Are You Entitled to Airline Compensation?

If your flight is cancelled you may be entitled to hundreds of pounds in compensation? EUclaim offers a new service to disgruntled travellers making claiming easy.

By Martino Matijevic on 09 October 2008 in Travel Articles

If you have contacted an airline because you were denied boarding or because your flight was cancelled, the likelihood is that were fobbed off by the airline claiming 'extraordinary circumstances'. Critics say that this is an effective get-out that airlines can use to minimise compensation payouts.

According to EUclaim, a company that specialises in helping airline passengers get compensation, millions of pounds of compensation go unclaimed every year because travellers don't know how to claim. They say that a staggering 1000 people can claim up to £470 every day in the UK and are unaware of their enitltment.

Few people know about the EC regulation 261/2004 introduced in 2005 which gives air passengers rights to compensation of between €250 (£200) and €600, depending on the length of the flight, as well as help, if boarding is denied, flights cancelled or delays suffered.

However, EU law states that airlines don’t have to pay out if flights are cancelled at the last minute due to extraordinary circumstances such as technical problems, but EUclaim says carriers use this law to their advantage making it virtually impossible to claim.

EUclaim have compiled a database that tracks commercial flights around the globe. Using airport departure information with the departure and expected arrival time, the database tracks the movement of the plane and makes it possible to check whether the reasons given by the airline for not paying out compensation are valid.

Regarding cancellations Noorderhaven said: "Most flights are withdrawn in the summer when the weather is fine. In most cases it is because the airline hasn't got enough planes, so they cancel the flight that will cause them the fewest headaches. They tell passengers it's due to extraordinary circumstances, but really they are making a business decision."

If you feel you may have a claim but are unsure, you can find out by using an entitlement calculater below.

If the results of the Calculator show that you are entitled to a compensation EUclaim may take on your claim and start the process of proving that reason of extraordinary circumstance as presented by the airline is not valid and that compensation should be paid. If the airline still refuses to pay out the claim, they will continue the claim in court.

They will take care of the whole claim process, and when the airline has paid the claim to them, they will transfer the claim amount minus administration and collection fees (over 73% of the amount claimed will be transfered) to your account. Euclaim works on a 'no win no fee' basis.



raymond freeda, london

we checked in for flight from tel-aviv to luton 26/10 due to depart at 16.30
after several delay announcements the flight was cancelled due to a damaged tyre that could not be replaced at that time
we were told to make our own arrangements and return the next day
we were then notified by text that we should check in for an 08.00am flight on 27/10
after several delay announcements we eventually took of to arrive in luton 19hours late
what compensation are we entitled to please ?

12 November, 2012

Maha Thaheem, Karachi Pakistan

We two kids aged 14 & 12 travelled by Cathay form Osaka to Karachi in Business class. My father specially booked Unaccompanied Minor service for us. The flight from Bangkok to Karachi returned back to Bangkok because of bad weather. We were told that we will be taken care of during our stay at Bangkok as this was our first experience to travel alone and we already had some special service paid for. But we were shocked when at Bangkok airport we were thrown in the worst hotel we ever stayed. Cathay staff was no where visible and hotel room had neither a telephone nor internet so that we could contact our parents. Horrified and shocked, exhausted after almost 24 hours we spent 6 hours in complete horror, made several attempts to contact Cathay staff but no response received. At 12 the hotel asked us to vacate the room as airline has booked it only for 6 hours. We waited in the lobby for 90 minutes before Cathay ladies appeared and asked us that they are putting us on a Thai flight to Karachi but one has to sit in economy class. When we refused to sit separately they threatened us to leave us behind and then we are at our own. They also forced us to sign some paper and take a small amount of money that for accepting their terms. When we refused they put us both in economy class and threw our passports at our faces to be responsible for them from now on. Most horrible treatment to young kids, by this horrific Cathay staff at Bangkok. Never send your kids on this horrible airline please.
Maha Thaheem(14) Talal Thaheem (12)
PNR MR6P5 flight CX 703 BKK-KHI-BKK 13 AUG 2011

17 August, 2011

Rukaiya Chand, UK

Travelled on 14th July from Manchester to Dubai (via a 1 hour stop at Amsterdam) with 2 children (ages 3 & 8). Flight did not take off from Manchester until at least 2 hours after scheduled. Missed connecting flight, at Schipol there was chaos as loads of flights cancelled. Told to join a queue with approx 1000 others-looked like 6-8 hours before I would be seen. Advised by the only one nice person in the whole place to call KLM directly from a phone-nighmare as was on hold so long ran out of Euros twice so used a credit card (costing ВЈ13 & ВЈ15 approx). Finally got through to be told no can do, would have to wait 30 hours for next available flight. BTW, was asked if i wanted to upgrade to business class at my own expense (which indicates they did have availability really). Then had a very long wait to discuss a hotel. Nice lady said she would make sure we would have it for 2 nights as we would have another 10 hours after check-out time. Next day came back from breakfast to find we had been chucked out as KLM would not pay for 2 days stay. Finally got a flight to Dubai at 10pm next day. I just asked in passing about my luggage to be told it would NOT be on flight. The held back tears finally came - was told if I made a scene they would not let me board the aircraft. Luggage promised for the next flight, came 50 hours later after alot of follow-up. Thanks to KLM my 9 day holiday was reduced to 7.All in all the worst flight experience of my life. NEVER AGAIN.

8 August, 2011

Pennie Frankl, Israel

We were booked with Cathay Pacific to return from New Zealand to Israel via Hong Kong.
When we reached the stage of boarding the airplane, they told us that the flight had been cancelled. They put us up in a nearby hotel, and eventually found us a combination flight back - with no stopover in Hong Kong.
We had booked hotels in Hong Kong and had planned a 2 day visit there on the way back.
This didn't happen, and we lost our Hong Kong holidayl
What kind of compensation could I expect to receive?

19 April, 2010

Robertas Pogorelis, Leuven, Belgium


I have an interesting case. In June 2008(!) Olympic Airlines cancelled my flight Dusseldorf-Thessaloniki with only 9 days notice. At my insistence they offered me an alternative flight Paris-Athens-Thessaloniki (I lost my train ticket to Germany and had to by a new train ticket to Paris). According to the EU regulation, I was also entitled to compensation, as:

- I was informed about the cancellation less than 2 weeks in advance;
- The reason for the cancellation seems to be operational (nobody has explained otherwise);
- The distance of the cancelled flight was longer than 1500 km;
- The new (rebooked) flight was from a different airport, due to which I incurred additional losses;
- The new flight left more than 2 hours before the original scheduled time.

The airline did not respond to my repeated requests, so I complained to the German Civil Aviation Authority. They were waiting for the airline's reply for over one year(!) and then started administrative proceedings against the airline. However, they have now informed me that even if they punish the airline I won't get anything if I don't make a separate private legal claim against the airline.

I think this case is interesting, as it shows that even the CAA cannot ensure the payment of compensation to a passenger, to which he is entitled according to the EU regulation, simply because the airline ignores all the requests and refuses to communicate with the CAA.

Do you think you would be able to help me in this situation?

Thank you very much.


3 December, 2009

nstofberg, London


I hope someone can help me on this one.

My partner and I went to Greece for the bank holiday weekend.
We flew on BA from Heathrow to Athens and then Olympic to Paros.

Our first flight out from Athens to Paros on Olympic OA60 was due to leave 08.45 (28/8/09) however on 20 March we were told of a schedule change and we would now leave at 07.30. We didn't mind this.

However, on Monday 1/9/09 we were supposed to fly back to Athens on OA75 at 16.10. But on Friday 28/08/09 we got an email to say the flight was now leaving at 10.05!
We now lost an entire day of our holiday! And it was such short notice, there were no other flights available.

Also, our BA flight back to London was only leaving at 7pm, so we had about 8 hours sitting around in the airport.

But its gets better, as we're about to board the plane from Paros, they tell us our baggage won't be travelling with us. Long story short, the bags turned up at 5pm at Athens (and since we were still sitting there) we managed to collect them and then board our BA flight with no hassles.

Is there anything I can do in terms of compensation?
They changed our flight at the last minute by 6 hours and we've lost a day holiday which was actually unpaid for my partner and I.

Our Olympic tickets were EUR 273 and fully flexible tickets.

Any help would be great.


2 September, 2009

Vanessa M, Central London

I have copied my letter to Willie Walsh regards my experience with British Airways. they have offered me £200 in travel vouchers.

I write in respect to the debacle that I have just experienced with British Airways trying to return from what had been a wonderful holiday with my family. I will deal with the events in chronological order so as to give a clear and concise description of my experience.

Friday 2nd January
At approx 11:00hrs I checked in online to ensure that we had the seats that I had twice called the Executive Club about prior to our departure from the UK. This was the bulk head seats where you can have the benefit of a sky cot as we were travelling with baby.
Saturday 3rd January
08:15 (approx) Hours we arrived at Dubai airport and approached Fast Bag Drop. I must point out that the area was busy and the queue was moving very slowly. Please note that there was only one member of BA personnel in attendance and the rest were representatives of Dnata a handling agent.
Having queued for a period of time which saw the same family at the front of the Fast Bag Drop; my wife was nearly run over by a family comprising the parents and from memory 3 children who had realised that they were in the wrong queue and moved from the Fast Bag Drop area to the Economy Check In queue.
About 10 minutes after this we saw the same family at the Club Class check in, which was next to the queue of the Fast Bag Drop.
There was a lady and her partner behind us in the queue, who 2-3 times approached the Club and First desk where the BA representative was sitting, presumably enquiring about the length of queue and timings of the flight, though I have no way of knowing this.
We were eventually called to the Club Class check in desk by Dnata staff at 09:10 hours as we had still not managed to get to the front of the queue of the Fast Bag Drop as the line was moving so slowly. We gave him our boarding passes which I had printed off the day previous, at which point I was advised the flight was closed. I remarked that it can’t be as we have our boarding passes. The only BA representative at check in Mr Shahid came across and told us that the flight was closed and that he had been up the line 5 times asking for passengers on flight. It was at this point the lady behind us in the queue interjected and said that he had not called out along the queue and that she had a connecting flight to Toronto, as she had a job interview. It was then she started to become irate. After a heated conversation in which my wife and I, the lady behind and her partner all said that the Mr Shahid had not been along the Fast Bag Drop Line asking for BA108 passengers. It was at then Mr Shahid said it’s pointless talking as there were no seats on the plane. The lady who had been in the queue behind us went hysterical. The only response we could get now from Mr Shahid was “ring reservations”; he then refused to talk any further and went back behind the counter.
During the mêlée I advised Mr Shahid that I was travelling with my daughter who is not six months old we only had enough food for the flight and we had virtually run out of clean clothes and nappies. His only response was call reservations.

It was obvious that we were not going to get any help at check in, so I went to the BA office at the airport which I found t be closed. We decided to get a taxi back to our hotel as there were no facilities that were suitable for a baby land side at the airport.

I refer you back now to the family that nearly run over my wife with the trolley as upon reflection it is now apparent that Mr Shahid may of requested passengers for flight BA108, but only in the Check In area and not the Fast Bag Drop; hence the family using the Club Class check in next to our queue who had been in the Economy Check Line. I draw this conclusion given that there was no way four grown adults would miss an airline representative calling you forward from a long line if it meant missing a flight, especially given consideration that the lady queuing behind had approached the check in desk a number of times previous.

Approx 10:00hrs: Upon our return to the hotel, which we had just checked out of, I called your reservations line in Dubai in order to resolve the issue. The call centre took an eternity to answer the call and when I did get through I was told that the flight did not leave until 10:30hrs and the airport had not yet filed their notes which would determine our fate. The operator told me to call back in one hour. The call terminated circa 10:30hrs.

Approx 11:35hrs: I called the reservation line and explained the situation to another of your representative, who placed me on hold to discuss the situation with her supervisor. Upon returning from talking to the supervisor she cut me off.

Approx 11:40hrs: I called the reservations line and, after queuing for around 2-3minutes, was cut off again prior to managing to talk to anybody.
Approx 11:45 I spoke to Amit at your reservation centre and again explained the situation. He advised me that there were still no notes filed by the airport so he was unable to deal with my situation until such time that they were filed. Regardless, Amit explained that the first available economy seats weren’t available until 7th January 2009. I explained that I had a baby with me who was running out of food, clothes and nappies; additionally I am a Director of a business and I had to be back for Monday 5th January. Amit stated that the only way around this was for us to pay a fare change and upgrade.
Given that I had researched other options of returning in the hour prior to the latest phone call I was well aware that there were hardly any seats available leaving the UAE for a number of days, the only airline that had some seats was BA. I requested that the first possible seats back to the UK be reserved for us pending the filing of the airports notes. Amit advised me even if the notes backed my version of the situation that there were no seats available until 7th January unless I was willing to pay for an upgrade regardless of fault.

Having assessed the situation, the complete unwillingness of any of the BA representatives I had spoken with to date, I needed to get back for work and most importantly I had a young baby with me who was running out of bare necessities, I enquired how much it would cost to travel home on the next available flight. I was advised £2,399. Given the situation I decided to take the flights and take up the issue upon my return to the UK.

Amit then advised me the sum of £2,399 was in excess of the value he could accept over the phone, regardless of the fact that I already had a booking, I am a BA Executive Club Member and I was paying on a BA American Express card. I was informed I would have to go to the airport to pay now to be guaranteed the tickets to travel the next day.
Upon hanging up on yet another lengthy phone call I took a cab to the airport and went to the BA office as advised, this was still shut. I then approached Dnata ticket sales who advised me that they could not issue tickets from the desk there and I would have to go to their BA ticketing office in Down Town Dubai near the Metropole Hotel. I then took a lengthy cab ride which took me to the Dnata/BA ticketing office.

The ticketing office called up the notes and to cut a long story short charged me 13,990Dhs (£2,770 based on 5.05Dhs to the Pound) for the seats despite my making them aware that Amit had told me that the price would be £2,399. I saw the agent produce the ticket price calculation and she even rounded up the amount from 13,894Dhs to 13,900. At this point I was so tired of arguing I could no longer be bothered to raise the issue.

Upon returning to the hotel I checked our seats on line and we had not been allocated sky cot seats, which whilst I appreciate that this is not guaranteed, I did not expect to be allocated 2 seats in the middle of a bank of four with a baby, as you have to step over people for access and egress and could easily trip and fall.

4th January 2009 - We made sure we at the airport in plenty of time to check in and to see if we could change the seats. Upon checking in we were assured that the seats allocated had the sky cot facility. Needless to say when we got on the aircraft, they were not sky cot seats and it was in fact the same two seats I had viewed the day previous. Thankfully your excellent air crew managed to persuade two passengers to swap with us so that we could have the benefit of a Sky cot.

I must also make you aware that upon our arrival to check in Mr Shahid saw us and purposely contrived that he was not available to speak to us and in fact went and stood right where we had queued the day previous and exchanged pleasantries with queuing passengers; which I found a little ironic.

I am in a total state of shock at the treatment I have received from your airline, which was worse than the television programme Airline which follows Easyjet's trials and tribulations. I can assure you that I was at that airport and queuing for a considerable length of time and if Mr Shahid did make a call it was not done so in a thorough manner you would expect and experienced of a large airline. Then to basically turn his back on us and walk away was just disgusting and not what I expected when I bought British Airways tickets.

I request that you undertake a forensic examination of the facts in this case as I expect full reimbursement of the costs incurred by myself due to the inefficiencies of an individual that represents your company and a handling agent who are not a lot more use. The points I specifically ask you to review are:
- Did the family of two adults and three children fly on BA108? As this will prove that we were at the airport on time and queuing.
- How many parties checked in the fast bag drop desks in the hour prior to 09:10hours that morning? This will show the slow manner in which people were dealt with.
- How many people checked in on line that morning and used the Fast Bag Drop desks? Thereby showing how busy it was for just 2 Fast Bag Drops to be open.
- Why the notes were not available to your reservations line such that I was unable to try and resolve the situation?
- How can check in staff advise you that you have a sky cot seat when quite clearly this was not the case?
- Why was there only one member of BA staff available land side to raise our issue with?
I have incurred considerable cost due the abysmal performance of British Airways:
Cab from Dubai International to Le Meriden Dubai hotel – 30Dhs
Cab from Le Meriden Dubai to Dubai International – 7Dhs
Cab from Dubai International to BA/Dnata ticketing office – 55Dhs
Cab from BA/Dnata ticketing office to Le Meriden Dubai Hotel – 20Dhs
Overnight accommodation at Le Meriden Dubai – 1,421.60 Dhs
Food and drink at hotel – 347Dhs
Food for baby and toiletries – 63.80Dhs
Airfare home – 13,990Dhs
Phone calls, cost to be advised upon receipt of bill

We were told by an airport employee that was staying at our hotel that BA had 34 people on standby for flights that day, and given the opportunistic manner in which we were removed from the flight I would not have been at all surprised if this were true. As Mr Shahid was only to keen to reduce this number by contriving what he called “no shows”. Of course this statement is completely unfounded, but I cannot fathom any other explanation for the treatment we received.
I have been an Executive Club member for about 10 years, and although the number of flights taken has not been vast in the last couple of years, it certainly was considerable previous and is about to start increasing again through work as we have acquired a new client which will necessitate overseas travel. Regardless I have always travelled BA where feasible and economically possible; I even have the BA American Express card. To be then treated like this beggars belief especially when travelling with a young baby and not what I expect when I use British Airways. The people I have told of our experience so far are all in disbelief at the way which British Airways have handled this situation. I have never had a problem with your airline before and can only congratulate you on your excellent aircrew, who since we have travelled with a baby have only gone up in our opinions, especially the Cabin Service Director who on the BA105 out to Dubai on 26th December 2009 even went to the effort of memorising most of the children’s names on the plane and helping to erect pushchairs at the baggage belt when parents needed an extra set of hands.

Based on these series of events, as outlined in my letter, I believe that you not only owe us a considerable amount of money but you also owe me, my wife and my 6 month old daughter an apology. Travelling can be an arduous task at the best of times, especially with a small child to take care of, without having to deal with what seems to be a lack in acceptance of responsibility to paying customers by BA and Dnata personnel.

Please be assured that I feel there is a very clear way of handling this situation correctly and I hope you see to it that my opinion of British Airways is not tarnished any further.

16 April, 2009

Kamini Goullet, Hungary - Budapest

05.03.2009. On our return flight Mauritius -London-Vienna, the plane took off with 40 min delay due to late arrival of aircraft. It did not make up this delay during the 12 hours trip to London. The connecting flight to Vienna was due to take off at 18.40, I was in the airport hall at the connections counter at 18.20 but was told I could not make the flight. There were no other flights to Vienna or Budapest (my final destination) on the same day. I was directed to a hotel and at my request was booked on a next day flight to Budapest. I was travelling with my two children. We eventually reached our final destination the next day at 11.35 local time with 13h40m delay comparing to original schedule. One of my luggage did not arrive, and was delivered on the following day. I am a frequent traveler, and I have been in similar situations of short connections being reduced due to the delays of the first aircraft, but usually a direct transfer from plane to plane makes it possible to make the flight. This was the only occasion that I missed a flight, with the departing aircraft still at port, and with officially around 20 min to take off. Althought both the air and ground staff were very kind and helping, this was my first and probably last flight via London.

9 March, 2009

Helen Flynn, UK

We booked return flights from the UK to Guayaquil with Opodo. Our complaint is specifically in relation to part of this booking; American Airlines Flight AA933, which was scheduled to depart on Monday 8 December, departing Miami at 18.15, and arrive at destination Guayaquil at 22.30.

Firstly, airline staff were unable to allocate us seats at check in and were unable to give us a reason why. We had to ask several times at the gate to be allocated seats on the plane. The flight was initially delayed for over 1 hour. Once we had boarded the plane we were then held on the plane for a further 3 hours due to a problem with the cargo loader. We were informed that this was rectified and that we would be departing shortly. Then there was a vague announcement about some passengers causing a problem and subsequently the police came on board, we were all deplaned and flight was cancelled. After another hour of no information being dispatched we found out that an extra flight was scheduled was being scheduled at 9.30 the following morning. However, after we had queued up for our new tickets we were informed that we had not been reconfirmed onto the extra flight scheduled for the next morning, or in fact any other flight to Guayaquil! We informed of this at midnight, nearly 6 hours after our flight was scheduled to depart, and we were also told evening flight the following day was also overbooked. We were told that our only option was to fly to Bogata and make connecting flight with Avianca to Guayaquil next day. Having no other choice we had to accept this alternative and we took American Airlines flight AA913 on Tuesday 9 December at 10.45 from Miami to Bogata. We were told by American Airlines staff in Miami that our baggage would be checked through to our final destination and once at Bogata we would have to get boarding passes for the connecting flight AV113 departing at 3.50PM with Avianca to Guayaquil. In Bogata we were completely misguided at airport by group staff in the terminal (both American Airlines and Avianca), we were told we had to collect our luggage, exit the airport and then check in again for the Avianca flight, we were misdirected to domestic connections as well. When we tried to check in with Avianca for flight AV113 at 3.50PM Bogata to Guayaquil we were refused on the flight as it was less than an hour to departure. American Airlines ground staff at Bogata airport were totally unaware of situation, they had not been informed by staff at Miami, and we were unable to board the flight. We were also unable to get seats on the evening flight AV181 as it was overbooked. We had to wait on standby for the evening flight to AV181 Guayquil with Avianca and were fortunate to be given the only two standby seats on the flight.

As a result of the cancellation we have incurred additional expense and losses relating to an itinerary that we had already booked and paid for. We are seeking reimbursement for the following expenses and losses:
1) Payment for one nights accommodation at the Grand Hotel in Guayaquil that was required a day later than originally booked. We were required to pay for the original booking as it was too late by the time the flight was cancelled to change this.
2) Payment for additional airport to hotel transfer that was prebooked for our trip.
3) Reimbursement for the lost time 1 day and 1 night of our booked itinerary on the Galapagos Islands, which was booked separately through Real World Travel.

The total amount this delay cost us was £437.51. We have contacted American Airlines via Opodo, who say they will not cover these costs and instead sent us a voucher. We also contacted out travel insurers who said that we are not covered as we were delayed in transit! We calculated that we were delayed for over 30 hours and would like to know if we are legally entitled to any kidn of compensation.

27 February, 2009

Ian Degville-Thompson, Southampton UK

Takeoff was delayed as the pilot was transferred to take an earlier flight to Barcelona. The replacement pilot turned back to Gatwick 1 hour 15 minutes into the flight claiming secondary instrument failure and stated that the aircraft would be grounded if he continued to Malta. Eventually took off with a third pilot and arrived at Malta more than 5 hours late. We spent some 9 hours on the aircraft and were offered a single non-alcoholic drick as 'compensation' for the delay.

23 January, 2009

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