What Is EU261 Compensation For A Delayed Or Cancelled Flight?

Delays are a part of travelling, especially when you are zipping across the globe from one climate to another on a plane. I’ve been pretty lucky that my delays in Europe have been minimal, and I’ve generally actually had better luck with punctuality on low cost carriers than full service airlines.

By biggest delay last year was on a British Airways flight to Oslo, operated by a leased Qatar Airways A320. They couldn’t attach the fuel hose at the original gate, and so had to tow it to the other side of the terminal, which took quite some time.

The novelty of flying a Qatar aircraft on a British Airways flight meant that I was so excited, I hardly noticed the delay.

But if you are on a flight leaving from or flying to Europe and it is delayed, there is a generous compensation scheme available to you under certain circumstances.

Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004

This regulation, commonly referred to as ‘EU261,’ is a European law that provides compensation in the event of certain delays, or cancelled flights. It is designed to protect passengers and give them rights they may not have in other jurisdictions.

It was established by the European Parliament and Council of the European Union in 2004 (hence the /2004 reference) and remains in place 14 years later.

Its current expiry date is 31/12/9999!

Eligiblity

To determine if EU261 applies to you, you must be:

  • Travelling either from an European Union airport; or
  • Travelling to a European Union airport on a European-based airline

And all three of the following must be true:

  • Have a confirmed reservation
  • Have checked in properly, and on time
  • On a revenue or award ticket, which includes sale/mistake fares, but excludes staff duty travel and discounted staff stand-by tickets

For these reasons, Ethiopian Airlines’ fifth freedom route from Los Angeles to Dublin would not be eligible as while you would be travelling to a European Union airport, Ethiopian is not a European-based airline. The reverse would be eligible, as you’d be travelling from Europe.

United’s flight from Frankfurt to Newark would qualify as it departs from a European Union airport, even though United is not a European-based airline. But the reverse flight from Newark to Frankfurt would not.

In all circumstances, airlines have a duty of care to look after their passengers in the event of delays or cancellations, regardless of whether the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances, or not. You are always entitled to adequate communication about a delay regardless of the length of the delay.

If you meet the elibility requirements above, your flight will fall into one of three flight bands:

  • Short: Flights 0 – 1500 kms
  • Medium: Flights 1500 – 3500 kms
  • Long: Flights above 3500 kms

Compensation for Delays

If your flight is delayed by more than the following times:

  • Short: 2 hours
  • Medium: 3 hours
  • Long: 4 hours

then you are entitled to refreshments, accommodation (see below) and the right to make two phone calls, faxes or emails, as well as adequate communication from the airline as mentioned above.

Be aware that the ‘refreshments’ are likely to be nothing more than a voucher for an airport cafe as the only requirement is that it is ‘in reasonable proportion to the waiting time’. Given how overpriced airport food is, it may only cover a cup of coffee or a muffin. If providing these refreshments would delay the flight even further, then airlines are not obliged to provide this.

Note that the delay is calculated as the time the aircraft doors are opened on arrival (versus the originally scheduled time the plane doors were due to open), not the time the plane touches down on the runway, or the time the plane takes off.

If the delay is more than five hours (regardless of flight length), passengers are entitled to seek a full refund and elect not to travel at all.

If your eligible flight is delayed overnight to the next day, you are also entitled to accommodation for this period. While it would a very clear case for accommodation if your flight was delayed from say, 9PM to 9AM the next day, if it was delayed from say, 9PM until 2AM, it’s unlikely passengers would be provided with accommodation. So much time would be taken organizing hotels, transporting groups back and forth, and checking everyone in and out of the hotel that they would barely have time to use it.

I have never heard of or seen an airline quickly and efficiently organise hotels for a plane load of people ever, even at their hub locations (it’s significantly worse at outstations).

I was booked on a Virgin America flight from New York to Los Angeles a few years back that was cancelled for mechanical reasons. They put up all passengers at a JFK airport hotel, and re-booked us on a flight the next day but it still took more than four hours from when the flight was cancelled until I walked into my hotel room, despite being one of the first to reach the service desk, and the airport hotel only being a five minute drive away.

On top of that, you’re potentially entitled to cash compensation in the event of a delay, as follows (we will talk more about this below):

  • Short: €250
  • Medium: €400
  • Long: €600

This would be calculated based on the time you get to your final destination. For example, if you are flying British Airways from Paris to London to Hong Kong, and your first flight is delayed by an hour and that causes you to miss your second flight and be rebooked on a flight four or more hours later, you’d be entitled to €600 compensation.

Compensation for Cancellations

As mentioned above, EU261 compensation can get you cash in the event of a delay, and that also applies in the event of a cancellation. Similar to delays, if your eligible flight is cancelled, then you will be entitled to the following:

  • Short: €250
  • Medium: €400
  • Long: €600

Unlike delay compensation and general duty of care, EU261 does not apply to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ beyond the airports’ control for compensation for cancellation compensation. There is no clearly defined list of what is and isn’t extraordinary but generally weather and air-traffic control delays, as well as strikes and political instability would be considered extraordinary, while mechanical problems within the airlines control would not be considered extraordinary, and EU261 would not apply.

While nobody wants a cancelled flight, I can see situations where I would be quite grateful to suffer this if I knew the above compensation applied. I think this is a really generous amount, considering that for a short flight you may have only paid €50.

Note that where your airline provides you with more than 14 days notice of the cancellation of your flight, EU261 compensation rights do not apply.

Claiming your compensation

This is the (somewhat) difficult part.

As you might imagine, European airlines especially will do every single thing they can to get out of paying compensation. I’m willing to bet most travellers don’t even know about this, so even on an eligible cancelled flight I’d think less than 50% of passengers would claim. There are independent companies that will organise the claim for you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, and naturally take a big cut of the payout.

Unless you don’t have the time or energy to file your own claim I would avoid using one of these companies.

Each airline will have its own way of accepting and processing claims. Most European airlines I checked (such as Lufthansa, EasyJet and Vueling, for example) have a dedicated EU261 page setting out the compensation policy and online claim form where you submit your flights and reservation details. I’d recommend googling ‘EU261 claim’ and your airline (i.e. ‘Turkish EU261’) to find the right page.

Of course, hold onto your boarding pass (if it’s a printed version) and your booking reference number. You will have to do most of the work to claim, but if you are eligible most airlines should not refuse, especially where they advertise your rights on their own website.

Don’t spent hours at a service desk at the airport trying to make a claim. By all means be proactive about being rebooked onto another flight, but the EU261 claim should be done at a later date when you have the time and patience to do it. There’s no benefit to filing it the day your flight is cancelled.

Compensation must be paid out in cash (i.e. a bank transfer) not as an airline credit.

Bottom line

I hope never to have to claim EU261 compensation, because I hope to continue my good run of no cancellations and minimal delays.

But it is certainly comforting know there are such generous consumer protections for eligible flights in Europe.

If you suffer from an eligible delay or cancellation I would definitely recommend seeking this compensation to which you are legally entitled. There are 97 pages of detailed further information on this topic (covering almost every possible circumstance) over at Flyertalk.

Have you ever claimed EU261 compensation?

Comments

  1. You are wrong. Delays also provide compensation. It isn’t in the text of EU261, but the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled 10 or so years ago that for the purposes of monetary compensation a delay equals a cancellation, and you should also get those euros.

  2. I like most articles you contribute to the site James, but this is a poorly researched article with many factual errors (like on delay compensation and foreseen weather not being considered extraordinary).

    For interested readers, the wiki and wider thread on FT BAEC provides an excellent overview of the rule and its implementation.

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1885572-2018-ba-compensation-thread-your-guide-regulation-ec261-2004-a.html

  3. What about a flight from New York to Madrid ticketed on AA but operated by Iberia? Is the operating carrier the key to EU 261 eligibility or the ticketing carrier?

  4. I had a seven hour delay on United from Brussels and received 600 euros from United. Took about six weeks and two communications to receive the compensation.

  5. Recently had a 4 hour delay because of repeated aircraft issues (SWISS, ZRH-BUD). In the end we left on the 3rd aircraft. Had photos showing that the delay was due to technical/equipment issues. Submitted claim, SWISS said that it was due to “extraordinary circumstances”, so …. off.
    I know Switzerland does not belong to the EU and not even to the EEA, but they voluntarily joined the EU261. The worst customer service I ever experiences was from SWISS, even before this event. On the way back, they changed my international (to the US) flight connection from an hour down to 30 minutes, and refused to put me on an earlier flight so that I could safely connect. I will avoid them in the future.

  6. A couple of years ago I had an easyJet flight delayed due to a problem with the plane. In the end we left the following evening so it cut my long weekend short by a day. After I got home I filled in a short form on the easyJet website, got a reply within a couple of days, and a cheque for 250 euros a few weeks later. It was incredibly easy to do and essentially paid for my ticket which was nice.

    In contrast, BA once cancelled one of my flights 6 or 7 hours before departure. Trying to claim compensation was pretty difficult – it took a while to find the form and it was more detailed/complex than the easyJet one. They refused, saying the cancellation was due to the weather at LHR which I was dubious about but I never followed it up.

    Long story short is that the LCCs can be just as good as the full service for this sort of thing.

  7. @Rui N. Thanks for pointing out the mistake in this post. You are absolutely correct that certain delays are also entitled to compensation under EU261. In addition, ‘denied boarding’ is also entitled to compensation – it is NOT limited to cancellations.

  8. Another key piece missing is that the delay is calculated based on the arrival time at your final destination. We got compensated by AA flying ZRH-JFK-DCA. We got to JFK with a 3:59hrs delay but missed our connection to DCA. The next flight available put us beyond 5 hrs. late to our final destination in DC and that’s what matters. You can do a Google search on EU 261 Emirates Ruling and you’ll see what I’m talking about (it doesn’t matter that the connecting flight happens outside of the EU according to the UK findings). AA deposited 5,000 miles and made no mention of our rights at first. I emailed and faxed AA Customer Relations department and they agreed with us. It took about 10 days to get our check in the mail 🙂

  9. I hate to be the pedant here, but it is EC261 – or to give it its full title “Regulation (EC) No 261/2004” – *not* EU261.

    The European Commission is the legislative body within the EU that drafts and proposes regulations, which may (or may not) then get voted into law by the European Parliament.

    EC261 is a European Commission regulation.

  10. I generally appreciate your posts, James, but I need to agree with the other commenters that this was not your finest effort. In addition to what they’ve mentioned, the post fails to dintinguish between “duty of care” (accommodations, food, etc.), which must be provided even when the delay is caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, and compensation, which is not required in “extraordinary circumstances”. (Because this differs substantially from the policy followed by US-based airlines, I suspect this is quite an important distinction for your US-based readers.)

    I think there are also important nuances about when passengers may claim refunds and choose not to travel.

    Like a previous commenter, I would also suggest that you refer readers to the excellent EU261 thread on the BAEC forum on Flyertalk.

  11. @ Henrik, Rui N – thanks for the heads up – I’ve updated the article to reflect that. As Rui pointed out – delay compensation isn’t strictly part of EU261 wording.

    The flyertalk wiki is an excellent, very detailed resource with far more information and scenarios than I could possibly cover in a post here.

  12. I have had my fair share EU261 cases in the past months. All of which have with KLM/Air France, I think it’s a fantastic set of laws that should be worldwide. My expierence has been that as long as you stay polite and calm you will get more compensation than you are entitled to.

  13. @Matt: Easy there, cowboy. The EC actually stands for European Community, since the official name of the document is “Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004” and it was, in fact, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU jointly, as per standard procedure for such cases.
    The Commission is NOT the EU’s legislative body, that would be the Parliament, though the Commission does possess legislative initiative, i.e. it proposes new legislation to the Parliament. The Commission is the EU’s closest analog to an executive branch, essentially a portfolio-based cabinet that covers specific agendas of policy. As such, it has very limited capabilities of actually issuing regulations, much less on its own.

    With that out of the way…
    I actually think most people are better off using claims agencies for their EU261 claims. Their cut is usually a very reasonable €50 and they have much more firepower when it comes down to legal action.
    Last year, I battled Brussels Airlines for eleven months to get compensated for a (poorly-handled) mechanical delay and a resulting overnight in BRU. It took a lot of arm twisting to wrestle out those compensations:
    – First they would claim that mechanical issues fall under “force majeure” (they don’t)
    – They’d say that award tickets don’t qualify (they do) – one of our tix was booking class X award
    – Then they’d fall silent for weeks
    – Finally they sent half of the money, and needed to be nudged further to comply.

    AirBerlin (RIP) used to be much worse still. Their customer care was specifically instructed to disregard claims unless a court order was delivered.

    Sure, if you do your research and have the stamina, go for it. Be prepared to quote relevant legal precedents and get local CAAs involved. If that doesn’t sound appealing, use an online claims agency, which is essentially fire-and-forget.

  14. @ Big Snowman – good suggestion – I’ve updated to clarify that duty of care is irrespective of circumstances.

    I’ve also added the Flyertalk link for those seeking more information. It is 97 pages which was impossible to cover in a single post here.

  15. A few things wrong here. You keep on saying European but you should be saying EU airport, EU airline, etc. There is a difference.

    Second you have the distances in miles yet the EU describes them in km, the numbers are correct just not the units.

  16. There are so many grammatical errors in the post that I can’t even be bothered to list them all. Maybe Lucky has stopped reviewing James posts before they are published.

  17. You missed an obvious opportunity to give a plug to the blog’s sponsors: Use a credit card with good trip protection so you can book your own hotel room as soon as your flight is canceled instead of waiting for the airline to sort everything out and ship you off to the hotel of their choosing.

  18. @ Brad

    Always a ballsy move to criticise unspecified grammatical errors. Check out the punctuation error in your own comment. Two sentences and a 50% fail rate – impressive!

  19. @ Nate nate – yes this would be sufficient. You may not actually need it provided you have your PNR and full flight details in your Apple wallet anyway but occasionally they may ask for additional ‘proof’ that you were checked in, even though they should be able to easily verify this!

  20. Hi, question here :
    I arrived 5 hours late in Guangzhou after flying Brussels-Doha-Guangzhou.
    The delay occured in Qatar, where we had to wait overnight for our flight to Guangzhou, without any sort of explanation, we were not made aware of our rights, and not proactively offered refreshments.
    Would you think this is elligible for a compensation ? As the key term is the time of arrival and i started from Brussels, I think there is a chance.
    Thanks.

  21. I had a AF flight (JFK-CDG) cancel within 24 hours of departure. I called and they rebooked us on another flight that day within a few hours of the original flight and in the same class of service. However, because they canceled within 24 hours of departure they had to pay out on both tickets that were purchased (1200 Euros total). Make sure you submit a claim for each ticket purchased for maximum compensation.

  22. Just received a EUR 400+ payment a few weeks ago, resulting from a badly delayed AA flight Italy to the US. Took I think at least 2 years, if not 3 years, to get this done via a refund collection agency. Agency I think took 20% or so but definitely worth, I would have come up with the patience to fight AA over this for years.

  23. So, maybe you can help me. I was originally denied compensation because my flight, my connecting domestic flight was on a US airline, American, even though I booked my ticket through, British Airways. So, what happened. I was supposed to go SLC-ORD on AA, then BA ORD to LHR and BA again from LHR to DUS. The morning of my flight, I got a notice from American that my flight was delayed due to equipment and then delayed again, so much so that I was instructed to call AA and work out details as I would miss my connection at ORD. So, I called and they rerouted me SLC-DFW-LHR-DUS. My flight was delayed leaving SLC and ended not being able to make connection in DFW, but they put me on later flight. When I got to LHR, they gave me £10 note at LHR. And then finally my flight was delayed again from LHR to DUS. I ended getting there 7 hours after I should have arrived.

    When I contacted BA, I was told that since my originally flight was on a US carrier, I would be denied EU compensation. Should I have been compensated?

  24. @Jane, when was the UA flight?

    My companion and I (with 3million+ miles between us) was on a cancelled United flight from MXP to EWR a few years ago. Mechanical issues. Beautiful weather, airport fully functioning. UA put us overnight in a nearby hotel and same flight the next day. Offered USD150 voucher.

    Contacted United (or should I say Continental) after return. Filled out forms with all documentation as requested and did not cash in the voucher. Only asked for above compensation and not other extra expenses such as the non-refundable train tickets after arrival and higher cost replacement train tickets, etc. After months of polite calls, emails, and escalation to VP of Customer Service pointing out the rule, receive a terse mail that this is going to be the best we’re going to get and “…this is the end of it.”

    No longer the friendly skies for us.

  25. @ Ben – this is a tricky one. I would say no you are not eligible, because your ‘EU’ flight of BRU-DOH operated without any delay. The onward DOH-CAN flight was the first delay and that flight by itself it is not covered by EU261.

    I’d be keen to hear anyone else’s opinion on this!

  26. Just received a EUR 400+ payment a few weeks ago, resulting from a badly delayed AA flight Italy to the US. Took I think at least 2 years, if not 3 years, to get this done via a refund agency. They took 20% or so out of the EUR 600 but definitely worth it, I would not have come up with the patience to fight AA over this for years.

  27. I had 3 incidents in regards to EC261:
    – Condor (DUS-PMI): refused, involved one of the service-agencies, got paid 10 months later, 25% commission
    – Eurowings (Faro-CGN): one email, cash within 5 days
    – Iberia (ORD-DUS): pending (happened one week ago)
    Might be interesting to build a chart which airlines are following this rule and which don’t or only do when force is applied.

  28. We had a flight from Edinburgh to Cork a few years ago get delayed because the aircraft had a problem and Aer Lingus needed to fly in a mechanic from Dublin to fix it, since they didn’t have a big presence at Edinburgh. We ended up being 4.5 hours late on arrival to Cork. My wife found this regulation and we sent in the proper paper work via e-mail to Aer Lingus. They initially declined, saying it was an “unavoidable incident and didn’t reach the proper qualification”. I pressed them more on it and then they deferred saying ” the flight was operated by Stobart Air, so not our problem, talk to them…

    Anyway, I followed up with Stobart Air and they confirmed the delay and sent us each EUR 250 – though, sending my Bank Account info via e-mail did seem a little questionable! The flight cost was $145 USD, so we technically made money…but missed Blarney Castle and Kinsale…oh well!

  29. Afraid another error is that it does not apply to flights on European carriers into the EU. It only applies to those travelling to an EU member state on an airline based in an EU member state, plus those outside of the EU that have ratified EU261. So airlines like Air Serbia, Ukraine Intl etc. are European airlines but EU261 does not apply on their flights into the EU.

  30. This post seems to say for a flight under 1500km a 2 hour delay would trigger the compensation, but easyJet’s site says only delays over 3 hours are eligible for compensation. My flight was delayed between two and three hours. Any compensation due?

  31. I’ve heard that the airlines make it extremely difficult to collect on EU261. A couple of years ago I was flying from Norway to Amsterdam on KLM, my flight was cancelled and I had to wait for another flight about 8 hours later. They generously (not) gave us approximately 5 euros for lunch…which basically bought coffee. Anyway, the airline folks immediately gave us info about 261, Delta called me about it…it was a code share, and I was given 600 euros about 6 weeks later. It was a pleasant surprise.

  32. I seem to recall that at some point Ben (Lucky) was eligible for hotel accommodation due to a delay, and he proactively checked himself into a hotel rather than wait hours for the offending airline to arrange it, and sent the bill to the airline. If my recall is correct, this would seem to be the best way to handle such a situation surely.

  33. Ryanair canceled our CTA-MXP flight less than 40 hours before departure.

    It has since refunded the fares which we suffered a lowered Euro so received a few USD short of what we originally paid for.

    The question remains – do we still qualify for the EU261 compensation on this cancellation which I could not find any reason for, though on the same date, Ryanair canceled 2 of its flights and EasyJet canceled 3 of its flight, all between 11am to 6pm on May 8th, CTA-MXP.
    Flightstats only showed flight canceled.

    Appreciate your guidance on such.

  34. FWIW – It’s EC261, not EU261. Had a 7 hr delay on LH, submitted an EC261 a few days after I arrived home, and was paid the compensation a week later. LH process was painless and they were easy to work with.

  35. For those who live in US, how do you find out your bank’s IBAN / SWIFT Code?

    Ryanair claim site said to provide documents showing bank’s name, account holder’s name, account number, IBAN/Swift Code otherwise the claim would be significantly delayed.

    Bank statement has all the information EXCEPT the IBAN/SWIFT Code. US Banks do not participate IBAN anyway.

  36. Is there any place to look to see if your flight qualifies? My flight on Lufthansa on April 10 from FRA to SEA was cancelled due to strike. I’ve read elsewhere that some strikes are covered and some are not. Is there any way to find out if this particular strike is considered an extraordinary circumstance or not?

  37. I filed one last year using AirHelp for my wife last year when her flight from MUC-MAN was over 4 hours delayed. It was a series of events (late crew, then emergency on runway, then a broke jet they had to change out and fuel) that lead to the delay, but they intially denied it and then AirHelp took them to court and they eventually paid. We were just delayed on a Condor flight from FRA-Heraklion, Crete last week and when we landed in Crete the Condor representatives handed everyone a sheet pretty much admitting guilt. I’m going to file directly with Condor this time considering the proof they gave us.

  38. We were delayed more than 4 hours in FRA due to missing our connection because our incoming flight was delayed. This happened last July. Is there a statute of limitations on this? Or can I still file with Lufthansa? Thanks!

  39. @ The nice Paul, @ Brad

    “James posts” should be “James’ posts”. I claim the prize!

  40. I had 4 J award tickets last year MAN – JFK with AA. Flight was cancelled 6 hours before departure, AA re-routed us via LHR and we arrived about 6 hours later than planned. One email to AA, €2400 compensation! Not bad for tickets I didn’t even pay for (and we ended up on a 777 instead of a 767 so bonus!)

  41. A mechanical delay on SAS caused my family and me to miss our connecting flight on LH to Italy. We asked at the LH desk if we could be put onto the next LH flight to a different airport in Italy, which was closer to our ultimate destination (so we wouldn’t have to take the train). The LH agent said she would need to get approval from SAS, so she called her SAS colleague. The SAS agent denied the change, so we ended up arriving several hours late.

    I ended up with about $1200 EU261 compensation from SAS, which they provided without incident within a couple of weeks after I requested it. But if they had been more gracious about changing our routing, I wouldn’t have even thought to file for EU261 compensation.

    I like the law a lot – it’s one of the most consumer-friendly laws ever enacted. And despite the airlines’ wails and gnashing of teeth, they seem to be doing just fine in Europe, with plenty of competition and inexpensive fares.

  42. @James – you did, but it is the arrival to your final destination and not necessarily the end of your ex-Europe leg. Again in our case the ZRH-JFK flight was delayed less than 4hrs but missing our connecting flight to DCA put us at our final destination more than 5hrs late making the compensation substantially more. It didn’t matter our connecting flight was not operated by a European carrier and that it started and ended in the US. That was the subject of the lawsuit with Emirates.

  43. First, note that the regulations are in effect not only in the European Union, but also the EEA (European Economic Area), so it will cover Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (though I don’t think Liechtenstein has an international airport) even though those countries have chosen not to be part of the European Union.

    Also, my experience with EU261 is very positive. Twice the last two years I’ve had a cancellation of flight, and within few minutes I’ve been given a hotel room and simply been told “buy yourself a meal, and e-mail us the receipt” or provided with a meal.

  44. Does TAP Portugal owe me anything?

    I was scheduled to fly OSL-LIS-JFK. When I woke up in the morning, my originally scheduled 12:45pm flight to LIS was canceled. I was re-booked on a leased plane 15 mins later with a technical stop in Copenhagen. This delayed caused me to miss my JFk flight, which they booked me the following day. All In all I was 1 day late. They did take care of me in Lisbon, though I would have far preferred to be home on time.
    This cancellation happened on April 2nd of this year.
    Is it too late to claim EU261? Am I owed compensation for the long haul flight considering I arrived 1 day later? Even though I arrived in Lisbon a few hours late?

    Thanks.

  45. You should maybe also mention the alas frequently case that a flight is rescheduled after the booking, without the airline contacting the passenger.
    Happened to me twice in the last 6 months and if they fail to announce it more than two weeks in advance it is considered a cancellation.
    Curious to see how my claim with uia in that matter will work out

  46. I had an interesting experience at Munich airport in late April. While trying to check in for our BMI flight to Southampton, we were informed that our flight was “non-existent”. It had obviously been deleted from the schedule, but no one informed us (neither TravelGenio, the online booking site, nor BMI). I showed our e-ticket to a Lufthansa supervisor, and she simply rebooked us to LHR on Lufthansa, saying “we’re the BMI handling agent, so we’ll just book you on the LH flight and sort it out with BMI”. Wow. We still arrived in Southampton 5 hours after our original arrival time, so I’m filing a claim under EU261.

  47. I’m trying to file a claim with funds to be transferred to my US bank account. I’m being asked for:

    “Bank Correspondence Account”

    And

    “RCBIC”

    It says both must be 20 numbers. I’ve never heard about this. Where can I get this information? My bank has no clue.

  48. Great Law wish the US had it .Was flying CDG to ORD broke plane offered me Room,Shuttle Food till next Day . Wanted to Go Home !! went from nonstop to one stop LHR got home 10 hrs late . Got 5K AA which worked for the next trip to CDG .BUT was TOAD like $600 could’ve gotten .Today I would Do 5 years ago no …

    CHEERS

  49. I am not sure why some posters are arguing that the regulation should be EC261?

    All airlines are using EU261 on their websites. If it should be EC261, why the airlines use EU261?

    For those few that argue the EC name, please find us an airline website example that shows EC261 should be used.

  50. @fll –

    EU is the union of the 28 participating European countries, and the European Commission (EC) is the governing body of the EU. Legislation codes that apply to and are enforced in the EU are “EC…”, just like in the US where “HR.. or S..” is legislation created by the House of Reps or the Senate, which applies to the US.

    One example – Aer Lingus refers to it as EC, here:
    https://www.aerlingus.com/support/legal/regulation/

    Many airlines refer to it as simply “European regulation” or “European law” since citing a specific law code isn’t of interest to most travelers.

  51. Nice article James,
    Agree with you on not using websites to claim unless you have no other option, however, to claim compensation on your own you should know about the EC Regulation 261/2004 which is there at their official site – https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004R0261:en:HTML

    Also, talking about claiming compensation, you can know online for free how much compensation are you entitled to get using the “Flight Delay Compensation Calculator” (for example – https://www.claimflights.co.uk/claim-now). You can even get a template for the claim letter for free, just look for flight delay compensation letter template.

    The amount that you know from the calculator and the knowledge of EC Regulation will help you put some solid information in the letter you submit to the airline. That will probably be more convincible and might result in a positive response from the airline.

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