Airline compensation rates and claim letter template

It would appear that many airlines like to make it difficult for passengers to claim for compensation and redress for delayed or cancelled flights. Then there are the companies which say they can do the work for you but take a hefty commission.

Well, here’s something from me, for free, which should help to get you your due compensation (See the rest of the post for details of what you need to fill in and other related information). 🙂

(If flight was cancelled replace the “delay” details with cancellation details below).

Dear xxx

Re : Compensation claim for delayed flight booking reference number

I am writing regarding flight flight number on date from departure airport to arrival airport. The scheduled departure time was departure time. However, the flight arrived number hours late at arrival airport.

Under EC Regulation 261/2004 I am claiming compensation for this delayed flight. The passengers in the party were:

full names of everyone on your booking.

My scheduled flight length was number of kilometres, therefore I am seeking (select from €250 / €300 / €400 / €600) per delayed passenger in my party. The total is total compensation sum for all passengers for all passengers.

(If appropriate include the following text) During the delay the passengers in my party were not provided with any refreshments and/or hotel accommodation. Please find attached copies of receipts for the cost of purchasing our own. Please refund in full: bullet point everything you paid for and the costs.

If claiming for both delay and other then add the following:

Please provide me with the total compensation of:

£xxx for EU flight delay (based exchange rate £1.00 = €1.13 on 12 June 2017) and £xxx  for out-of-pocket expenses incurred.

Total £xxx

I look forward to a full response to this letter within seven days. If I do not  receive a satisfactory response I will not hesitate in taking the matter further which will include, but not be limited to, informing the regulator and if necessary starting proceedings through the Small Claims Court.

Yours sincerely/faithfully

 (“Sincerely when you know the person’s name and “faithfully” when using Sir or Madam)

EU Compensation
Compensation for delays is only due on flights in the EU or when using an EU airline arriving two hours or more late. How much you are entitled to depends on how long the delay and how long the flight. It changes again if the flight is cancelled before/after seven days before you are due to depart. It does not reflect the price of the flight and is straight out compensation.

The tables for amounts to which you would be entitled per flight are below:

Denied boarding or “bumped” from a flight compensation
Airlines will often ask for “volunteers” to not take the flight in return for compensation and this amount would be agreed with the airline at the time. If you are forced off due to overbooking it is the same compensation as if the flight were cancelled.

Flight cancelled 7-14 days before departure compensation
Rates are different for notice given and for when you arrive (even if the flight to which you have been changed is longer but gets you there earlier).

Flight cancelled less than 7 days before departure compensation

Exchange rates correct at July 2017.

Rescheduled flights
Passengers given less than 14 days’ notice of a replacement flight may be due compensation depending on the timings of the new flight.

Other redress
Flight cancelled or delayed for several hours – the airline must look after passengers. It must provide food, drinks, and some communications. If passengers are delayed overnight, this also means providing them with a hotel and travel to and from it. (All these must still be provided even if the delay was out of the airline’s control). Keep claims reasonable.

And make sure you avoid calling any 084, 087 or 09 numbers. These are banned for customer services such as this.

Affected by BA debacle May Bank Holiday?
See  BA powercut debacle: Airline keeps passengers in the dark about their rights for more information and details of other things that you may be able to claim for such as phoning their helplines!

See Quick guide to lost luggage – your rights

Holidays and flights
See All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights for more


What to do when your flight is delayed

More templates, advice, information on holidays and most other sectors
Get the Book! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! 



12 thoughts on “Airline compensation rates and claim letter template”

  1. Thank you for the great information. If your flight is booked via a travel agent, does the above procedure in claiming compensation apply? BA have told me I have to apply to the travel agent.

    1. Claim against airline. Please can you see my contact page and send me a copy of where they have told you to contact the travel agent? Thanks

  2. Thank’s for this very helpfull site.
    I had a flight from Lisbon to Washington (United) that was cancelled, the company rebooked me the next day for a flight via Frankfurt, the flight from Lisbon to Frankfurt (Lufthansa) was delayed about one hour and i missed the connection flight to Washington (United). I flew on the following day out of Frankfurt (Lufthansa).
    How to make a claim in this case

    Thak you

  3. Many thanks for your very clear directions for compensation for cancelled flights – I am assuming that I direct my complaint to the Air Line listed on my boarding pass. All flights were booked with Air France although the initial cancelled flight which ended up cancelling all connections was with Czech Airlines (part of their Sky Team).

  4. Hi TCC,

    Could you clarify a couple of points for me, please? Does a statute of limitations apply here (how far back)? And, my delayed AerLingus flight was Heathrow to Dublin and I am currently an Irish resident – if I need to take it to a regulator do I take it to the Irish or British authorities? I was thinking it may relate to the country of origin/departure but really uncertain about it. Cheers.

    1. Flight was from England 6 years applies (whatever the airline may argue). You claim from the airline. Next stage would depend on who the flight was with. You can go to ADR if airline is registered with an ADR provider. If it is then the regulator (which would be CAA) would be unlikely to do anything.

  5. Hello I was refused entry to my flight in Colombia, I was told my bag was too big, I said I had already paid for my bag, but the staff member would not listen to me, she refused me and another young guy entry then saying we were too late. I had to buy another flight with another company, can you advise me what to write to try and get a refund off the company? Any advise gratefully accepted.

    1. If you have evidence that you paid the required amount to load the bag as per their terms and conditions use this evidence in claiming your refund for the flight. Also see Top 20 Tips before writing to complain.

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