Flight delayed, cancelled or overbooked?

You may be entitled to up to £520 in compensation!

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Alitalia flight delayed or cancelled? Here is what you should do


Passenger rights are important! When travelling in, to and from Europe there is a body of legislation that grants you the right to be compensated when your flight has been delayed, cancelled, overbooked or if your schedule has been changed. In this page you will learn all you need to know about your rights, the exceptions and, most importantly, how to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to as a passenger.


When flying with Alitalia, your passenger rights are covered


Alitalia is very well-known and needs no introduction. However, not all passengers are aware of the fact that if your Alitalia flight has been delayed, cancelled or overbooked, you may very well be entitled to compensation. Although different criteria apply for flight delays and cancellations, your passenger rights are protected by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. In most cases, you’ll be able to claim if you’ve arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours (2 for cancellations). And, as established by the previously mentioned regulation, you can claim your compensation, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, up to 6 years after the date of the flight.


Conditions that must be met to claim compensation from Alitalia:


  • The flight route: The European regulation states that you can claim compensation when a flight is operated by a European airline (like Alitalia) and it takes off from and/or arrives at an airport in Europe.

  • Circumstances: The regulations also state that, in order to claim compensation for a flight delay, cancellation or incident of denied boarding, the disruption must not have been a result of extraordinary circumstances.

  • The deadline for claiming compensation: In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is possible to claim compensation up to 6 years after the date of the flight. The timeframe varies depending on the European country.

  • The total time of your delay: In most cases, you will be able to claim if you’ve arrived at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours. When it comes to cancellations, it's 2 hours.


Other criteria may apply. If you want to know more about these conditions, don’t forget to read our dedicated pages about cancellations and delays.


Alitalia must offer passenger assistance and care in case of a long delay


Alitalia should provide you with proper care in the event of a long delay or flight cancellation. This may include the following:


  • Meals and drinks

  • Two different occasions in which you are allowed to establish communication with an individual of your choice (calls, emails, etc.)

  • Hotel accommodations if necessary (one or more nights) and transport from the airport to the hotel


If you do not receive the corresponding assistance and/or care, and therefore you incur in extra expenses, you have the right to be reimbursed. Remember to keep your itemised invoices and receipts. The request for reimbursement may also be attached to your claim for compensation.


Alitalia: the total amount of compensation for a flight delay, cancellation or overbooking?


Set by EC Regulation 261/2004, the total amount you may receive as compensation is defined by the flight’s itinerary and the distance between the airport of departure and arrival. Connecting flights are taken into account when assessing your situation. In other words, your whole booking is covered by the regulation. Consequently, it’s the distance between your initial airport of departure and your final destination what will determine the total amount of money that you may receive in compensation for your delayed, overbooked or cancelled flight. Connecting flights are covered as long as they have been booked under the same reference. Put differently, if they are part of the same ticket or itinerary.


Alitalia flight compensation amounts


  • For all flights covering a distance of up to 1,500 kilometres, you will receive up to £220

  • For all flights covering a distance between 1,500 kilometres and 3,500 kilometres, you will receive up to £350

  • For flights covering a distance greater than 3,500 kilometres, you are entitled to up to £530


Please remember that if your flight travelled a distance greater than 3,500 kilometres and it was delayed more than 3 hours but fewer than 4, then the total amount of compensation is reduced by 50%. The regulation defines the total amounts in euros and they are €250, €400 and €600.


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How to proceed when seeking compensation for a delayed or cancelled Alitalia flight


These are our most relevant recommendations and things to keep in mind when your Alitalia flight has been disrupted:


Keep a copy of your travel documents


  • Flight documents (boarding pass, booking confirmation, e-ticket, delay statement, etc.)

  • Receipts for additional costs (e.g. taxi, food and accommodation)


Remember and record the information of your disrupted Alitalia flight


  • Flight number

  • The flight schedule (arrival & departure hours)

  • Length of the delay (final departure and arrival time)


Find out the reason for the flight’s delay or cancellation


  • Ask Alitalia’s staff and crew

  • Check the weather

  • Check if other flights are delayed or cancelled (arriving at or departing from the same airport)


Check your flight for free with our claim calculator and find out immediately if you can claim compensation!


Enter the date and flight number of your Alitalia flight in our claim calculator below to see if you can claim compensation for your delay or cancellation. You will also know the total amount of compensation you may be entitled to.


Claim your compensation from Alitalia


Very often, airlines make the process of claiming as complicated as possible in order to simply avoid compensating their passengers. They also overuse the argument that a disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance. Therefore, and more often than not, one sees passengers lose hope and accept the airline’s rejection as the truth.


Fortunately, we have the adequate tools and databases to ensure that your rights are enforced and to fact-check the airlines. We will even take the them to court when necessary and all of the legal costs will be covered by our win-fee. If you wish so, we can take care of everything and help you enforce your rights!


Check for compensation


If you want to maximise the probability of being compensated for your Alitalia flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, you can let a specialised service, like Flight-Delayed, take care of the whole ordeal. We will gladly help you get what is yours, all under our no-win no-fee agreement.


When can I claim for a delayed flight?


The Italian airline is usually punctual having an on-time performance of 92%. However, if your flight was delayed, in accordance with the above-mentioned ruling, you may claim compensation if:


  • You arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours late

  • Your departure airport was within an EU member state or if you were flying with an EU airline

  • The delay of your flight was not caused by an extraordinary circumstance


The total amount you can receive in compensation varies depending on the distance travelled by your flight and sometimes also on the total amount of time you are delayed at your final destination. If you want to know immediately if your route is covered and how much money you may be entitled to, quickly check your flight with our claim calculator.


When can I claim for a cancelled flight?


If your flight was cancelled, then you have the right to claim compensation according to EC 261/2004. However, as with flight delays, there are certain conditions that must be met in order to be entitled to compensation. In the case of cancellations this is a little more complicated, as the moment you are informed of the cancellation also comes into play. At this point, we will try to keep it simple and understandable, but you can always use our complaint calculator and check your flight. As far as flight cancellations are concerned, the moment you were informed of the interruption is very important:


  • If you were informed more than 14 days before your departure, you are not entitled to compensation

  • If the airline informed you of the cancellation of your flight between 7 and 14 days in advance and they have managed to book you on an alternative or replacement flight that 1. does not depart 2 hours earlier than scheduled or 2. arrives later than 4 hours after your original scheduled time, then they are not obliged to pay you compensation. In other words, to claim compensation, you would have to arrive +4 hours late or leave 2+ hours earlier than planned in your itinerary.

  • If you were informed of the cancellation no earlier than 7 days before the departure date, you are entitled to compensation if you arrived at least 2 hours later than planned. (This is the most common case)


All of the cases mentioned above will only grant you the right to be compensated if your cancellation was not due to an extraordinary circumstance. We will talk more about these circumstances later, but it should be noted now that they also apply to flight delays.


One more thing to take into account, if your flight is cancelled the airline has the obligation to take you, eventually, to your final destination or to refund your ticket if you do not wish to travel anymore because you haven’t been offered a suitable alternative flight.


When am I entitled to receive a refund of what I’ve paid for my Alitalia flight?


If your flight is delayed for more than 5 hours and you do not wish to travel anymore, you can request a full refund of your fare. However, this will mean that you won’t receive compensation as you actually need to arrive at your final destination in order to claim it.


If your flight has been cancelled and you have not been offered a suitable alternative flight or if you’ve had to arrange your own alternative flight or method of transportation because of the same reason, you are also entitled to a refund and, in some cases, also compensation. The request for a refund can be attached to your claim for compensation if you wish to submit your claim with Flight-Delayed.


When can I claim for overbooking or denied boarding?


Incidents where passengers have been denied boarding are also covered by the regulation. The text states that if you have been denied boarding without being responsible, you must be compensated under the same principles that apply to delays and cancellations.


There are certain things that are considered to be the passenger's responsibility, for example:


  • Checking in on time, either online or at the counter

  • Carrying all necessary travel documents (passport, visa, ID card, boarding pass, etc.)

  • Being present at the boarding gate at the time indicated on the boarding pass or the booking confirmation

  • Rude behaviour or being a threat to the safety of the flight operation, its crew, oneself or other passengers


If you've fulfilled all your responsibilities as a passenger, the airline probably only has one good reason to deny you boarding: the flight is overbooked. Selling more tickets than the number of seats available is a very common practice in the industry. They do this to maximise profits and simply count on the fact that some passengers will not show up for the flight. However, in some cases, everyone arrives at the boarding gate and someone has to be left out.


If this has happened to you, be certain that you are entitled to compensation. Before accepting any travel voucher, you should know how much money you can receive in compensation since, most of the time, the airlines offer a lower amount than that stipulated by law. In addition, you are entitled to a cash payment. However, remember that if you give up your seat voluntarily, you will lose your right to be compensated.


Reasons why Alitalia refuses to pay compensation for a cancelled or delayed flight


The airlines constantly reject requests for compensation on the grounds that the cause of the delay or cancellation was an extraordinary circumstance. When rejecting a claim, the obligation to prove that an extraordinary circumstance actually occurred is on Alitalia, so we will not accept the rejection until they have proven the cause of the delay. In some cases, we may have to take Alitalia to court. If you already have the reason why the airline delayed or cancelled your flight, or why they stated that they do not have to pay compensation, please let us know when you submit your claim.


When am I entitled to compensation when flying with Alitalia?


Regulation EC 261/2004 specifies that passengers may receive compensation if the delay, cancellation or denied boarding was caused by an incident under the responsibility of the airline. It means that the airline will have to pay compensation unless it can prove that the disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, political unrest, a threat to the safety of the flight or passengers, a passenger falling ill, etc.


Has your claim already been rejected by Alitalia? We can still help you


If you’re uncertain if your flight delay or cancellation qualifies for compensation, once you’ve submitted your claim our team of experts will analyse the circumstances and assess your situation. If your claim has already been rejected by Alitalia you can still submit your claim and our team will verify and corroborate the airline’s arguments. Very often, they assess the situation wrongly and reject perfectly valid claims; so don’t give up that easily and don’t worry, we’re here to help you!


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Alitalia: network, history and punctuality

Alitalia compensation

Alitalia was founded in 1946 and now operates a fleet size of 113 aircraft. The Italian airline is operating up to 82 international destinations in 86 different countries. What is significant is that the airline has a high on-time performance, which in January 2020 was at 92%, ranking in 14th place amongst the top 50 on-time airlines across the globe.


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