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Airline compensation rates and claim letter templates

How to get compensation when you are delayed or bumped from a flight

Make sure you get the compensation you are due from airlines

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). 🙂

EU Compensation rights rates for delayed flights

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 rates of payout

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

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 and your rights

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

Contact the airline to get the compensation

There are some companies that will offer to get your refund for you by using templates and take 25%. You can do it yourself but if you want to make it easier you can use these templates:

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Covid related refund from airline including voucher rejection (£20)

Delayed flight compensation (£25)



Other redress for flight delays and cancellations

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.

Luggage problems

See Quick guide to lost luggage – your rights

Holidays and flights your rights

See What to do when your flight is delayed – the full guide

and  All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights for more (including Covid related issues)

Purchase and download Holiday, flight and event complaint templates


book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!


For 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! 

Covering airline delays in the news

BBC Breakfast 5th August 2015 flight delays

Your rights Ryanair strikes

BA delays: Airline changes advice over claims for expenses


By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

26 replies on “Airline compensation rates and claim letter templates”

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.

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

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

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).


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.

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.

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.

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.

I have used your template to write a letter to Lufthansa but other than an automated reply that my feedback has been received and an reference number given , nothing else has happened . How long should I wait and what are the next steps in claiming my compensation ?
Thanks for all the help so far .

There is no set time but as a general rule of thumb you should wait 4 weeks. Then write to the ceo use forward your email to there. Put email before action in the email subject line. You can threaten ADR but see Landing in court with Ryanair Glad you have found the site helpful please do share!


I was on a flight from Vieux Fort to Orlando on American Airlines. My flight was booked whilst in the UK. There was a stopover in Charlotte but the second flight was cancelled. We were in the airport overnight for 11 hours. There was no accommodation, food or blanket provided. An attendant said that there was no accommodation available and if we managed to find some we would have to make our own way there and back. The restaurants we could see were all closed and we were then sent to baggage reclaim. Baggage reclaim told us not to claim our luggage but we were then not allowed back in to the departure area until 4 am in the morning. We had no accommodation and no food or water. The airline booked us on another flight at 7am in the morning. We would like to make a complaint and seek compensation for the delay but I am not sure under which regulation we can do that. Are you able to give advice about this. Many Thanks. Winifred

You were flying on a non EU airline from a non EU airport to a non EU airport. None of the above applies. I do not cover USA law sorry. Hard enough keeping on top of UK and EU law! You will need to contact the airline but will need to find out what laws cover, Google may be a good place to start?! My guess is not much so just write and complain if you can’t find laws to quote.

Thanks for your quick response. I didn’t get very far with Google so I will write a letter of complaint with all the details. Many Thanks.

Hi I’m hoping you can help basically my son flew with Klm from newcastle via schiphol to hamburg when he reached hamburg his baggage was damaged which he reported to the airline however on reaching his ship he discovered there were items missing I reported this to them with in 2 days .they are constantly saying it was reported after the 7 day timescale so declining my claim .I have sent prove to them of when initial claim was sent what was damaged what is missing tickets initial report at hamburg and just going round in circles for the last month

I was flying KLM Edinburgh to Schiphol then getting a connecting flight to Krakow. The transfer times for my flight at schiphol was so tight that I was unable to reach the gate on time and I missed the connecting flight, even though I ran from one end of airport to the other. The next flight was full so I had no alternative but to accept an evening flight meaning that I had to spend 10 hours at the airport. KLM gave me a 10 euro credit note for my inconvenience, which didn’t cover the cost of a coffee. How should I go about reclaiming the actual cost of eating and drinking at the airport and the inconvenience of the stay?

We have a scandals problem . we booked and paid fully for return flights 4 weeks ago with 1B. flights from London to Alicante in Spain. They informed us tickets will be sent soon but due to the Thomas Cook going down they were involved with their passengers. every day on mailing them kept being informed it twill take 5 day then 48 hours and then on that day before the flight they said the office closes at 5 pm. and since then we have not heard from them. They would not respond to any of our mails. I had previously asked them to confirm it was not a scam and they said no problems and denied it. But now we have lost our money, lost our holidays and helpless. It was a mere scam. Feel extremely angry , humiliated, bewildered and shocked since have
been saving and looking forward to this 4 weeks holiday in Spain. Can you help, please?

If a scam it is criminal not consumer law. Contact the credit card company if you sensibly paid by credit card. bank may do a refund on chargeback but this is voluntary.

Hi. I was flying alone from Punta Cana to JFK with Delta airline. Then JFK to London Gatwick with Norwegian airlines.
This was booked for me, by my daughter, with
On arrival at Punta Cana, I was informed that the Delta flight would be late arriving, because it had had to return due to passenger illness.
I was given no assistance at all, nothing,apart from a phone call to my daughter, to ask what I should do.
The Delta flight took off 3hours50mins late, which meant I missed the connecting flight., asked me to phone, when I was boarding at Punta Cana.
Kiwi, then booked me on a flight to Amsterdam, with Norwegian, from Jfk.
Then, from there, a flight with Easy Jet To LGW.
I arrived 6 hours late at LGW.
Am I able to claim against Delta? Or do you think it would be futile?
Hoping you can help.

I would think that the reason for the delay would fit into extraordinary circumstances. Please read the article for more information.

You’re welcome.

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