Flight Delayed

Millions of air passengers travel each year, but a large number do not realize that there are air passenger rights to protect them while in transit. AirHelp can explain your rights, and help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to.

A flight delay of 3 hours or more entitles the passenger to claim flight compensation in the amount of 250 to 600 euros.

Flight compensation can be given in different amounts. The exact amount depends on the distance between the airport of departure and the airport of final destination and is determined as follows:

Distance up to 1500 km – 250€

Distance up to 1500-3500 km – 400€

Distance more than 3500 km – 600€


Flight delay passengers have the right to claim flight compensation if:

Arrived at the final destination airport 3 hours or more late.

There are no “extraordinary circumstances” beyond the airline’s control.


You should also know that:

It does not matter the price of the ticket purchased by the passenger. The passenger is entitled to the flight compensation regardless of the price paid by him/her for the ticket.

If the flight delay exceeds 2 hours, the airline is also obliged to provide passengers with food and soft drinks.

How do I calculate flight delay time?

The airline is obliged to pay the passengers flight compensation if the arrival at the airport of the final destination is delayed by 3 hours or more. Therefore, you should know that whether you are entitled to flight compensation is calculated from the time of arrival at the final destination and not from the time of departure. According to the precedent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the time of arrival refers to the moment when the airplane has arrived at the airport of destination, at least one of its doors is open and passengers are allowed to get off the plane. When the arrival time at the final destination airport is 3 hours or more later than the scheduled time, it is considered that there is a flight delay and the passenger has the right to request flight compensation.

Connecting Flight

When a passenger has a direct flight from the airport of departure to the airport of final destination, everything is clear – if the passenger arrived at the airport of final destination 3 hours or more late, he/ she may be entitled to flight compensation. However, passengers often have to buy a connecting flight ticket to arrive at the airport of their final destination. For example, a passenger flies from Madrid to London via Munich. At such time, the final destination airport is in London and therefore, the passenger may be entitled to flight compensation if he/she arrived in London 3 hours or more late. Note that at such times it does not matter if the flight was delayed or how many hours the arrival at the connecting airport (Munich) was delayed. The main thing is that the arrival at the airport of the final destination should be delayed by 3 hours or more. Note that in such cases, the entire flight ticket (including the connecting flight) must be purchased from the same airline in one booking.

Extraordinary Circumstances

Note that the airline is not obligated to pay flight compensation to the passenger if the flight is delayed due to “extraordinary circumstances” that the airline could not have avoided. Generally, “extraordinary circumstances” include cases beyond the Airline’s control and which the Airline cannot prevent. There is no specific list of “extraordinary circumstances” and it must be determined on a case-by-case basis. At the same time, the scope of “extraordinary circumstances” may always be changed/updated based on the precedent decisions of various courts. In general, the following are considered “extraordinary circumstances”:

Bad weather makes the flight impossible

Political or civil unrest

Bird collision with plane

Security related risks that do not depend on the airline

Government decisions

Any other circumstances beyond the Airline’s control


What should I do if my flight was delayed?

Ask the airline representatives for an explanation regarding the reason for the flight delay.

Keep the travel documents (boarding pass, e-ticket, voucher provided by the airline, alternative airline ticket, etc.)

Provide information about possible flight compensation to other passengers.

Contact us, tell our team about your problem in detail and send copies of travel documents.


Please note that this information on the rights of passengers during flight delays is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide passengers with general information only. This information cannot be considered legal advice or a guarantee of compensation or other legal consequences. In order to be able to provide you with legal assistance, our team needs to study the details of a specific case, for which please contact us.

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