Lonely Planet Writer

Over 100 million euro unclaimed by EU passengers entitled to compensation for delayed flights

Airline passengers are losing out on millions of pounds in unclaimed compensation for delayed flights, according to a survey which also warns that many are unaware they can even make claims.

Passengers can claim for delayed flights
Passengers are not aware they can claim for delayed flights

One third of airline passengers surveyed didn’t know they were entitled to compensation under rules which govern flights within (or travelling to or from) the European Union. And less than a third of the money owed in compensation to passenger is actually being paid-out by the airlines. The pot of unclaimed money for delayed flights is estimated at £112m (€145m).

The survey, for UK website money.co.uk, revealed that less than one-in-three passengers affected by delays have made a claim for compensation.

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Less than one third of passengers affected by delays make claims.

And this is despite the fact that making such claims is relatively easy since the introduction of strict EU regulations on delayed and disrupted flights. “Airlines make it really easy to lodge a claim and you don’t even have call them – most allow you to do it online,” says Hannah Maundrell, editor of money.co.uk.

Under EU regulations, passengers are entitled to claim when;

Any flight under 932 miles (for instance, London to Berlin) is delayed for at least two hours.

A flight within the EU that is over 932 miles (for instance, London to Athens) is delayed for at least three hours.

Any other flight that begins or ends in an EU-airport on a “community carrier” (any airline with its head-quarters and main place of business in the EU) is delayed for more than three hours.

Compensation can vary from €250 to €600 for individuals delayed.
Compensation can vary from €250 to €600 for individuals delayed.
Image by Maik Meid / CC BY 2.0

The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the flight and the time you are delayed. For flights up to 932 miles delayed for more than 3 hours, passengers are entitled to €250 (£192). For flights over 932 miles for the same time delay, it’s €400 (£307). The top rate is for flights over 2175 miles, set at €600 (£461).

The advice from consumer groups is for passengers to be aware of their rights and to lodge their claim with their airlines – which can usually be done online – as soon as they can, to ensure they are not missing out on compensation due. For full details on what you are entitled to under EU legislation, visit the EU’s passenger rights information checklist.