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Has your flight been delayed?

If your flight is from or to a country within the European Union then you are protected under EU law. If your flight is delayed for 2 hours or more, you are entitled to free meals and refreshments. If your flight is delayed for 3 hours or more, you may also be entitled to receive compensation. If your flight is delayed for 5 hours or more, you may choose to cancel the flight and ask for a refund.  Read on to find out exactly what you are entitled to.

Good to know

If your flight is delayed for two hours or more, the airline has to provide care during your wait. This means the airline must provide:

  • Meals and refreshments.
  • Two telephone calls or e-mail messages.
  • Hotel accommodation if your flight now leaves the next day.
  • Transport between the airport and the hotel accommodation.

If your flight is delayed for five or more hours, you have the right to:

  • Care.
  • Compensation (this depends on the situation; read more about compensation).
  • An alternative flight or a refund of your ticket within seven days.

If your flight has been delayed by two hours or more due to extraordinary circumstances outside of the airline’s control, such as bad weather conditions, unofficial strikes, natural disasters or terrorism, you may be entitled to receive care from the airline. However, you will not be entitled to claim compensation.

Under EU law, you have booked ‘connecting flights’ if you have booked all flights at the same time and through the same air travel provider, and you were able to check in to all flights at the same time.

If you have booked connecting flights and have missed your connection due to a flight delay, the airline must provide:

  • Re-routing to your destination.
  • Care while you wait at the airport (such as meals and refreshments).
  • Compensation if you arrive at your final destination with a delay of three or more hours. Read more about compensation.

If your flights are not considered connecting flights by the definition under EU law, you will need to pay for the new flights yourself and you will not be entitled to claim compensation.