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How Do I Claim Compensation Under EU261?

Having your vacation plans disrupted by airline delays, reschedules, or cancellations are one of life's most unpleasant experiences.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Frazer Pugh
Sep 11, 2022
Having your vacation plans disrupted by airline delays, reschedules, or cancellations are one of life's most unpleasant experiences. You'd like to get money for the trouble but don't know who to go to or how to do it. Recently, the European Commission published recommendations to travelers on this matter.
The European Union has rightfully decided that passengers who experience significant delays, rebookings, or cancellations should be compensated for their troubles. EU261 claimlays out in detail the situations in which a passenger is entitled to compensation from an airline.
This reimbursement isn't dependent on the ticket cost but on the flight's distance, destination, and delay. Even if the airline cancels the trip, rebooking may get you to your destination within a defined period, which means you may only be partially compensated or not at all.

Air traffic jams

Sometimes, airlines have no choice but to cancel or delay a flight. That means passengers have no legal recourse for financial damages. Inclement weather is a common cause of delays and other inconveniences. Aerial congestion is a severe issue for commuters in densely populated areas, just as it is on the ground. If your aircraft is delayed, you may fail your connection. In the worst-case scenario, your entire trip could be ruined.
Every airline tries to deliver travelers to their destination swiftly. Any airline values happy customers.

It is not as tough as you believe to submit a claim

If your flight is delayed or otherwise interfered with, you can file a compensation claim with the airline in many different methods. The European Commission strongly recommends that travelers get in touch with the relevant airline first. In most cases, complying with the requirements of EU regulation 261/2004 to file a claim for reimbursement is not very difficult.

In what way would it be preferable to file a claim with the airline itself?

Since many claims agencies have engaged in shady and deceptive tactics, the European Commission has issued this warning. Insurance claim companies must disclose their fees and other terms and restrictions to customers. Also, the customers of these agencies need to be made aware that they are working with an agency. Unfortunately, this is where most problems begin.


Many benefits come along with filing a compensation claim directly with an airline. To begin, you will receive the total compensation you are due, free and clear of any deductions for service charges, which can amount to a significant amount. It is important to remember that independent agencies seeking restitution from airlines on behalf of individuals or groups of passengers can demand up to thirty percent of the compensation paid out.


We, passengers, are afforded many protections, and while flight cancellations and delays are annoying at best and disastrous at worst, these measures are in place for our benefit. Suppose you are traveling to or from Europe. In that case, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the provisions of EU261, as you may be entitled to a sizeable financial compensation with little to no additional work should your flight be delayed.
The EU261 in Europe is far more lenient regarding compensable incidents. As a matter of fact, it has become the global standard for passenger safety laws.
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James Pierce

James Pierce

James Pierce, a Finance and Crypto expert, brings over 15 years of experience to his writing. With a Master's degree in Finance from Harvard University, James's insightful articles and research papers have earned him recognition in the industry. His expertise spans financial markets and digital currencies, making him a trusted source for analysis and commentary. James seamlessly integrates his passion for travel into his work, providing readers with a unique perspective on global finance and the digital economy. Outside of writing, James enjoys photography, hiking, and exploring local cuisines during his travels.
Frazer Pugh

Frazer Pugh

Frazer Pugh is a distinguished expert in finance and business, boasting over 6 years of experience. Holding an MBA in Finance from Stanford University, Frazer's credentials underscore his authority and expertise in the field. With a successful track record in executive roles and as a published author of influential articles on financial strategy, his insights are both deep and practical. Beyond his professional life, Frazer is an avid traveler and culinary enthusiast, drawing inspiration from diverse cultures and cuisines. His commitment in delivering trustworthy analysis and actionable advice reflects his dedication to shaping the world of finance and business, making a significant impact through his work.
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