How to Get Compensation for a Delayed Flight: All-in-One Solution

Last Updated on 22 April 2024 by Brittany

As a digital nomad, you may have experienced problems with airlines that may have you wondering how to get compensation for a delayed flight, lost baggage, or another travel issue concerning flying. 

Living a remote lifestyle of full-time travel, chances are high that youโ€™ve already dealt with problematic airlines. Delayed or canceled flights can be frustrating and ruin your travel plans. 

Youโ€™re angry and feel wronged by a large corporate company that doesnโ€™t truly care about its customers. But you also feel powerless when it comes to getting some sort of compensation for the delayed flight. 

What can you do in a situation like this? How can you get compensation for a delayed flight or other travel interruptions? 

The first thing you can do is contact your travel insurance or check to see if your travel credit card covers these situations. But, what do you do if you donโ€™t have either of these?

Weโ€™re sharing our favorite all-in-one solution that every digital nomad should keep in their back pocket. 

how to get compensation for a delayed flight
via Unsplash

Are You Eligible for Compensation?

There are certain situations where you may be eligible to receive flight compensation. However, the regulations are different for each airline and could cause quite a bit of a headache to overcome. 

(Donโ€™t worry, weโ€™re sharing our simple solution at the end!) 

Below are some of the more common instances where you can use your passenger rights to receive compensation from a major airline. 

Delayed or Canceled Flight

Sure, wandering around airports waiting for your flight can be fun and is all part of the travel experience. But when you find out that your flight has either been delayed or canceled and puts you at risk of missing connecting flights, this is when it can become a problem. 

If your flight is delayed by over three hours, then you may be eligible to receive flight compensation depending on the reason for the delay. 

If the airline cancels your flight, then you may receive some compensation and expense coverages for meals or a hotel while you wait for the next flight. 

Unfortunately, bad weather usually is not an eligible reason to get compensation or a delayed or canceled flight because it is out of the airlineโ€™s hands. 

Lost or Damaged Baggage

Youโ€™ve just arrived at your new destination and are waiting for your suitcase or backpack to make its way around the conveyer belt in baggage claim. The crowd of airline passengers starts to get smaller and smaller until itโ€™s just you and maybe one other person waiting for their bags to arrive, but they never show. 

This is your chance to get compensated for lost baggage. Airlines are pretty thorough with this type of compensation as they will either reimburse you for items you had to purchase until your baggage arrived or provide a set amount. 

However, it is when your suitcase comes around that conveyer belt, damaged or completely broken, that may be a bit more difficult to get your deserved compensation. 

Some airlines will cover the cost of new luggage or for the repairs. But what if the items inside are damaged as well? This is where it can become complicated.

Bumped From a Flight

There are some instances where airlines will overbook flights in case some passengers donโ€™t show up. This can cause some frustrating issues if every single passenger who bought a ticket does show up planning to get on the flight. 

Unfortunately, airlines can bump people from overbooked flights, but your passenger rights stay strong here. The airline must offer you some sort of compensation (the amount depends on the airline) and rebook you on the next flight. 

Believe it or not, some people actually volunteer to be bumped from a flight, especially when the compensation is good. This is especially comfortable for those who donโ€™t have time constraints, like many digital nomads who slow travel. 

how to get compensation for a delayed flight
via Unsplash

EU Law EC 261 for Flight Delay Compensation

Back in 2004, the European Union introduced the EC 261 legislation that gave air passengers the right to flight delay compensation of up to 600โ‚ฌ. 

Youโ€™re eligible for compensation if your EU flight is delayed for more than three hours or canceled altogether. The flight must either be flying within the EU, leaving the EU, or arriving in the EU. 

There are different tiers for the amount of compensation you can receive, which you can view below:

  • Flights less than 1,500 km – Up to 250โ‚ฌ per person
  • Internal flights more than 1,500 km – Up to 400โ‚ฌ per person
  • Non-internal flights between 1,500 to 3,500 km – Up to 400โ‚ฌ per person
  • Non-internal flights over 3,500 km – Up to 600โ‚ฌ per person

The airline also does not have to be operated by an EU company either and you do not need to be an EU resident or citizen. 

Filing for compensation is quite easy and you can find the form online. However,  it does require some time. 

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How to File a Claim for Delayed Flight Compensation

The process of filing a compensation claim with a major airline can be a hassle, complicated, and frustrating for many. This can be especially challenging for digital nomads who are constantly on the move, focusing on working remotely, and simply want to live a low-stress life. 

However, this doesnโ€™t mean you arenโ€™t entitled to airline compensation and should try to get something from your troubles. Below is a quick overview of how the general claims process for delayed flights goes. 

Remember, all airlines are different and have different policies. 

Gather Information

After a bad experience with an airline, youโ€™re probably tempted to throw away all of your documents and just forget about it. However, when you want to take advantage of your passenger rights and claim compensation for delays or flight cancellations, youโ€™ll need this information. 

Before you start the claims process, make sure you have the following info available:

  • Flight Number
  • Date of Departure
  • Departure Airport
  • Arrival Airport
  • Reservation Number
  • Receipts from food, hotels, or other expenses incurred

Having all of this information on hand will make the process much easier and smoother. 

Contact the Airline

To get your delayed flight claim, you should contact the airline directly. You can often find the contact information on their website or a quick Google search will give you what you need. 

Itโ€™s important that youโ€™re prepared to stay on the phone, waiting for someone to answer, for hours though. With many people every day claiming their air passenger rights, you are in a long list. 

Once you finally get hold of a representative, explain your situation, and remember to stay calm. Getting angry and frustrated wonโ€™t get you anywhere. 

Ask them how the process works and what information they need from you. This is where they will provide more instructions if needed. 

Submit Details

Sometimes the representative will ask you to fill out a form and submit it online so they have all of your information. Again, it all depends on the airline youโ€™re dealing with and their specific process. 

Contact a Higher Authority

If you havenโ€™t heard any update about your flight delay compensation for a few weeks or even months, then itโ€™s time to contact a higher authority. This can be a bit more tedious as youโ€™ll have to sit on the phone for a while and be transferred to different people. 

However, if youโ€™re patient and donโ€™t mind dealing with people on the phone, this could prove to be effective overall. 

how to get compensation for a delayed flight

The Simplest Way to Get Compensation for a Flight Delay

Even though we just went over the process of how to get compensation for a delayed flight through the airline directly, it isnโ€™t necessarily the easiest way to do it. 

The most effective and stress-free way to receive compensation for delayed or canceled flights is through AirHelp

When you use their service, they will submit your flight delay claim on your behalf and deal with the airlines directly – so you can sit back, relax, and wait for your claim to process. 

Itโ€™s super simple to get started too. Just input your flightโ€™s details on their website to submit your claim. Plus, you can claim delays and cancellations from the last three years.

If you donโ€™t win your claim, then there is absolutely no fee to pay!

The Flight Compensation Tool Every Digital Nomad Needs

Since digital nomads travel and fly so often, itโ€™s important to have protection from travel delays and interruptions. 

With AirHelp Plus, you can have a full year of flight compensation assistance. 

Choose from two plans that suit your needs for a minimal amount per year and rest assured that theyโ€™ll fight for your passenger rights in the case of any flight delays or cancellations – no matter where you are going in the world. 

Plus, with the premium package, youโ€™ll have access to airport lounges during delayed flights and access to telemedicine while traveling. 

Itโ€™s truly a great tool that every digital nomad should hold close to them.

Get More Digital Nomad Travel Advice and Tips

The most valuable asset a digital nomad can have is knowledge to successfully thrive and live their unique remote lifestyle. 

If you found this information useful and want to receive more digital nomad travel tips, lifestyle advice, digital nomad news, and more then make sure to join our weekly newsletter.ย 

Frequently Asked Questions

While articles like this are helpful, you may still have questions about the details of how to get compensation for a delayed flight.

What specific documents are needed to file a claim beyond the general list provided?

To file a claim, you’ll need boarding passes, flight details, and any correspondence with the airline. Specific requirements can vary, so check the airline’s policy.

How can travelers handle communication barriers when dealing with international airlines?

When facing language barriers, using translation apps or seeking assistance from a native speaker can be helpful. Some third-party services offer multilingual support.

What are the success rates for claims filed through third-party services like AirHelp?

Success rates for claims depend on various factors, including the reason for the delay and the airline’s policies. Third-party services like AirHelp have experience and expertise in navigating these claims, which can increase the likelihood of receiving compensation.

Content created by
When Iโ€™m not writing and teaching people how to achieve a location-independent lifestyle, you can find me globetrotting, experiencing new cultures, and working on my amateur photography skills.
At Nomads Embassy, we independently test and review digital nomad services and provide detailed insights on digital nomad visa applications and requirements using a detailed, multi-step methodology. When you use our affiliate links to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our editorial process and read our full disclosure.
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