It's a little known fact that passengers who experienced a flight delay can claim up to $700 in compensation from the airline.
The exact amount of the flight compensation is most easily determined by using a Flight Delay Compensation Calculator.
In this post, you will learn EXACTLY how a flight compensation calculator works - and, perhaps more importantly, the reasons why you need to know it exists.
Before we get into it, you should know that you don't necessarily need to use a calculator to claim compensation.
With the Service app, compensation claims are automatically submitted to the airline as soon as the app detects an eligible delayed or canceled flight among your travel reservations.
Flight Delays and Your Right to Compensation
Do airlines compensate for flight delays?
Yes, they do. To be eligible, however, the airline must be responsible for the delay.
If the flight was disrupted because of "extraordinary circumstances", such as air traffic control restrictions, adverse weather conditions, or security risks at the airport, then the airline is not obligated to compensate passengers.
Even when the airline is responsible, however, your eligibility for a delayed flight compensation depends on the length of the delay.
How long does a flight have to be delayed for compensation?
You need to arrive at your final destination at least 3 hours late to claim a compensation for your delayed flight.
Note that it's the delay at arrival that matters (not the delay at departure): for example, if your flight departed 3h15 late, but caught up on the delay during the flight and arrived "only" 2h58 late, then you are not eligible to a compensation.
If your journey includes a connection and the first flight is delayed but you still arrive at your final destination less than 3 hours late, you are not entitled to a compensation either.
How Do I File a Complaint Against an Airline?
This is where a Flight Delay Compensation Calculator will come in handy. It lets you fill out your flight details and a couple of additional info in a few simple steps. In less than 3 minutes, you'll know 1) if you're entitled to compensation and 2) how much you're entitled to.
How does a Compensation Calculator for flight delays work?
All you need to do is input the details of your delayed flight.
- your airport of departure and arrival (as well as any other stop if you had connecting flights)
- the nature of the disruption (in your case, flight delay) along with the reason for the flight delay
- the length of the delay at your final destination (whether it's less or more than 3 hours)
- the airline which operated the flight(s), with the flight(s) number(s) and date(s)
Based on this, the Calculator will tell you whether you're eligible to a compensation for flight delay or not.
If you are, it will automatically tell you how much the airline owes you, according to EC261.
How much compensation do you get for a delayed flight?
The amount of the compensation varies according to the distance of your entire journey:
- 250€ for journeys less than 1,500km
- 400€ for journeys between 1,500 and 3,500km and between EU territories (even if the journey is longer than 3,500km)
- 600€ for journeys over 3,500km
(Compensation amounts are in euros because it's a European law - but you can get paid in USD too!)
(On average, travelers get $300 per year in cash, vouchers, or miles with the Service app)
Why You Need to Use a Compensation Calculator When Your Flight is Delayed
1) To know if your flight is under EC261's jurisdiction
The flights for which EC261 is applicable are:
- flights between EU member states
- flights departing from the EU, no matter which airlines operates them
- flights departing from outside the EU and arriving in the EU, operated by an airline which is headquartered in the EU
This can quickly get complicated, especially with the latter case. Not to mention that there are a few territory exceptions.
A Flight Delay Compensation Calculator automatically takes all these rules and exceptions into account to determine whether or not your flight falls under the jurisdiction of EC261.
2) To calculate the exact compensation amount you're owed
The general rule, as described above, states that you're entitled to a compensation between 250€ and 600€, depending on the distance of your flight.
But there are, here again, a few exceptions, which allow the airline to reduce this amount by 50%, based on the length of the delay.
A Compensation Calculator for Flight Delays takes this into account as well, to determine exactly how much you can hope for.
3) Airlines aren't always honest with you
Passengers have been lied to by airlines when seeking compensation directly with them. Usually, this happens when the airline tries to exonerate itself by justifying the delay with a reason that isn't regarded as an "extraordinary circumstance" by the EU law.
With an ever increasing amount of delayed flights, you need to be armed properly if this happens to you: unfortunately, some airlines make a habit of arriving late.
Your best chance at getting what your owed is undoubtedly the Service app:
- During your first connection, the app looks for eligible claims in your past travel reservations
- After that, it monitors your upcoming travel reservations and automatically submit claims if a flight is delayed or canceled
Your flight was canceled, not delayed? Check out this guide on flight cancellation compensation!
Keep in mind that if your flight was cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic, you cannot get a compensation. However, you may get a refund from the airline.
Take a look at our guides on the topic: