British Airways compensation: flight delayed, cancelled or overbooked? Here is what you should do
Your passenger rights matter if you are flying in, to and from the European Union. There is legislation that protects your rights so that you are able to receive compensation if your flight is disrupted (delayed, cancelled or overbooked). What follows is an overview of what you need to know about your rights, the exceptions and, most importantly, how to ensure you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
British Airways: your passenger rights are protected under EU Regulation
The British flag carrier needs no introduction. Loved by Britain’s citizens, not all of them know that they are able to claim compensation if one’s British Airways flight has been delayed, cancelled or overbooked. Your rights as a BA passenger are protected by Regulation EC No 261/2004, a regulation that specifically outlines your passenger rights.
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.
When can I claim compensation for my British Airways flight?
These are the most relevant conditions that apply when assessing if you’re entitled to compensation from British Airways:
- The flight route: The European regulation states that you can claim compensation when a flight is operated by a European airline or if the flight takes off from an EU airport. Therefore, British Airways flights are covered.
- 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.
How much money can I receive in compensation if my British Airways flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked
Set by the legislation, the total amount you may receive as compensation is defined by the flight schedule 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 schedule.
- 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.
But you can claim more than just compensation in case of a long delay or cancellation to a British Airways flight
The airline should provide you with proper care in the event of a long delay or flight cancellation. This may include the following:
- Meals and refreshments
- Two different occasions in which you are allowed to establish communication with an individual of your choice (calls, emails, etc.)
- Hotel accommodation if necessary (one or more nights) and transport from the airport to the establishment.
If you have incurred additional costs because you did not receive the corresponding assistance and/or care, 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.
We recommend doing these things when claiming compensation for your disrupted British Airways flight
Keep a copy of all your documents associated to your British Airways flight (yes, even connecting or replacement flights):
- 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 British Airways 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 British Airways 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 British Airways 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.
What to do if you missed a connecting flight with British Airways
Missed connections are also covered by the regulation. Let us explain! If your British Airways booking originated from Europe and a delay or cancellation in any of your flights has made you arrive at your final destination with a delay of 3 hours or more, you can claim compensation. The catch: all flights must be under the same booking. The distance used to determine how much money you could get in compensation will be that between your initial airport of departure and the airport at your final destination.
When are you not entitled to compensation for a flight delay or cancellation?
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.
To find out more about extraordinary circumstances, please visit our extraordinary circumstances page.
Claim your compensation from British Airways
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 the 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 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!
If you want to maximise the probability of being compensated for your British Airways 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.
Claim rejected by British Airways? You can still submit a claim with Flight-delayed
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 British Airways, you can still submit your claim and our team will verify and fact-check 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!
British Airways: network and punctuality
The British flag carrier was established in 1924 and operates a fleet size of 276 aircraft, of which most aircraft are of the Airbus A320 model. The airline holds 32 Boeing 747 as well as 58 Boeing 777 dedicated to all long-haul flights, which serve up to 170 destinations in 70 countries. When it comes to punctuality the airline scores 69.7% in on-time performance, securing 141st rank amongst all other global airline, according to an OAG report of September 2019.
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