to £520 per passenger!

  • If your flight is cancelled 14 days prior to departure, you may be entitled to compensation, a full refund, or even both!

  • Flight-Delayed.co.uk can provide you with a hassle-free experience by handling the entire claim process on your behalf.

Is my flight delayed or cancelled?

We strongly advise you to always check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport. This way, you can avoid some extra expenses with unexpected delays or cancellations. To check the status of your flight, you can visit the website of your departure or arrival airports.

Airport flight delayed — claim flight compensation

If your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to flight compensation of up to £520 per passenger under British and EU regulations, provided that your flight follows the criteria listed below.

  1. You arrived at your final destination more than three hours later than planned, AND,

  2. The reason for the delay was at fault of the airline.

If your flight didn’t meet both of these criteria, you are not entitled to compensation.

Airport flight cancelled — compensation and refund policies

If your flight is cancelled, you may have the right to a full refund or re-routing to your final destination. In addition, you may be entitled to compensation of up to £520 per passenger, depending on the following circumstances:

  1. Your flight must be cancelled within 14 days of the scheduled departure date, AND,

  2. The reason for the cancellation was at fault of the airline.

The airline is not obliged to pay compensation if the cancellation is due to “extraordinary circumstances”, such as severe weather or security threats.

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How much flight compensation can I get for my delayed or cancelled flight?

The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive for your delayed or cancelled flight depends on the distance of your flight.

Read the following for more details:

  • For flights shorter than 1,500 km, the compensation is £220.

  • For flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km, the compensation is £350.

  • For flights of over 1,500 kilometres within the EU, the compensation is also £350.

  • For flights of over 3,500 kilometres outside of the EU, the compensation is £520 —but if your flight was delayed by fewer than 4 hours, the total amount might be reduced by 50%.

How to claim flight compensation for my delayed/cancelled flight?

To submit a claim, you will need to gather your flight details and any supporting documents, such as your boarding pass and travel itinerary. You can then submit your claim through our free, no-obligation online claim calculator. Our legal experts with over 10 years of experience will handle the entire process on your behalf. No win, no fee!

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I am flying from a non-UK or non-EU airport, am I still eligible for compensation?

If you're flying from an airport outside the UK or the EU, your rights to compensation will depend on the airline you're flying with and the country in which the airline is based.

If you are flying with a non-UK/EU carrier, you may only be eligible for compensation when you depart from a UK/EU airport. For more information, see the table below for some examples:

Delays and cancellations at airports: can the airline deny my claim?

There are certain circumstances where an airline may not be responsible for flight delays or cancellations, such as in cases of extreme weather, air traffic control strikes, or security alerts. These circumstances are known as extraordinary circumstances.

Here are some of the most common extraordinary circumstances:

  • Bad weather conditions, such as thick fog, heavy rain, or thunderstorms.

  • A strike, most often specifically within the aviation industry (for example, a strike of air traffic control workers at a specific airport).

    However, a strike of the airline's crew is not considered an extraordinary circumstance!

  • Political circumstances, such as a terrorist attack or general security risk due to political unrest.

  • Natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.

  • A collision between the aircraft and birds or other foreign objects.

  • An ill or unruly passenger.

  • Flight delays caused by the airport staff, such as extraordinarily long queues to security checks.

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How much time do I have to submit my flight compensation claim?

The time limit for claiming compensation varies depending on the country where the airline is based, your country of departure, as well as your country of arrival. In most cases, you have at least 1 year from the date of the flight to submit a claim.

The United Kingdom has some of the longest periods to submit a delayed flight compensation claim — you have to 6 years to do so. However, there is an exception with Scotland with a limit of 5 years.

If the UK is not part of your itinerary, different local regulations may apply. For example, in France, you have 5 years to submit your delayed flight compensation claim, but in Poland, you have only 1 year.

Our tips on how to kill time if you're stuck at an airport!

Delayed or cancelled flights can be frustrating, but there are plenty of ways to kill time at an airport. You can explore the airport's shops and restaurants, catch up on work using the airport's free Wi-Fi, or simply relax in a lounge or seating area. Some airports even offer amenities like spas, movie theatres, and swimming pools. Whatever your interests, there's sure to be something to keep you occupied during your wait.

Useful links

Do you still have questions and doubts regarding your right to compensation and/or refund? Follow the links below for more information!

Airports in the United Kingdom

The UK has many airports catering to domestic and international flights. The busiest airports in the UK are London HeathrowLondon GatwickManchesterLondon Stansted, and London Luton.

Under British regulations, you are entitled to compensation as long as you are flying with a UK or EU flight carrier. If you fly with a non-UK/EU carrier, you have to depart from a UK/EU destination.

List of UK airports:

Airports in Europe

Air travel is an essential part of modern life, and Europe has some of the busiest and most important airports in the world. Under EU261, you are entitled to compensation as long as you are flying with a UK or EU flight carrier. If you fly with a non-UK/EU carrier, you have to depart from a UK/EU destination. If your flight departed from any of the following airports, no matter the airline, you could be entitled to flight compensation under the European regulations.

List of European airports:

Airports in other regions of the world – Asia, Middle-East, North and South America, Africa

Apart from Europe, there are several airports located in other regions of the world that cater to millions of passengers every year. However, if you are flying with an airline not based in the UK or EU, you can only get flight compensation if your flight departs from a UK or EU airport. See the section above about non-UK/EU flights for more details.