Fanny explains: your right to compensation in the event of flight delay

7/18/2017

Fanny is a legal advisor at ECC Sweden, and she is used to answering questions regarding flight travel. In the first article in our series "Fanny explains", she answers questions regarding your right to compensation in the event of a delayed flight.

Konsument Europas juridiska rådgivare Fanny.

Hello Fanny! Is it true that, as an air passenger, I can get compensated when my flight is delayed?

- Yes, if the flight is covered by the EU regulation on air passengers' rights, you may have the right to economical compensation when your flight is at least three hours delayed at your final destination.

Hur large is the compensation when the flight is delayed?

- 250 euro for flights with a maximum distance of 1 500 km, 400 euro for flights within the EU longer than 1 500 km and for other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 km, and 600 euro for all other flights. The amounts may be reduced by half in certain cases, should you be re-booked to another flight. 

As an air passenger, do I always have the right to compensation when the flight is delayed?

- No, the airline is not obligated to compensate you if it can prove that the delay is due to "extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken". Extraordinary circumstances must always be evaluated from case to case. Examples of extraordinary circumstances could be political instability, bad weather which makes it impossible to fly, security risks or strikes that affect the airline's business.

How do I seek compensation when the flight is delayed?

- Contact the airline in writing and explain that you would like compensation and why. Normally you can file your complaint at the airline's website. It is important that you save a copy of your complaint, in order to be able to prove that you have filed a complaint.

How long do I have to wait for a reply from the airline? What should I do if I do not get a reply or if I am not happy with it?

- If the airline does not reply within six weeks, or if you get a reply that you are not happy with, you can contact ECC Sweden. We may assist you in case the airline is based in another EU-country, Norway or Iceland.

More information

Read more about your rights in the article delayed flight.