How much compensation could I receive?
Compensation is based on the distance of your flight:
- 250 euros per person for flights under 1,500km
- 400 euros per person for flights under 1,500km
- 600 euros per person for flights departing or arriving outside of the EU over 3,500km
Does my flight qualify?
For your flight to qualify for potential compensation it must either:
- have departed from an EU member state (can add hyperlink here). If the the flight departs from the EU then it does not matrtrer which airline operated the flight. This also includes Switzerland, Norway and iceland.
- If the flight departed from a non-EU member state then it will still qualify if the flight you were travelling on was coming back into the EU and was also operated by an EU airline.
What about additional expenses?
You are able to make a claim for any additional expenses you had as a result of your flight disruption, for example:
- Food expenses
- Hotel costs if the delay has meant you have had to stay overnight
- Travelling costs to and from your overnight accommodation
Where your flight has been cancelled you are also entitled to a refund of your ticket if the airline does not provide suitable rerouting for you Where they fail to provide suitable rerouting to you then you are entitled to reclaim any extra money you had to spend to get yourself to your destination.
Hayward Baker Fees
At Hayward Baker, we operate on a “no win,” no fee agreement, guaranteeing our Clients complete protection in the event the claim is unsuccessful.
For all successful claims, we charge just 25% plus VAT of all sums recovered. Unlike other firms there are no administration costs so there are no hidden fees whatsoever.
Remember if your case is unsuccessful you will not pay anything!
Why use Hayward Baker?
We have a large, dedicated team of lawyers willing to fight for the compensation you could be owed as a result of the inconvenience caused by a disrupted flight.
We are one of only a small handful of regulated solicitors in the UK willing to take on the airlines when it comes to these cases. As a law firm we are able to go that extra mile in the service we provide. Whilst many claim agencies may simply give up if the airline refuses to pay or ignores their request, we at Hayward Baker will conduct an investigation into your case and if we do not believe that there is a genuine reason for failing to pay your compensation then we will start court proceedings on your behalf.
Again all Court fees and legal Costs are covered by our no win no fee agreement so there is no risk to you whatsoever.
How long will the process take?
Most cases are settled within 2-4 weeks. Where Court proceedings are necessary it can take up to around 12 weeks if the airline does not defend the case or if it proceeds to a full trial it can take anywhere from 6-12 months. You will not need to attend Court should the matter proceed to a hearing.
Can I do this myself?
The answer is yes! You can write yourself to the airline requesting your compensation. Some airlines have web forms that you can complete or otherwise you will need to write or email them.
If you do try and do it yourself and they fail to respond then, of course, come back to us. It is always useful to let us know when you have tried to request compensation yourself and what (if any!) answer you received. If you received any correspondence from the airline regarding this then we would recommend you forward this to us to help the smooth running of your claim.
Can the airlines legally refuse to pay my compensation for a delay or cancellation?
Yes. The airlines have a defence to these claims if they can show that the delay or cancellation was caused by “extraordinary circumstances that no reasonable measures could have avoided”.
The flight claims Regulation (EC No. 261/2004) has been subject to the most referrals to the European Court of Justice over its interpretation of any single piece of EU Law!!!
What this means is that there has been thousands of court cases in the UK alone to try and understand ‘what is an “extraordinary circumstance”?’
At Hayward Baker we believe that the airlines will likely have a Defence in the following situations:
- Freak events such as flight disruption because of volcanic ash clouds, hurricanes or disruption at airports due to drone disruption
- Security threats such as bomb threats or unruly passengers
- Strike action by 3rd parties like Air Traffic Controllers which is a common problem across Europe
- Air Traffic Control (ATC) restrictions where ATC stops or delays your flight from departing or arriving. There could be many reasons for this but the most common is because of poor weather
- Bird strikes
However, even where the airlines can show one of these reasons, they will still need to show that there were “no reasonable measures” that they could have used to operate your flight. We regularly win court cases where airlines have failed to prove that there was nothing they could have done e.g. organise another aircraft to operate the flight.
We believe that the airlines do have to pay compensation in the following circumstances:
- Standard technical problems with the aircraft or check-in systems
- Issues with crew such as crew sickness
- Internal strikes
- Catering issues
- Damage caused to the aircraft by either the airline itself or another third party at the airport
- Weather events which are not “freakish” in nature (providing that there is no corresponding ATC restriction)
What about denied boarding?
The airlines can only refuse to deny you boarding in a very limited number of circumstances. If you have failed to check in on time or failed to arrive at the gate on time then they can refuse to board you. If this happens then they do not legally have to rebook you onto another flight although many airlines may still offer to do this for you. They do not have to compensate you in these circumstances. You must also have the correct travel documentation with you and not pose a security or health threat to the plane and passengers.
The most common form of denied boarding is where the airlines overbook the flight. This is a common industry practice as the airlines know that a certain percentage of passengers will either not show up for the flight or cancel their reservation. Where this does not happen though the aircraft will be overbooked and some passengers will not be able to board the aircraft. The airline is supposed to ask for volunteers first but if no one volunteers then they can remove you from the flight. Where they do this they are required to immediately compensate you.
What about connecting flights?
Connecting flights can be a mine field! Here at Hayward Baker we have experienced lawyers who can talk you through this by either completing the online form or calling us on 01329 227 983.
The important thing to know is that the Regulation applies to directly connecting flights. This will mean that your luggage will be checked through to your final destination when you check in on the first leg of your flight.
So for example, if your first flight was leaving London Heathrow and there was an issue with your connecting flight in Singapore then you could still be entitled to compensation providing you reached your final destination with a delay of 3 hours or more.
How long have I got?
In the UK you have 6 years from which to make your claim from the date of your flight.