Was your flight delayed, cancelled or overbooked? Claim your compensation!

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Missed flight? These are your rights when you’ve missed your flight


When you miss a flight, you may be able to get either compensation from the airline or you may be able to get a refund of the taxes you paid the airline for your flight. In this article, we will explain when you qualify for both of these categories. Flight-Delayed.co.uk is an organisation that helps air passengers claim compensation from the airline when they have experienced a flight delay, cancellation, or when they were denied boarding. We also help travellers with general travel information.


Claiming compensation for a missed flight under Regulation EC 261/2004:


Did you check-in in time?


There are cases in which you are entitled to receive compensation from the airline if you miss your flight. The most important condition has to do with checking in. Most airports advise travellers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the departure of their flight, to make sure there's sufficient time to check in and go through customs. If you arrive at the airport late, there are cases in which you won't be allowed to fly. Most airlines require passengers to have checked in at least 45 minutes before the departure of the flight and are allowed to deny the passenger access to the flight if he arrives at the check-in desk later than that. If the airline would allow passengers to check in after that, the flight would have to be delayed because the passenger wouldn't be able to go through customs and have his luggage loaded onto the plane in time for scheduled departure.


What happens very often is that passengers arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check in, only to find that there are huge queues. What most people don't realise is that airlines will most likely deny you boarding if the long queues cause you to not get to the check-in desk in time, despite what airport personnel may tell you. 


In order to qualify for compensation under Regulation EC 261/2004, you will have to have checked in on time. If the flight then is delayed or cancelled, or if you are denied boarding, it is clear that you, personally, cannot be blamed for the incident. For instance: there was a technical error, the captain overslept, or the airline overbooked the flight. 


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Missed connection due to a delay or cancellation


Connecting flights are the vast majority of the flights that passengers miss. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, this may cause you to miss your connecting flight.


If you checked in for your first flight on time, and the delay or cancellation of said flight made you miss your connecting flight you may very well be entitled to receive compensation. 


This means that you could be entitled to compensation of a higher category than you would be based on just your initial delay or cancellation. It also means you may be entitled to compensation even if your first flight was delayed less than 3 hours, which would normally mean you wouldn't be entitled to receive any compensation.

The Folkerts ruling of February 2013 established that rule. The general rule of thumb is that your first flight would have had to have been delayed in excess of 30 minutes. 


Of course, when you have to make a transfer to a connecting flight, you don't go through the regular check in process at the counter, along with the other passengers just arriving at the airport. That's why with connecting flights, checking in 45 minutes in advance for your connecting flight doesn't apply, because you fulfilled your obligation to present yourself at the designated time and place, and the airline is at fault for causing you to miss your flight.


Example: You take a flight from Amsterdam to Paris with Air France. This flight is delayed by 2 hours due to a technical error on the previous sector, which caused the aircraft to arrive late at the airport. Once you arrive in Paris, your flight to New York already left: you originally had 90 minutes for your transfer, which should have been enough, even for a large airport such as Charles de Gaulle. Air France puts you on the next flight to New York, and you arrive at JFK 6 hours later than originally scheduled.


If Paris had been your final destination, you would have been entitled to 250 euros compensation. In this case, you would be entitled to 600 euros, as the total distance between Amsterdam and New York is more than 3,500 kilometres and your delay in arrival exceeds 4 hours.


Compensation for a missed connecting flight, when am I entitled?


This are the conditions that you need to keep in mind when you’ve missed your connecting flight and you want to be compensated:


  • You checked in on time at your original airport of departure
  • Your original flight (or another flight in your schedule) was delayed for more than 30 minutes and this made you miss a connecting flight.
  • Due to your missed connecting flight, you arrived at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours, based on the established time of arrival stipulated in your original booking.
  • The cause for the delay can’t be considered an extraordinary circumstance


How much is my compensation when I’ve missed my flight due to another flight delay?


The distance you were supposed to cover, or you actually travelled, as stipulated by your original booking will determine the amount of compensation. It will be calculate taking into account the distance from your airport of departure and your final destination.


As stipulated in Regulation EC 261/2004, the amounts are as follows:


  • For all flights of 1,500 kilometres or less: EUR 250 (± £219)
  • For all intra-community flights of more than 1,500 kilometres and for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres: EUR 400 (± £351)
  • For all other flights that do not fall under (A) or (B): EUR 600 (±£526)


Missed your flight but not entitled to compensation? What are the conditions to get the passenger bound taxes back?


When you miss your flight but you aren't entitled to compensation, you may still be able to get a refund for the taxes you paid. If you miss your flight the airline doesn’t have to pay any passenger-bound taxes to the airport. But you've already paid these taxes, which can comprise 25% of your ticket price. Most passengers don’t know that they can ask the airline for a refund of these passenger-bound taxes in most cases.

Sometimes airlines do mention this right in their terms and conditions. So please make sure to check those. There are airlines that will ask for an administration fee if you ask them to refund the taxes. This is an odd thing for them to do, especially considering the fact that if you weren't able to take the flight, they will have been able to sell your chair to someone else. In other words: they can get twice as much for one seat.


Keep these things in mind:


  • the reason the flight was missed is generally irrelevant
  • you didn’t make use of this flight
  • the airline calculated the airport taxes and the passenger-bound taxes of the local governments
  • the request for a refund was submitted no later than three months after the date of travel
  • in some cases, you would be required to have booked the flight directly with the airline to be able to get the refund


I missed my connecting flight outside of the EU, can I still claim compensation?


Yes you can! For example: your booked trip was from London to Los Angeles with a connecting flight in Houston. Your flight from London to Houston got delayed only 2 hours but that made you miss your connecting flight from Houston to Los Angles. It was the last flight of the day so you had to spend the night in Houston and wait until the next day. Finally you take the replacement flight and you arrive at Los Angeles with around 12 hours of delay. As long as the original cause for the delay could not be considered an extraordinary circumstance, you would be entitled to compensation. In this specific route, it would be €600.00!


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Very fast and professional, got my claim just over a month but then again the airline did tell us we can claim and gave us leaflets.

Really simple to use, and didn't take very long for my claim to be processed.

I wasn't very optimistic about using this service, but the from the outset the communication was excellent and the instructions were clear. The claim is all handled via email and the online service portal. The team are very quick to answer any questions you have while the airline is assessing your claim. In my case, I was awarded 225 Euros compensation, better than nothing and so glad I took the time and effort to get this money back! Thank you Flight-Delayed for your fantastic service.

Very good service claiming a compensate after a long delay from airline and we got the out compensate. Thank you very much ...

Successful claim against Jet 2 ! Took a while (4yrs) but glad to finally won !!

This company provide a very fast and efficient service with no fuss and they took a fair amount of commission with no extra hidden charges. Extremely pleased with them.

i have had great help with the flight delayed trip thankyou very much to u and team

Very good Service for claming Money from Airline companies if you had a Problem like more than 3hrs delay, cancellations without reason. For my case, Airline rejected my Claim via customer Service but after i used this site it took only 4 weeks from Claim to confirmation for compensation. it's very easy to fill out the form to Claim and they answer/help right away. you should try with this even though Airline already refused to pay you with several reason.

It's taken 12 months to extract compensation from Ryanair, purely down to the pathetic customer service on the part of the Irish Airline. Will never use them again as they use every tactic in the book not to pay out, and even though they have now settled conversation rate 1.40, as opposed to commercial rate of 1,31. Many thanks to Flight-Delayed for their excellent support. Well worth 25% cut to get justice done. Highly recommended.

Just over three hours delay last year to Crete contacted this company, they sorted the claim and with in a few weeks Monet transferred into my account. fantastic service. Thank you

Didn't expect result But cash son it's way to.me. Thank you. Great company

What an excellent service , after trying for almost a year to claim compensation for a 5 hour delay in which we were kept inside the cabin with nothing to eat or drink i contacted this company and within 6 weeks I have recieved full compensation minus their 25% which I am happy to pay as I had given up. thanks again to the staff for all your communication and work to complete this. cannot recommend you enough

Just got our cempensation thanks to the team at flight delay very easy process, kept informed as to how the claim was going

Very good service to use for claiming money from the airline companies due to a long delays or cancellations for no reason or no explanation! I had no idea it is even possible, but I filled their forms and did not need to pay a thing for it. They claimed 800 euros for 2 passengers and all they took was their commission fee from the claimed price for their work which is the way it should be. They managed to get the money within a month or so.

My plane was delayed for over seven hours on a UK flight from Newquay to Manchester. I contacted Flight Delay and they quickly completed my claim without any fuss. I have received £195.62 minus a 25% charge, I actually received £145.07. All this took approx 5 weeks from beginning of claim to having payment into bank. HIGHLY RECOMMEND and thank you flight-delayed

Ryanair left us delayed at Knock Airport for over 4 hours. Not just inconvenient but annoyingly cost us an extra £23 airport parking which we could not reclaim. Although not a "serial complainer", saw the Flight Delayed Website and thought "why not?". So glad I did. Efficient and professional organisation that made it an easy process resulting in €300 for us and €100 for them and a "heads up" for Ryanair. Perfect.

What a nice surprise, cheque for delayed flight dropped through the letterbox. Asked flight delayed to do the work for me and a few emails and a few months later I received the cheque for over £600. Minus their 25% which I do not begrudge as if they hadn't done the work for me I would never have got anything. Also thanks to Martin Lewis for making me aware I could claim. Thanks delayed flights I will certainly recommend you.

Very helpful, I got a lot back. I also hope anybody who ever got flight delayed, don't lose your right! It didn't take me a lot of effort to submit the materials, they can help you.

Great service, very easy process and friendly team to deal with - answered questions quickly and through the online tool I was able to track the progress of our claim. Everything has been handled really well and I would happily recommend the Flight-Delayed team to help you with your claim.

My plane was over three hours late getting back to Manchester due to delays. I contacted Flight Delay and they got me £199 (minus 25% for their fee) for the delay. It took less than an hours work from me to fill out a form and give them my power of attorney. Six weeks later it was all sorted. Highly recommended!

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