Posted 17 July 2023

Compensation for delayed and cancelled flights

Update 1
25/07 - Thread updated to include latest foreign office travel advice for Greece Rhodes & Corfu
It's being reported that air traffic control issues across Europe (edit and now extreme temperatures in Europe) and strikes could lead to disruption for UK travellers this summer. If you face travel disruption, where your flight is delayed or cancelled, it's worth a reminder on what compensation you are entitled to if you do face significant delays or flight cancellations. Some basic info below.

Travel to Greece (Rhodes and Corfu)

Wildfires on the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu are significantly impacting travel, with over 19,000 people evacuated. Check the foreign office for latest advice…ece It advises holidaymakers on any affected Greek island to contact their airline or holiday company who will be able to help them get back to the UK. It has not advised against travelling to Rhodes or Corfu.


Rhodes Travel

  • Jet2 cancelled all flights and holidays to Rhodes for this week, saying "we will be contacting affected customers with regards to their refund and rebooking options".
  • TUI also cancelled all outbound flights to the island until the end of Friday - with holidays for customers travelling to affected hotels cancelled for the rest of this week. Customers who have booked flights will get a full refund, while package holiday customers can either amend their booking for free or get their money back.
  • EasyJet said the situation for many in Rhodes is "very difficult". Flight-only customers who are booked before 29 July have been told that services are still operating, but they should check the flight's status before travelling. Customers have the option of transferring their flight to another date, or receiving a voucher for the value of their air fare.
  • EasyJet's package holidays have been cancelled until Tuesday 25 July, and customers will get a full refund. Those due to leave between now and Saturday are being "proactively contacted" to confirm their options.
  • British Airways is also operating flights as normal but "monitoring the situation in Rhodes very closely". People meant to fly this week can choose to travel at a later date if they want to - and customers who want to return to the UK early can change their booking free of charge.
  • Ryanair says its flights are running normally and are unaffected by the forest fires - with a statement giving no indication of whether customers can change their booking. Passengers who have lost their travel documents have been told that temporary documentation from Greek police will be accepted.
  • Thomas Cook has cancelled all holidays to areas of Rhodes most affected by the wildfire - such as Kiotari and Lardos - until 31 July. Those due to travel before then can receive a full refund, amend their departure dates, or arrange to go to an alternative destination.
  • For customers booked to go to Kiotari and Lardos from 1 August onwards, Thomas Cook says it is working closely with partners on the ground to understand the impact of the wildfires - and will be in touch with holidaymakers over the coming days with information and updates.
  • When it comes to Rhodes as a whole, Thomas Cook is offering a full refund for departures until the end of Wednesday - with alternative destinations and travel dates also available. For holidays to Rhodes from Thursday onwards, decisions are going to be made on a daily basis.
  • "If customers do want to cancel or amend their holiday for departures after Wednesday 26 July they can do so at their cost and we will not charge a fee but airlines may do so," it said.

Corfu Travel

  • TUI has reassured customers due to travel to Corfu that its hotels and resorts are operating normally after a wildfire in a small area of the northeast was contained.However, people due to travel up to and including 30 July can amend their booking for free.
  • People already in Corfu and due to fly home with British Airways can "change their flight to come back earlier if they wish free of charge". Anyone flying with BA until Sunday can change to a later date for free.
  • Jet2 flights to Corfu are flying as normal from 26 July and beyond, with easyJet also running its usual service.
  • Ryanair says its flights to and from Corfu are continuing as normal.

Compensation for delayed flights

While you wait for your flight, under UK law, airlines must provide you with care and assistance if your flight is significantly delayed. The law splits the set timeframes into three categories:


This means they must provide:

  • A reasonable amount of food and drink (often provided in the form of vouchers)
  • A means for you to communicate (often by refunding the cost of your calls)
  • Accommodation, if you are re-routed the next day (usually in a nearby hotel)
  • Transport to and from the accommodation (or your home, if you are able to return there)

The airline must provide you with these items until it is able to fly you to your destination, no matter how long the delay lasts or what has caused it.

Compensation for cancelled flights

If you have had a cancelled flight check your statutory right to get any compensation owed from the airline. Compensation level varies based on days notice, detailed below.

Seven to 14 days’ notice

If you received seven to 14 days’ notice of the cancellation, you may be able to claim compensation based on the timings of the alternative flight.

If your new flight departs no more than two hours before the scheduled time of your original flight AND your new flight arrives less than four hours after the scheduled time of your original flight, you are not entitled to financial compensation

More info


Less than seven days’ notice

If you received less than seven days’ notice of the cancellation, you can claim compensation based on the timings of the alternative flight:

If your new flight departs no more than one hour before the scheduled time of your original flight AND your new flight arrives less than two hours after the scheduled time of your original flight, you are not entitled to financial compensation


How to claim

Contact your airline directly. If you believe you have the right to claim compensation or reimbursement, you should contact your airline or airport directly. Compensation is not automatic, and you will need to contact your airline to make a claim.

More info on claims

Rearranging your flight

If your cancelled is covered by UK law, your airline must let you choose between two options:

1. Receive a refund - You can get your money back for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used. For instance, if you have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.If you are a transfer passenger and you have already completed part of your journey, you are also entitled to a flight back to your original departure point when your connecting flight is cancelled and you decide not to continue your journey.

2. Choose an alternative flight - tIf you still want to travel, your airline must find you an alternative flight. It’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible after the cancelled flight, or at a later date that suits you.
Although most airlines will book you onto another of their flights to the same destination, if an alternative airline is flying there significantly sooner or other suitable modes of transport are available then you may have the right to be booked onto that alternative transport instead. You can discuss this with your airline.

Package Holiday refund

If you booked a package holiday with a company that's an Abta member and your flight is cancelled, you're entitled to a suitable alternative flight or a full refund.

Useful links and related discussions

Civil aviation authority - Delays and cancellation rights
Your rights amid Rhodes and Corfu fires - Sky News
What are my rights if my flight is cancelled? - BBC

Gatwick Airport staff to strike for 8 days in July & August
Applying for healthcare cover abroad (GHIC and EHIC)
Hand luggage rules for Flights 2023 including British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, TUI..
Holiday Travel Tips 2022 - Hotels / Trains / Holidays + more
Cancellation and refund rights for trains / hotels / event tickets
10 Airline stopover programs + free or discounted hotel stays / experiences - 2023
Community Updates
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  1. runrabbit's avatar
    You can also use Resolver which is a free site to help with template letters and record the communication with the airline company
    AMETAF's avatar
    I have put a claim through them but no luck so far
  2. ALROY77's avatar
    BA website is not great, it's not the link it's the website
  3. sc597's avatar
    BA clearly have a strategy to sit on complaints for as long as possible. I had a clear cut airline-blame cancellation earlier this year and they just ignored my claim and chase ups for months until I sent them a "legalese" email saying if they didn't respond within 10 working days I would take that as them refusing my claim, and would be proceeding immediately to the small claims court to obtain my compensation due under EC261 etc. Literally the following day they replied and paid out.
  4. blahblahblah1234's avatar
    Not exactly compensation, but O2 Priority users can register 2 flights per month for free airport lounge access if your flights get delayed. You can register up to 4 passengers per flight.…118
    Came in handy a couple of weeks ago, a 45 minute delay coming back from Oslo, I received a lounge pass 4 hours in advance, so 3 hours in the lounge was a very nice compensation.
    Flight landed at Heathrow only 10 minutes late!

    Although the monthly deal ends in September, you can register any future flights you've got booked. I've registered all my flights through to January 2024.
    dealhunter6k's avatar
    This is really useful, I used it in June at Buffalo Airport, but sadly, the lounge closed at 9 pm as it was a small airport...1min before I had lounge access approved.
  5. samtheman's avatar
    blahblahblah1234's avatar
    Disruptive passengers, not the airline's fault.
  6. RUGAAL's avatar
    Bear in mind, if flight was canceled due to air traffic control request, you are not entitled for compensation. You still can claim expenses such as hotel/rebooking flight with different airlinr for example. Expenses for rebooking flights is capped at max what you paid for your flight. 
  7. KK71's avatar
    Can you claim compensation from the Middle Eastern Airlimes as well?
    bozo007's avatar
    Only for flights departing from UK / EU.
  8. furyx's avatar
    You might want to add that if the airline doesn't respond or straight out lies about the reason for the delay to you (Looking at you Ryanair) The Aviation ADR is the next step of escalation. Their ruling is like an Ombudsman, only legally binding on the airlines side. It will take time and you might need to chase them, but it works. (edited)
    rs_tigerblade's avatar
    Amazing thank you!
  9. Jaydizzle84's avatar
    The process with Ryanair dragged out for 6 months. I got my expenses paid, but there was no compensation. Tried the ADR route and they backed the airline, without any sort of independent review of circumstances.
    We were boarded 3.5hrs late and sat on plane for an hour before them telling us they would not fly that night. So had to make hotel plans at 2am.

    The flight attendants refused to fly because they'd worked over their 10hr shift.
    Yet, somehow they came up with a different reason for not flying when it came to trying to get compensation.

    I lost faith in it, so have now given up on €500 we thought we would be due.

    "Following a review of your claim, we regret to advise that no liability to compensation arises under the EU261 regulation as your flight was disrupted due to restrictions of the airspace imposed by air traffic control services, outside Ryanair�s control and our position remains final."

    Just because you were delayed 3 hrs does not entitle you to compensation if you cannot disprove the circumstances the airline claims for the delay.

    Yes, you will get expenses paid if you had to stay an extra day if you were away from home. But they weasel out of compensation through claims it wasn't the airlines fault. (edited)
    warlockuk's avatar
    Yeah, chasing mine with them took months of repeating myself after I told them their online form doesn't work, just to get a 'no, it wasn't our fault' - despite them giving out compensation forms to us at the time.
  10. marcusjt's avatar
    See also the free advice and tools provided by Which? to help you understand your rights and to make a claim (one of their tools will generate a complaint letter for you which you then send yourself)…hts
  11. greenflower123's avatar
    is foggy condition claimable? my flight was cancelled, they emailed me the night before (without providing the actual reason) but when enquired directly they said it was cancelled due to foggy conditions... conflicting information online if this is claimable or not
    Isaac_McCafferty's avatar
    no, if the reason the flight was grounded was due to adverse weather you do not stand a chance i'm afraid.
  12. hello789's avatar
    I just had a flight delayed 1h55m, seriously, they landed 5 minutes before the 2h was up, am I entitled to any comp?
    Russ2626's avatar
    It would have needed to be 3 hours or more delay anyway for any significant compensation
  13. noscreen's avatar
    What if its a flight booked with Avios? They cancelled our flight tonight for one tomorrow afternoon to a different airport. Fuming!
    windym's avatar
    It is compensation, not refund. If you booked with Avios it is not relevant to how they pay compensation.

    You have duty of care and potentially EU261.
  14. sharif76's avatar
    Can we put a claim in for last year delay on virgin Atlantic
    Supergolo's avatar
    I believe you can claim up to 5 years ago (edited)
  15. PlaidZ's avatar
    Thanks Chanchi - great post and a topic that needs more awareness. Please note compensation is per paying passenger! Myself and missus was refunded £1040 for a delayed flight to Dubai and made the trip half price. Not bad for a 5 hours delay!

    Process was simple - e-mailed airline and was asked for flight details, booking reference etc and received another email couple of weeks later asking for IBAN, Swift etc and was paid a couple of weeks later

    Best of luck all (edited)
    Russ2626's avatar
    Nice. I had a similar experience with a flight to Greece that was delayed by about 4 hours. The form took less than 2 mins to complete and within a few days I received confirmation that £350 compensation per passenger would be paid within 14 days
  16. idoor's avatar
    EasyJet is trying to fob us off. We had an 18.5h delay on our return flight and they’re declining our compensation request claiming that the delay was out of their control. Initially they just said “due to air traffic control restrictions”, but then they gave this explanation:

    “As per our records your flight was a heavy delay due to the crew out of hours for 2 sectors. A/C was swapped to bring on time and ATC slot 2119Z was issued. Captain then phones stating he could not board as they were in discretion with the slot. Crewing advised him he was not in discretion and was calculating it incorrectly. Due to this further delay to boarding the slot then became 2255Z which did push the crew into discretion and captain continued to refuse to board. Once FA was then offloaded sich and the replacement called from home SBY who became lost in the terminal.

    Unfortunately, in this situation, the disruption was caused by factors beyond our control, and we are unable to grant the requested compensation.”

    So essentially the captain made a mistake, refused to board, and made them lose the slot, then continued to refuse to board. Then they call the Home Standby Captain and they get lost in the terminal. How is that not within their control? It’s literally their employees 🙈
    Cuddl3s's avatar
    Sounds like the airlines picked up on the "out of our control" loop hole and they just play that card hoping some will go away, which probably works 90% of the time.
  17. dominicdiep's avatar
    I had a flight recently to Corfu that seemed like it was delayed for over 3 hours - is there an easy way to check historical times to see?
  18. Narrowboy's avatar
    Our flight was delayed by just over 4 hours so ended up arriving at the hotel around 04:30hrs, absolutely knackered and pooled our first day.

    put the compensation claim in with Tui while we were still there and got our claim within 2 days - £350 each

    paid into my account today so less than a week later.

    I’d have known about this scheme if it wasn’t for Martin Lewis, it should be enrolled automatically so people don’t miss out
  19. oranjuice's avatar
    All these rules are great, until you ask at the airport. That's when things come to a standstill. They either offer no help or provide a number which no one answers
  20. Russ2626's avatar
    I made a claim recently for a missed connection 16 months ago (2 flights on the same booking and the first flight was delayed). It was confirmed today that €400 would be paid
    andy_mathiesonWna's avatar
    Well done but just be aware airlines like Easyjet Ryanair are point to point , you can claim for delay their flight but they won't pay any cost's incurred for a missed flight (its in their terms and conditions )
  21. Cuddl3s's avatar
    I know its a long shot but anyone had experience of claiming from WizzAir? also any thoughts if you make a claim do you reckon they put you on a naughty list
    GBdeal's avatar
    Waste of time...they totally ignore you. The only way to claim them is if you instruct a company to do so.
  22. jstyles's avatar
    Interesting point at the end of the articles reinforces the importance of ABTA membership. Since COVID, a lot on online agents, such as Loveholidays, have quit ABTA.

    for me, I wouldn’t travel with an agency that was not a member of ABTA. But each to their own. 
  23. TristanDeCoonha's avatar
    However Icelandic activity might screw up some flights, and there'll be no compensation due. It should be very few, but any flights diverted from their normal path will have to be accommodated into different airspace, and take whatever slots are available
    bozo007's avatar
    I am hearing murmurs that airlines are trying to get air traffic control strikes listed as exempted circumstances.
  24. codebee's avatar
    Good luck if anyone has a cancellation or delay from Corendon Airlines. They’ve been withholding compensation for over a year for us and hundreds of others.
    villageidiotdan's avatar
    Per my note above I'd encourage you to consider UK small claims court (sorry if there is a reason this isn't an option in your scenario).
  25. iby2012's avatar
    Should be fun, flew to NY. 2hr stop off. Dude at the re-ticketing desk didn't recognise the Visa after waiting for an hr to see hima s there was 1 person at the desk. And he said the manager couldn't help. Staff totally useless. Manager no-where to be seen

    Missed getting the boarding pass. Plane left. Manager then sorted the ticket too late.

    Suitcase went on the 10pm flight but they were denied that flight and given the flight the next day so 24hr delay.

    Which was then delayed due to earthquake 3000 miles away. Then cancelled due to "tornado" warning in NY???

    Flight was then re-booked next morning and they paid for the taxi there and back and the hotel. So 2 days late. Lady at desk saw the Visa and did the ticket no issue.

    Oh and that suitcase, was a TSA lock and was cut, no note. Oh and the hand luggage handle was ripped too. Crazy trip. (edited)
    KK71's avatar
    What a Roller Coaster ride...did you get any compo?
  26. mnabi19's avatar
    What’s best way to go about and who for compensation for connecting flights where the airport checkin desk for next was rammed packed and this resulted in missing the flight and then having to rebook for another one a day later. Lost out on days holiday and had to get food ect to get through to next day as well. Hotel was provided for the night but it’s the rest of the expenses and loses
    c58's avatar
    If it was different airlines then the fault is yours, if you're all on 1 ticket you shouldn't have to recheck - only instance that happens is when you fly to the U.S and in that instance if it's not an EU airline you won't get compensation
  27. sree82's avatar
    Does any one know about schedule change done by airline 8 hours before the departure?
    rinonir's avatar
    did it result in a delay as per table? if yes, seems like you should get compo
  28. ashman123's avatar
    Great Post! Thanks. Undergoing a compensation process myself. Was supposed to do the return leg of a Lon-NY on BA. Ticket was sold by American Airlines but BA was the operator for the flight which got cancelled and I was re-routed the next day from NY to Chicago and then Chicago to London. Contacted American and they acknowledged that compensation and reimbursement was due but from BA who were the flight operator. Wrote to BA and the claim has still not been processed by them. The claim was sent 50 days ago (42 working days ago). Have contacted them twice already but they say they will get to it. Not sure whether to involve a company to pursue.
    rs_tigerblade's avatar
    Haha good luck! Going through the same with BA who put us through hell for 2 days (even though flight was booked through JAL). It’s been over 2 months and still nothing from them. The worst thing is, we can’t claim through insurance as we have to have something in writing from BA but they are just not communicating at all. They will make it as hard as possible because they do this a lot to fill flights or oversell.
  29. Howden123's avatar
    Flying on 30 July from Gatwick (Tui 14 night package that includes Easyjet flights)…so expecting some sort of trouble as it is slap bang in the middle of the proposed baggage handlers strike.

    Have got my fingers crossed, booked the O2 Priority flight lounge access in case of delay, and confirmed via chat that if EasyJet cancel then Tui will be liable to sort it all out or refund if they can’t rearrange the whole package within a couple of days of original departure.
  30. kyalma-2x's avatar
    Good timing on the post!
    Does anyone knows if there is any chance to claim compensation for an Easyjet flight that was officially 2h59 late ? Probably arguing that the door was not open and passengers were not off the aircraft until after the 3 hour mark.
    I know this is likely the worst / unluckiest outcome for my partner and I regarding the flight delay.
    warlockuk's avatar
    I think it might work on takeoff time; they'll typically get passengers to queue just to obfuscate that. I had to wait once in a stairwell for an hour, after we were nearing the 2h late mark.

    Some folks will just refuse to pay - Ryanair refused to compensate me after first dropping the flight after a delay of several hours and then not communicating at all that accommodation would be available (we found our own).
    The truly annoying part is that we queued for a good hour and a half for the customer service booth, we were immediately given compensation forms and binned off...
    ...but they weren't paying compensation, so... what the heck Ryanair?
  31. cityhunter123's avatar
    If you get compensation from all China Airlines.. forget it! they don't want to know..
  32. sr_387's avatar
    also alot of the heat wave countries are closing down the attractions etc so plan ahead
  33. rollzy's avatar
    Anyone had success from jet2? Had a 6 hour delay last year and conditions was good so not weather related. Came back and went through a company to do it on my behalf. Emailed straight back along the lines of we can't/won't take it on. Can't remember the specific reason but they wouldn't. Guessing they are like Ryanair and just refuse/ ignore.
    iby2012's avatar
    So I know if they reject you you can take it up to the people airline regulator. And they can sort it.
  34. JJJZ's avatar
    How long do you have to claim?
    blazons's avatar
    You don't have to.
  35. sosen1327's avatar
  36. Jordan_Smith's avatar
    Can anyone advise please , Arrived at FARO from LPool with Easyjet 3hr 20min late due to a folder being left on the engine and being sucked in when they started. So returned to stand and and had a delay inboard while checks were carried out. Contacted Easyjet who say we don't qualify for compensation. Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks j
    999's avatar
    They will always say that just to see who they can quickly jog on. Get any evidence you can and go to Aviation ADR
  37. Mumrik_S's avatar
    Am I entitled to a compo if the flight was delayed by 5h, or only food, drinks etc?
    If I didn't keep the receipt, is my bank statement good enough as proof?
    That was with ryanair
    rinonir's avatar
    you are, you just need a booking reference and can submit form online, very easy
  38. mint_fresh's avatar
  39. robmwhite12's avatar
    Tui cancelled our holiday and gave us less than 24 hrs notice. Gave refund and a voucher we will probably never use. Would we get anything if we took it further as it had been booked 2 years ago
    deleted1945554's avatar
    I feel your pain and obviously a right PITA being cancelled on at last minute, particularly if you've got kids.

    In answer to your question, I don't think there's anything you can claim for in this instance. You've received your refund and a crappy voucher. Maybe consider a city break or something to rinse some value out of the voucher?

    Personally, I'd let it go as life's too short.
  40. ackuarian's avatar
    Anyone has raised compensation request with Gulf Air?

    I emailed them and they accepted the flight was delayed after few months but no mention of compensation at all.
    bozo007's avatar
    Was the delay on a flight leaving the UK? No compensation is due for inbound flights.
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