You may be able to claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight if it was:
- departing from an airport within the UK on any airline
- arriving in the UK on a UK or EU airline
- arriving in the EU on a UK airline
Airlines must offer the option of reimbursement or being rerouted in respect of cancelled flights, along with meals and telephone calls (and sometimes hotel accommodation). In addition, compensation must be paid unless the passenger is:
- informed of the cancellation at least 2 weeks prior to departure
- informed of the departure between 1 and 2 weeks prior to departure if a rerouted flight will result in no more than a 4 hour delay
- informed of the departure between 1 and 2 weeks prior to departure if rerouting will result in no more than 2 hours delay
Airline passengers whose flights have been delayed by at least 2 hours are entitled to food and drink, access to phone calls and email, and accommodation for overnight delays. These must be arranged by the airline.
Delays which result in a passenger arriving at their destination at least 3 hours later than the originally scheduled arrival time are subject to compensation of between £220 and £520 (depending on the length of flight - ie if it's a short, medium or long haul flight - and the total delay).
If the reason for a delay or cancellation is outside of the control of the airline (eg due to bad weather or a security threat) compensation will generally not be payable.