Feb 7, 2013

Posted by in Features, Money Saving Tips, Travel News, Trip Advice | 60 Comments

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Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?

Two court cases at the end of January have helped to clarify the rights of passengers regarding flight delays, welfare and compensation under the EU261 rules.

But, if your flight was delayed, would you know what you were entitled to and how claim it? And do you even know what the EU261 rules are?

If not, read our handy guide below.

Flight delays - airport

Make sure you know your rights if your flight is delayed

“What were the recent cases and what do they mean for me?”

On January 28, a UK judge ruled that Jeff and Joyce Halsell were entitled to €800 in compensation and legal costs after their flight from Tenerife to the East Midlands was delayed as a result of a mechanical fault. Previously the Halsells’ airline, Thomas Cook, had claimed that the delay was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’ beyond its control and turned down the claim. However, the judge clarified that the technical fault did fall into this category and Thomas Cook had to pay out.

A few days later on January 31, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Denise McDonagh was indeed entitled to €1,130 in compensation to cover her welfare expenses (food, refreshments and accommodation) when her flight with Ryanair was cancelled as a result of the 2010 ash cloud. This was a test case around whether airlines have to pay ‘reasonable costs’ to cover passengers’ welfare even if the cause of the delay is ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as the ash cloud.

Both cases, along with a judgement in October 2012, help to clarify the rights of travellers when their flight is delayed or cancelled – and show how important it is for you to know your rights as a passenger should anything go wrong.

“My flight is delayed – does my airline have to look after me?”

If you are travelling from a European airport or with an EU airline and your flight is delayed by more than two hours, your airline may have to offer you a welfare package including food, drinks, two phone calls and, if your flight delay is overnight, accommodation plus transport to and from where you are staying.

When your airline is obliged to offer you this welfare package will depend on the distance you are travelling in kilometres. The table below outlines your rights:

Length of delay before you are entitled to assistance
Flight length Delay
0 – 1,500km (eg Manchester to Frankfurt) More than two hours
1,500 – 3,500km (eg Newcastle to Majorca) More than three hours
3,500km + (eg London to Delhi) More than four hours

Source: CAA

These rights are set out in the EU261 rules.

If your airline does not offer to provide the welfare package itself – for example, in the form of meal vouchers or by booking accommodation for you – talk to a representative at the airport to find out what they consider as ‘reasonable costs’ and get an agreement that you can sort out your own welfare. If you do sort out your own accommodation or buy meals, keep all of your receipts to make claiming back any costs you have incurred as easy as possible.

“Can I also claim compensation for a delayed flight?”

If you are travelling from a European airport or with an EU airline and your flight arrives at its destination more than three hours late, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the EU261 rules of up to €600.

Instances where you won’t be entitled to compensation will be when the flight delay is caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

“What are ‘extraordinary circumstances’?”

‘Extraordinary circumstances’ are those that are deemed to be outside the airline’s control and which, even if the airline had taken reasonable measures, would have delayed the flight. They include extreme weather such as snow, acts of nature such as the volcanic ash cloud in 2010, and strikes.

The case on January 28 clarified that technical faults with an aircraft did not necessarily count as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and passengers can push for clarification as to whether the fault that caused their delay was within the airline’s control.

It is important to remember, however, that even if a long delay is caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’, your airline must look after you and offer a welfare package.

“How much compensation can I claim?”

As with welfare packages, the compensation you are entitled to is determined by the length of your flight and how long your delay is. The table below outlines the different levels of compensation you can claim following a flight delay.

 Length of flight  Delay to destination  Compensation due
 Up to 1500km  More than 3 hours  €250
 1500km to 3500km  More than 3 hours  €400
 More than 3500km  More than 3 hours but less than 4 hours  €300
 More than 3500km  More than 4 hours  €600

Source: CAA

“How do I claim this compensation?”

The first step you should take if you want to claim compensation is to talk to your airline and find out what caused the delay. Make a note of all of the details so you can be clear on the facts at a later date, and keep your tickets as well as any relevant receipts.

When you come to claim the compensation, go to your airline’s website and find out the best way to communicate with it about the compensation. British Airways, for example, has an online form for customers to fill in but also provides the option of a postal address for letters.

If you are communicating by post, the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) site has a downloadable letter template to make the process as simple as possible as well as a handy checklist and answers to some common questions.

“Should I use a claims company to help?”

It can be tempting to use a claims company to help you receive compensation. But, as with third parties offering to help with PPI claims, these companies charge a fee for their services so avoid them.

As the claims process is straightforward, why part with any of the sum you are due? And, should you have any problems, all the help you need can be found on the CAA’s passenger portal.

“I’ve previously made a claim for compensation/welfare but haven’t received anything – what should I do?”

The two cases in January, along with a ruling in October 2012, clarify your rights to compensation. So, if your airline has refused to pay out when the cause of the delay was not ‘extraordinary circumstances’, you could contact them again stating that in the case of TUI v CAA, you’d like to pursue your claim.

If you’d like to pursue an old claim for the reimbursement of welfare costs – for example during the ash cloud – again you could contact your airline stating that in light of the McDonagh v Ryanair case, you would like to claim your expenses back. It is important to remember, however, that to pursue your claim you will need copies of your original letters and/or receipts.

“What are my rights if my delayed flight is with a non-EU airline?”

As the EU261 rules only protect passengers travelling with an EU airline or out of an EU airport, you won’t have exactly the same rights. Instead, check what the policy is with the airline you are travelling with.

TravelSupermarket’s top tips
  • Check your rights while you are on the move by downloading the European Commission’s app ‘Your Passenger Rights’.
  • In the event of any delay or cancellation, talk to your airline for guidance on why you are delayed and how to claim your welfare package – don’t spend anything yourself that you expect to get back without clarifying it with your airline.
  • To make a successful claim, keep all relevant receipts as well as your tickets, and write down as many details as possible at the time of your delay so you don’t forget any key facts.
  • Always take out a travel insurance policy which includes protection for travel delays to cover you for any extra costs you may incur – such as not being able to turn up to your booked accommodation.

For more advice on delayed flights and to find out your rights if your flight is cancelled, read our article ‘Delayed or cancelled flight? Know your rights!

  1. Richard W. Brown says:

    I have been in dispute with Thomas Cook on behalf of my daughter who with her family was delayed seven and half hours at Birmingham due to an aircraft problem scheduled to fly to Cyprus in October 2010.

    I will not be overly descriptive regarding her experience but needless to say she suffered hell in airport holding lounge and lost day of her actual holiday.

    On her return I contacted Thomas Cook asking for some remuneration but was advised that none was applicable to the incident. However on her behalf I made many enquiries and discovered enough to keep the claim in abeyance.

    With the European Union Judgement recently updating and confirming its stance on compensation, Thomas Cook realising they had no leg to stand on offered my daughter an amount that both she and I disagreed with.

    They had carefully scrutinised the 17 articles of the EU Regulations and whittled the claim down by nearly 50%. As a result I am in the process of taking them to the small claims court. Just this morning they upped their offer by less than 7%!

    The EU Judgements list 17 articles of which all are to be treated separately, the most important of which to most passengers are those related to time(Delayed) and compensation amounts related to the delays. So the amounts are stated and governed by the articles which can be used by both passenger and airline as guidance.

    What is not so clear however is that there are other articles that cover separate issues, such as passengers rights to information, special needs and requirements etc, An example is….in 2010 when my daughters incident occurred there should have been a notice at the check in advising passengers of their rights. After 2 hours of delay the airlines are obliged to provide written information about the delay and what options they have.

    Neither of these obligations were available at Birmingham in 2010.

    My daughter youngest child was suffering with a mental disorder and had been dosed with medication to keep him calm for the expected four and half hour flight. Unfortunately the medication ran out halfway through her long wait in the departure lounge, and both she and her husband had to try and placate a little boy (4) who in effect had just woken up.

    Any help from Thomas Cook was not forth coming even though one of the articles in the Regulations state that special needs passengers must have adequate attention.

    The sustenance provided was hardly enough for 2 persons let alone four, and only one telephone call was allowed as opposed to two!

    By the time they got on their flight they were so dog tired they snoozed for most of the journey, while the eldest boy (6) thankfully kept the youngest amused for the majority of the journey. Unfortunately due to the parents both in the land of nod they missed their in flight meals.

    Arriving at the hotel in early hours of the following day they did not arise until the afternoon, and in effect last a day of their holiday. Then had their first hot meal for 36 hours at evening dinner.

    A story that I am sure has been repeated many times, however I feel sure many of those 200 odd passengers on that flight have just let the matter drop. Hope you won’t.

  2. Hi Richard,

    Thank you for your comment and sorry to hear about your daughter’s delay.

    Before I can try to help you, please can you let me know a few further details? If you send them to my email address cathy.toogood@travelsupermarket.com, I’ll get back to you.

    Did your daughter book a package holiday with Thomas Cook or did she book flights only? And, has Thomas Cook clarified what caused the aircraft problem? In the case above, for example, the judge ruled that the technical fault in question didn’t fall into the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ category but aircraft faults will need to be looked at on a case by case basis.

    Thank you,

    • Robert Falknet says:

      Hi Cathy,

      I’m wondering if you can advise on my situation? I had a package holiday booked through Thomas Cook leaving from Birmungha to Majorca back in 2010.Our flight was delayed for approximately 4 hours, when we got to the gate to board the flight the check in staff called so many seats to board and we were left seated nothing was said untill the doors had closed and the plane started taxiing. We were then informed that one of the planes emergency shoots had been triggered by one of the cabin crew. We were informed by a Thomas Cook rep that we would be diverted to another airport after 7 hours in the airport with 3 children and an angry girlfriend this was not the best start. Eventually a coach arrived to take us to Gatwick by the time we were in the air we had lost a whole day of our holiday and wiped out most of the second as we were all far to tired and slept most of the day.

      Thomas Cook had subcontracted the flight and would not offer us any compensation at all. I have an original letter with the flight numbers on but I do not have our tickets or boarding passes. Do Playa Brava have a case to follow this up under the new EU261 rule

      • Hi Robert,

        Thank you for your question.

        When you asked Thomas Cook for compensation, did you make a formal complaint either from your resort or when you returned home? If so, did you get a written response back? And, were you offered a welfare package (such as food and drink) while you were delayed?

        If you are unhappy with a response from a tour operator in a case like this, you can use the ABTA arbitration service to help you (find out more here http://abta.com/go-travel/travel-clinic/arbitration-and-mediation). However, the time limit on this service is 18 months from when you return from your holiday, so in your case, this will be too late.

        While this is frustrating, it will hopefully be of some help if you ever have an issue like this in the future.

        Thank you,

    • Calvin Rose says:


      This is brilliant information, I travelled to Turkey 3 years ago and the return flight was delayed over 3 hours, then what should have been a direct flight to Gatwick, the flight diverted to stopped at Manchester Airport for 1.5 hours without any notice to pickup passengers travelling to Turkey before arriving at Gatwick at 12:30 a.m. The following day.

      I made a complaint but the reply was that the airline and the delay was covered under the aviation law, Do i still have recourse to compensation?

      Kind regards


      • Alan Bowen says:

        This sounds as though it was on a Turkish based airline, in view of the routing it took. If I am correct, EU261 will not apply as the delay was not from an EU airport or on an EU airline

      • Hi Calvin,

        Thank you for your question.

        Was the airline you travelled with an EU airline or was it a Turkish airline? If it was a Turkish airline, you won’t be covered by the EU261 rules and will have to check what the policy is re compensation with the airline you travelled with.

        If it was an EU airline, and your flight arrived more than three hours late to Gatwick, you may be entitled to compensation. You could go back to your airline and challenge their response, and if you aren’t happy with how they reply, you can contact the Civil Aviation Authority to help with your claim http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2211&pageid=12725 .

        Thank you,

  3. Suzanne says:

    How long after an incident like this can you make a claim? I travelled to the Dominican Republic in October 2010 with Thomson on an all inclusive holiday. We arrive at the airport for a flight at 10am only to be told it was delayed until 6pm that night due to a technical fault with the plane. We were told we could check in our luggage and go home if we wished or stay in the airport – we were not offered any vouchers/money for food or travel and relied on friends to take us home again and back that evening. We also arrived in the Dominican around midnight instead of early afternoon effectively missing at least one meal and drinks etc that we had paid for as part of the all inclusive package. We intended to complain and claim compensation but by the time we had been on holiday for 2 weeks we didn’t. Do we still have a case for compensation now?


    • Hi Suzanne,

      Thank you for your question.

      You will still be able to make a claim as you can do so until six years after your delay. You stand the best chance of making a successful claim, however, if you can include all of the relevant documentation (tickets, receipts etc) to support your complaint and if you can detail as clearly as possible what happened on the day of your delay – eg were you told what the technical fault was and what extra costs did you incur?

      Thank you,

  4. Lloyd says:

    Hi, I was in the Ash cloud, and stuck in Venice. I opted to take the train home rather than wait for Ryan air, as they could not be contacted in any way/email website or calls.

    Can I claim for this? I had to take a train and ferry, and 1 night in a hotel in Paris (where the train ended) and it was a low low low cost hotel, that I got a discount for as I was only there for 4 hours.

    • Alan Bowen says:

      If you chose to make your own way home, I am afraid Ryanair is absolved of all liability other than repaying your one way fare for the flight you didn’t use

    • Hi Lloyd,

      Thank you for your question.

      The ruling on January 31 said that Ryanair had to pay ‘reasonable costs’ to cover passengers’ welfare in the event of a delay. As you didn’t manage to contact Ryanair and agree that they would cover your train, ferry and hotel costs, it is highly unlikely that they would now deem these as reasonable costs.

      If you still have all of your receipts and flight tickets, you could contact Ryanair saying that in light of the McDonagh v Ryanair case you would like to claim your expenses back. However there is no guarantee that you will be successful.

      Thank you,

  5. Brent says:

    We suffered a 25 hour delay on a recent outgoing flight to Goa and a 5 hour delay on the return flight.I contacted Thomas Cook who would not accept responsibility for the outgoing flight but accepted it for the return as the pilot actually advised the reason for the delay.I had claimed a total of 2400 euros ie. 600 euros/person/flight and was sent a voucher for £1006 as compensation for the return flight.I rejected the voucher and was subsequently sent a cheque for the same amount.Thomas Cook rejected the outgoing claim as extraordinary circumstances which I did not accept.I contacted the CAA providing full written correspondence and expect a reply from them in the near future.I have advised Cook’s of CAA’s involvement and have advised that unless they do not provide a valid explanation for the delay (which I had previously requested and was not received), then I would begin Small Claims Court proceedings.I await their response.

  6. Louis says:

    I had 6 hours delay in Kuwait airport due to technical problem in Kuwait airline while I was coming from Cochin (India) with my disable daughter who was in the wheelchair.
    Can I claim for the compensation
    Please reply.
    Thank you

    • Hi Louis,

      Thank you for your question.

      Were you travelling with an EU airline? If you weren’t, you won’t be covered under the EU261 rules and will have to check the policy of the airline you were travelling with.

      If you were travelling with an EU airline, it is worth contacting your airline to find out whether the technical fault was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’. It if wasn’t, you can make a claim to your airline, but you will need to provide details of your flights and delay. If you are then unhappy with your airline’s response, you can contact the Civil Aviation Authority here http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2211&pageid=12725 who may be able to help with your claim.

      Thank you,

  7. DEAR CATHY. After reading the story above can you help me with problem. I booked a holiday come honeymoon last April and payed two pounds short of £5.000. We arrived at the airport at 9.30 on the 2 of December to check in only to find out the flight had already gone. TO cut a long story short we was given the wrong flight time by virgin cruises they admitted it was their fault and did not fly out till the next day from another airport do we have a case against virgin cruises under the EU 261 rule. virgin cruises sent a Cheque for £130 pounds which i sent back over a week ago still waitting for a reply. Sill got a copy of the flight times they sent me on the 25 of Octember last year. kind regards.

    • Hi John,

      Something similar has just happened to my partner and I. We turned up to the airport only to discover our flight was just about to leave. Our travel agent admitted it was their mistake and that they had given us an incorrect flight time. They then flew us out on another flight (via a different airport rather than direct as we had booked). The problem was that we arrived 24 hours after we were supposed to and we were severely jet lagged due to the extra travel. I’d really appreciate some help and advice on the best way to maximise our compensation.

      Cathy, would you be able to offer me some help as well please? Please let me know if you need any more information from me. We were due to fly from Gatwick to Punta Cana with Thomas Cook, but ended up flying from Heathrow to Atlanta, and then the next morning down to Punta Cana with Delta.

      KInd Regards and thank you in advance for any help,


  8. Stuart says:

    I was in dispute with Monarch after they delayed our flight for 7 hours and then, when snow fell, they canceled it and claimed ‘extraordinary circumstances’. They admitted that there had been nothing wrong with our aircraft but they had taken it to deal with another issue – presumably a delay, which is why we were then delayed.

    As far as I’m concerned Monarch created the initial problem that caused the delay and, had they not done so, we would have departed 7 hours before the snow set in and thus they would have had no excuse to cancel.

    They failed to uphold every single requirement of EC261, including no food, no calls and no accommodation. When the flight was canceled they unceremoniously dumped us back in the freezing cold check-in area at 11pm with no way of getting home until transport started running again at 5am. Hundreds of us, including many old and disabled, spent the night standing up in freezing conditions. There were no Monarch reps available and we were only given very basic info by the airport services personnel.

    I, and my fellow passengers were absolutely disgusted and Monarch’s response was to deny all responsibility. They eventually sent me a cheque for £11 to cover some expenses for food and drink.

    Can I go back and re-state my claim and would they have to pay out now?

    BTW. The ECJ ruled that mechanical faults did not constitute ‘extraordinary circumstances’ some years back. I can’t remember the case number but the explanation was that mechanical failures were standard and expected problems and should be part of the airlines day-to-day problem handling.

    Thanks for any input on this one.


    • Hi Stuart,

      Thank you for your question.

      I would start by approaching Monarch once again in the light of the recent cases.

      If you then remain unhappy with the responses you have received from Monarch, and have copies of all of the correspondence between you and them, the Civil Aviation Authority may be able to help with your case. You can find out more here http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2211&pageid=12725

      Thank you,

      • Stuart says:

        Hi Cathy,

        Thanks for the reply.

        I had already involved the CAA in my original claim and, although they thought that Monarch’s refusal to pay up was a poor decision, they seemed to have no powers to make them do so. As useless as a chocolate teapot.

        I will get back to them and ask again if they consider how the new ruling affects this case. I strongly believe that, as Monarch deliberately caused the original delay, that they should have paid up regardless of the subsequent cancellation.

        Thanks again


  9. mrs.eileen welsh says:

    hi me and my husband booked to go to nerja in2010 for a month.we booked with bmi baby,we lost a week of or holiday owing to the volcanic ash,the only thing i didnt keep any proof like tickets or proof of the villa we stayed in,my husband was ill at the time and was having different tests to find out the following may that he had terminal cancer and has since died.cani claim anything from the airline company or not. many thanks mrs.eileen welsh.

    • Hi Eileen,

      Thank you for your question about your delay. It must have been very frustrating at the time and I am sorry to hear of your sad loss.

      Unfortunately, Bmibaby are no longer operating and have gone out of business, so unfortunately there is no airline to now take a claim to.

      We wish you all the best in the future and trust that your next trip away goes without any delays.

      Thank you,

  10. mrs.eileen welsh says:

    hope to hear soon.many thanks eileen welsh.

  11. mohammed zahoor says:

    Hello,my self and my wife and 4 kids went to Pakistan in late December 2011 ,and came back on janury 15 th 2012.going was good.but when we were coyming back we were in the plane and we were told that the plane has to stop in turky for 20 minutes for refuling.when got to turky plane took over 2 hours and our normal 8 hours flight took more than 14 hours. Flight was pia now can I do somthing about that.

    • Alan Bowen says:

      PIA are not an EU airline and your delay was not from an EU airport, so not covered by EU legislation

    • Hi Mohammed,

      Thank you for your question.

      As PIA is not an EU airline and you weren’t travelling from an EU airport, you won’t be covered by the EU261 rules. You’ll need to check what PIA’s policy is regarding flight delays to find out if you can make a claim.

      Thank you,

  12. tulsi gohil says:

    Hi Cathy,
    We were delayed at Birmingham Airport flying on Emirates flight to Delhi on the 24 Jan 13 The Delay was 5 hours,hence we missed our connecting flight in Dubai.In Dubai due to lack of organisation we literaly stood in the queue for 6 hours to get another flight to Delhi.Their was no supervisors to coordinate the queues and only 3 counter staff to deal with 200 passengers in 5 rows of queue.eventually we did get our flight to Delhi missing our first day of itenary of Delhi.Do i have any rights of compensation from Emirates as they have not replied to my e mail.I am due to fly back to UK on the 20 Feb 2013.

  13. Sally Brown says:


    We were delayed by 21 hours at Birmingham last month on a Thomson flight to Barbados to join a cruise. The original aircraft had a fault and another had to be sent for, by the time it arrived it was snowing and eventually the airport was closed for a few hours. No information was forthcoming, we eventually got a voucher for £5 for food and drink (bit of a joke) and after many hours we were bussed to hotels. However, we were asked to wait next to an outside door for the buses in the freezing cold for 2 hours, the hotel room was cold, we had to queue for a hot meal which the hotel provided and again for breakfast in the morning, after only a few hours sleep. The ship had waited because there were 3 planes delayed that day but we had lost in effect 2 days of our holiday as originally the day after we arrived was to be a sea day, allowing us to recover from the journey, but it was changed and we had to be up early again the following morning to go on a trip in St Vincent.
    We have submitted a claim to P&O who had chartered the plane, but so far have not received a reply.

  14. Can you clarify the exact point in time that the delay time comes into effect? i.e. Is the delayed departure time the time that the aircraft leaves the gate? boards a bus to go to the plane on the tarmac? take off time?.

    The actual departure time is the scheduled departure time.

  15. sheila says:

    My husband and myself travelled from East Midlands Airport to Dalaman Turkey in June 2011 the flight was due at 8.a.m. and we were told it was delayed for 2 hours at approx 11 a.m. we were told it would be delayed for another 2 hours at 2 p.m. we were told by a member of staff from Monarch that we would have to travel by coach to Manchester Airport to pick up the plane there you can imagine the uproar in the airport.We also had to return our duty free to the shop. After travelling to Manchester we eventually boarded the plane at approx 8.30 p.m. we finally arrived at our apartment at 4 a.m. the following morning. We were given vouchers for food in Manchester but no other compensation and no proper explanation as to why we were delayed.

  16. Helen Ford says:

    Hi Cathy,

    I flew from Heathrow to Perth via Hong Kong in July 2012, with Cathay Pacific. Cathay knew that there was a typhoon in HK prior to our departure from London but did not inform passengers. We landed in HK on time, however, I then had a 25 hour wait (total delay from scheduled departure time to Perth was approximately 18 hours). The airline refused to put me in a hotel overnight.
    Whilst I accept that the initial delay was due to ‘exceptional circumstances’ subsequent delays were due to the following reasons: baggage loaded onto wrong plane, flight crew had overworked their hours, plane did not have enough fuel. The real kick in the teeth was that Cathay flights due to depart after ours were taking off well before us.
    As I result of the delay, I missed my first day of a new job in Perth, and a days wages.
    Cathay refused to compensate me, as did my insurers, please could you advise if I might be entitled to anything?

    Many thanks,


  17. michelle teale says:

    hi cathy

    this is tricky one!

    on 14th april 2010 we flew out to rimini italy from liverpool on a football tour with doncaster rovers centre of excellence. there were about 65 of us including coaches, players and parents and the ash cloud was just starting but ryanair still took us.(i still have the boarding cards)

    we were due to fly back on 18th april but ryanair cancelled all flights.doncaster rovers had to pay for another night in the hotel we were staying in and all food. we were told to contact the airport the next day which we did. still no flights. most of us had already lost a days pay and the players had missed time off school.

    in the end as we were stuck doncaster rovers had to get a coach and a minibus to travel from doncaster to rimini to pick us up. then we had a 27hour drive and ferry crossing to get us back home.

    do you think we have a case for compensation?

    please advise and many thanks


  18. Robert Helliwell says:

    My wife and I had our flight cancelled due to the infamous ash cloud. We were flying with Ryanair back from Malaga. Eventually we hired cars and via SNCF in France and Eurostar made our way back overland. The rules were not clear about who did what and indeed seemed to be written “on the hoof” by the airlines. Their airdesks in Spain knew nothing and were unable to help although they tried. So we took control and got back home. We could not get any money back our insurance company was useless(now changed) and I am still aggrieved at being close to £1000.00 out of pocket.

  19. My party of 4 were subject to an 15hr delay. Although the company did put us up in a hotel over night there care ended there. The following day we were transported early back to the airport only to have a further 6hr delay. I have written twice to the airline but as yet am still waiting a reply
    What should my next move be ?? the county court ?

  20. Were you a passenger on Thomas Cook Airlines Flight No. UK2218 due to depart from Manchester to Faro at 06.15 on Saturday September 15th. 2012? The aircraft finally took of at 12.01 and arrived at Faro at 14.34 instead of the scheduled 09.10. i.e. it arrived 5 hours 24 mins. late.
    Thomas Cook have now accepted a Claim under EU Regulation 261/2004 for this flight and have given a credit voucher for £715 in respect of 2 passengers on this flight.
    The reasons for accepting this Claim were given as ‘I can confirm that the aircraft was delayed due to a technical fault, however this is something that we should have been able to rectify’
    By the rules of equality every passenger on that flight is now entitled to an equal compensation simply by requesting same from Thomas Cook. There is no need to use Claim advisers or Solicitors or their ilk. A simple letter stating the facts should suffice.
    I strongly feel that all accepted claims under the EU Regulation should be published in this manner to encourage all affected passengers to Claim and obtain their rightful compensation for these delays.
    It would be nice to think that the Airline Operators would write to their passengers informing them of their rights in such cases, but I think that may be a step too far in Customer relations.

    • Andy B says:

      Hello we was delayed 5 hours on a Thomas cook flight to Lanzarote last year, the only problem is I never kept the tickets ot boarding passes, but surely they must have details of who was on that flight? Is it better to write an actual letter or email that via their customer relations email?

    • Glad to hear your claim settled. We were delayed 8hours recently and Thomas Cook are refusing our claim, even though they admit technical fault , they say itwas unpredictable !! Did they settle your claim quickly or did it necessitate more than a few letters.
      Thank you

  21. J Lockwood says:

    Can you claim if the DelaIy reason is quoted as Safety Reasons such as Engine Fault?

  22. teresa francis says:

    my friend and i were held up for a week in gambia with the ash cloud we were with cosmos who fed us and provided a hotel but i was several hundreds out of pocket with phone bills medications running out and other expenses can i claim for the delay ?

    • peter dunne says:

      Hi Teresa

      Same here my wife and I Marooned on malta for 8 days
      Air Malta did not even pay for a bottle of water as it was we fed a whole family from coventry for a week
      the hotel let them stay at no cost BUT AIR MALTA never paid 1 penny, I DID MAKE A CLAIM IN 2010 BUT AIR MALTA SAID I DID NOT HAVE A CLAIM We travel a lot as Iam retired and we would not fly air malta
      we would walk or swim first And get this on the flight back to the uk flight stewart droped a cup of tea in my lap.

  23. Mgt dickinson says:

    Just back from Antalya turkey package holiday with Thomas cook flight home to glasgow was 22.45 sat 4th may never boarded till 2am 5th may a ll we got was complimentary drink never flying with Thomas cook again we had an hour delay on flight out to antalya

  24. Claire says:

    Hi, I was delayed with Cyprus Airways from Manchester to Larnaca by nearly 5 hours. I made a claim for compensation from Cyprus Airways, however they have stated extra-ordinary circumstances. I have asked for them to explain the extra-ordinary circumstance further, however they have just said they stand by their decision. i have made a complaint to the CAA, however not heard anything in 8 weeks now despite phonecalls and emails. Are the airlines obliged to inform us of the extra-ordinary circumstance?


  25. Liz Bradwell says:

    We recently had a delay from Cuba back to the uk for just under 24 hrs due to a fault on the plane, we were left in the airport for 6 hrs with no offer of food and drink vouchers. We were eventually returned to a hotel over night and the flight continued the following day.
    Am I entitled to compensation?

  26. Vaughan says:


    We have put in a claim against Aer Lingus for a delay in 2007.
    They have rejected this claim for being older than 2 years which apparently exceeds their own limit on claims. Can they do this?
    Many thanks.

  27. peter dunne says:

    Hi Cathy
    In 2010 I claimed for 1 weeks board and hotel costs from AIR malta I sent all of the receipts i had after about a week they replyed and said i had no case in law now considering the ryan air ruleing can I make a new claim? they still have all my receipts but I have my bank statments.

  28. Ignacio says:

    Hello there,

    Last month i went to Miami with BA from Heathrow. the flight were going to take off at 1.25pm and after we boarded on time for take off the flight was delayed for more than 4 hours because of Ingeniering issues. They kept us in the plane and just gave us some drinks. But food wasnt serve until the flight toke off so 6.

    They also never gave us food and as we were on the plane already we never had the chance to get out of the plane to buy our own food.

    Do you think im entitle to compensation?

    Thank you

  29. anonymous says:

    Your only entitled to it if the airline could have foreseen or prevented the technical fault. 97% of the claims for denied boarding do not get paid out.

  30. freil says:

    my parents were delayed 2 years in a row for more than 5hrs 1 time thier plane was needed to pick up passengers from anotherairport as thier plane broke down wrote to thomas cook they dithered a bit were looking in to it then a month later said you need boarding passes i sent copys of stamped passports at america,check in sticker was wstill on the back of our passport and bank statment of bill what else can i do write to caa or make them give me data protection information they have on us as we hoilday with them

  31. Matthew says:

    Hi there,

    Last week 4 freinds and I were travelling back from bulgaria from a Package holiday booked with thomas cook. On the transfer back to the airport for a 03:45 flight the bus was turned around and we were told there would be at least a 12 hour delay. We were taken back to the airport and given a room that we had to check out of at 12:00. We then were taken back to the airport at about 13:00 and given a sandwich and a bottle of pop. our flight finally departed at 17:10 almost 13 and a half hours late.
    I was wondering if we were entitled to any kind of compensation with it being a return flight?

  32. Graeme Hindhaugh says:

    Hi Cathy,

    I recently travelled to Singapore from London Heathrow with Emirates Airlines and my flight was delayed by 48 minutes causing me to miss my connection in Dubai.

    Although Emirates provided me with accomodation i was still over 24 hours late arriving into Singapore.

    Can i claim compensation for this as Emirates have offered me skywards members miles and said they are not willing to offer a full refund

  33. Karen says:

    We were delayed 3/4 days in Cuba when the ash cloud happened, although Thomas Cook were brilliant and allowed us to stay in the hotel and provide us with food and drink etc, my husband however lost work because of it and he is a self employed DJ with Weddings booked, we spent nearly £100 on phone calls arranging cover and had to reimburse deposit that had already been paid. Are we entitled to claim any sort of compensation? Any advice very much appreciated.

  34. Gemma Cartmale says:

    Me and my family where delayed 9 hours on our return flights from Cyprus, even though we booked per booked sets we still weren’t sitting together. After being told the whole journey to the airport and in the airport our seats would still be honoured At check in we were told we weren’t. On the plane they told us were were going to either Brussels or London Gatwick it was only on the decent were we’re told they had made it to manchester. After waiting 48 days for a reply Thompson have said it isn’t there responsibility to compensate us?? This can’t be true??

  35. Charlotte Stevens says:

    We flew with Thomas Cook from Gatwick to Dalaman on 31 July 2013. The flight was scheduled to leave Gatwick at 9am, but as the transmission tunnel was being moved away from the plane in preparation for take off, it got jammed to the side of the plane due to human error. After it was eventually removed, we all got told to get off the plane as it was unable to be flown because of the damage. We were delayed for over 8 hours as Thomas Cook had to bring a plane down from Manchester airport, meaning we did not leave Gatwick until after 5pm. Thomas Cook did provide us with a food voucher each for use in the airport, but are we able to claim compensation against the airline for the delay?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  36. My husband and I had booked a flight with Thomas Cooke in May 2013 from Belfast International to Majorca. Our flight was delayed approx. 20hrs due to mechanical fault. We received £100 compensation from Thomas Cooke but I now hear we should have been paid a lot more. Is there any way we can claim the extra compensation we should have had.

  37. steve says:

    Hi My wife and 2 children were recently delayed for a ryanair flight from bristol airport to Girona for 11 hours due to technical issues with the plane that they wedre loaded onto and subsequently unloaded. after a few hours they were given some food vouchers.
    Ryanairs website states they do not give monatary compensation for delays can you please confirm if this is right and can they state that if other airlines do give compensation.
    i have had an email (which ariived after they did finally take off!!) saying that my only rights were to change the flight to another day (subject to availabilty) or a refund.
    both of which would of been useless due to accomodation booked at the other end,
    any advice would be appreciated.

  38. We just flew back from Ireland on a USAirways flight that was six hours delayed due to a maintenance issue. We sat at the gate for three hours and the pilot said they were talking with engineers deciding if the part needed to be fixed, or if they could proceed without repairing. At the three hour mark, they told us they were going to fix, and we could all get off and go into the terminal where they would have waters and boxed sandwiches for us. We did, then about two hours later, got back on the plane. We sat for about another hour while they finished up and signed off on everything. When we left, it was six hours late, and we missed our connecting flight in Philadelphia. They gave us a hotel voucher, and four meal vouchers (four passengers on the reservation, $10 each). The next morning we had the first flight home. We both had to take the extra day off work. Being the flight was from an EU country, are we entitled to monetary compensation? The airline just emailed four vouchers for future flight for $800 each, and they can only be used for one flight regardless of cost, and expire in one year. I would prefer cash compensation as we won’t be able to go away again within one year.

  39. Martin Garrity says:

    Hi – We were due to fly back to Leeds from Palma Majorca with Thomson Airlines at 8pm (family of six including two small children) but were told at 5pm at the hotel reception that the flight was delayed and the coach would not be taking us to the airport and to wait for more information. Thankfully meals and drinks were provided at the hotel. We eventually were picked up at midnight and checked in at Palma airport at 1am. However our flight did not take off until 5am – a total of 9 hours delay.
    On return to the UK we received a letter stating this was due to industrial action. However we had learned the original flight from Leeds to Palma the previous morning had been severely delayed due to a technical fault and they had to find an alternative plane at Manchester airport. This plane then made another trip back to Teeside Airport and then back to Palma before our flight took off – further extending our delay.
    I wrote to Thomson who confirmed the delay was due to a technical fault on an earlier flight, not the industrial action as per the letter, but they were covered by the extraordinary circumstances clause and would not pay out.
    We had two exhausted young children and two exhausted OAP’s with us, we were 9 hours delayed and had to take additional days off work and nursery/school on our return.
    1. They lied about the cause of the delay
    2. They exacerbated our delay by providing other flights elsewhere first
    3. They picked us up at midnight at our hotel knowing they wouldn’t then have to provide us with overnight accomodation.
    Am I right to pursue this further?
    Many thanks.

  40. Are you aware of any claims for a Thomas cook airline delay on 6 June this year , flight TcX4468. Delayed at Birmingham, flight allowed to take off but then had to return to UK after approx 1hour as the fault had not been rectified . Further delay then at Manchester , replacement aircraft. Approx 8hour delay. Thomas Cook have claimed ‘extraordinary circumstances’ ! I have written 3 responses. They reply quickly but have said … no compensation.

  41. Keith says:

    Having read some of these blogs reassured that perhaps my claim against MONARCH Airlines may eventually be settled- I have lodged details with CAA for over 6months to compensate me for a delay of over 10hours regarding a Gatwick to Lanzarote flight on 1st Nov 2012 which Monarch maintained was due to “extraordinary circumstances” defined as a technical fault with the landing gear on a previous flight.
    It seems up until now the airlines have been able to quote extraordinary circumstances for effectively bad management and/or under resourcing of their company. It is about time that legal opinion has begun to correct the injustice suffered by the travelling public-

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