If you have booked a flight departing from European airspace or you have booked your flight with European airline and this has been delayed or canceled, under the European law you are entitled to compensation. To be eligible, your departure must be within the territory of the United Kingdom, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
If your flight is delayed two or more hours
If your flight is delayed for two or even more hours the airline is required to provide food and drink to you, to enable an access to phone calls and email and if the flight is delayed at night the airline is obliged to provide accommodation and transportation to and from hotel for you. The airline should provide you with vouchers for all the things available at the airport. Ask an employee of the airline you fly with for help. If you do not get any help nor assistance, keep all the receipts for all your costs and contact the airline later to place your claim. But keep in mind that airlines only reimburse reasonable costs. Do not expect someone to return the money for alcohol, an expensive three-course lunch, or a stay in a luxury hotel.
If your flight is delayed three hours or more
As mentioned above and that goes without saying that you are entitled to get food and drinks, to be provided with accommodation and access to calls even in case of two-hour delay. You have the right to compensation even if the flight delay airline’s responsibility – in the case of technical problems or overcapacity of the aircraft. In case of other issues such as bad weather for example, you are not entitled to compensation. The amount of your compensation depends on the flight distance and the length of the delay – meaning the real time you need to get to your destination.
Five-hour or longer than five-hour delay
If your flight is delayed for five or more hours, you do not have to get on board. In this case it does not matter who is responsible for the delay.
a) if you do not board the flight
The airline is obliged to provide you with full financial compensation for the flight and for all other connections you do not use within one reservation in the case of a five-hour and a longer delay after which you do not plan to use it; Whether it is an outbound or a return flight. In a case you are already on your way and you got stuck between two flights and there was five-hour or longer delay, the airline should reimburse for your way back to the airport that you originally departed from. In addition, the airline should cover your refreshments, enable access to phone call and emails and in case your flight is delayed at night the airline should also cover your accommodation and the transport to hotel and back to the airport. Contact an employee of the airline you are flying with immediately in case you decided to not to board your flight.
b) if you board the flight
Depending on the distance and the destination of your flight, you can request a compensation up to the amount of € 600 in a case that the airline is responsible for the delay. In case of a bad weather or strike, however, you will not get the money back.
If your flight was cancelled
If your flight was cancelled at least seven days before your scheduled departure you are entitled to either full financial compensation for all flights that you will not be able to use within a single reservation (including a return journey) or a substitute flight that will get you to your final destination. You should be provided an assistance related to your costs if the cancellation process is extended to two and more hours and you should be entitled to compensation if the alternate flight offered to you arrives to your destination two or more hours later. While you are waiting for your alternate flight you have the right to get refreshments, access to mails and calls and in case of a delay at nigh you are also entitled to get accommodation and the transport to hotel and back to the airport. The airline you are flying with should give you vouchers for the aforementioned. Do not hesitate to contact airline personnel at any time.