Key questions around flights compensation

Passengers booked on flights which are delayed or cancelled may be entitled to compensation.

Here are some of the key questions around the claims process:

- What rules apply?

EU law protects passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled under Regulation 261.

This applies to flights either departing from an EU airport or those that are both arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline, such as Ryanair.

- Why is the cause of disruption important?

Compensation is payable when an airline is deemed to be at fault, such as the crew being late, cancellation due to underbooking or an aircraft component failure.

If a carrier can prove disruption was caused by 2extraordinary circumstances" - typically severe weather, air traffic control strikes or a security risk - then it is not liable.

- How large are payouts for delays?

Compensation ranges from €300 for short-haul flights, such as Edinburgh to Dublin, which are delayed by more than three hours, to €600 for long-haul trips, such as London to New York, which are delayed by more than four hours.

- What about cancellations?

Compensation may be payable if a flight is cancelled within two weeks of departure.

Payouts vary between €125 and €600, depending on how much notice is given, the distance travelled and the timing of the alternative flight taken.

- Is compensation automatic?

No, disrupted passengers must write a letter of complaint to the airline. They should keep as much evidence as they can, such as boarding cards and receipts to claim expenses.

Template letters can be found online.


More in this Section

Rugby star lines out in new business role

Cork Airport new head of security as it invests €10m in baggage screening project

Number of people working in Ireland up over 20% since end of recession

'Heartbreaking for the workforce' - Kerry Foods closes UK factory with loss of 900 jobs


Hozier adds more believers to his church after Cork gig

Simply off the wall: Your go-to guide to shelving

Peter Dowdall shares his top 4 flower picks to add a splash of summer colour to your garden

Ask a counsellor: ‘Why does my husband hate that our daughter’s dating a man going through divorce?’

More From The Irish Examiner