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Airline flight delay & compensation policies

Airline flight delay & compensation policies

Not sure if your flight compensation claim will scale through? Here is a look at the flight delay compensation policy as provided under the EU legislation 261.

Compensation is only for EU-regulated flights

An EU regulated flight is one that departed from an EU airport regardless of the airline or where the airline landed at an EU airport. This law means that airports in Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland are covered, as well as any other EU country.

Claims can only go as far back as 2010

Theoretically, you can file an indemnity for delays dating as far back as February 2005. In reality however, you will not be able to claim settlement for delays over 6 years.  In our experience handling thousands of claims, the flight reparation policy for most airlines has 6 years as the limit (as of 2016).  This is because the EU does not have a clear regulation on this front and legal requirements in England mean the airline can only be held accountable for events that happened no later than six years ago. The allowance is 5 years for cases in Scotland.

The airline must be at fault

You are due a pay out if the delay you are faced with, is something within the airline’s control.  This means that you are due compensation for staffing or under booking induced delays.  Delays as a result of bad weather and political unrest do not count.

EU guidelines released in 2013 outline scenarios where passengers can claim compensation.  However, case law created over time has invalidated some of the scenarios covered. For example, the guidelines do not have provision for making a claim following a technical problem on the part of the company but many clients have received compensation in such a scenario. The key is to demonstrate that the company did not do everything it could to prevent a delay.

Delays must be at least 3 hours to be valid

You can only claim compensation if your flight was delayed by at least 3 hours. The longer the delay, the more the amount of compensation you are entitled to.  Bear in mind that this rule is about when you arrive and not when you leave the airport. Currently, if your flight takes off 4 hours late but arrives 2 hours 55 minutes late, you are not due compensation. But the law may change in future, as it has done in the past.  It is also important to note, that arrival time here is adjudged to be when at least one of the doors on the plane is opened not when it touches down.  This ruling was made in 2014.

The policy for delayed flights is therefore constantly changing but at airclaims.co.uk, we are always in the loop. You can count on us to take the guesswork out of the process for you.

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