EC 261 allows passengers to claim compensation when they face an avoidable flight disruption like a cancellation or delay. It doesn’t stipulate how long airlines have to pay you out, so here’s all you need to know about how long British Airways takes to compensate passengers.

What You Can Claim Compensation For

EC 261 outlines what you can expect when you face an avoidable flight disruption when travelling with British Airways. You can claim compensation for any of the following:

  • If your flight has been delayed more than three hours.
    If your flight has been cancelled less than 14 days before your departure date.
    If you have been involuntarily denied boarding due to overbooking.

As long as British Airways was at fault and the issues were within their control, you could get up to €600 in compensation. The final amount you receive will depend on your issue.

How Long Does It Take to Receive Compensation

In order to be eligible for compensation, you must file a claim with British Airways. If you file with them directly, it should take about 10 to 15 minutes. If you partner with a flight compensation company, you can fill out a PDF or online form and provide them with all your information and documentation.

British Airways Customer Relations team reviews each claim they receive as soon as possible, though in peak times, it can take longer. Typically, it will be about 4 to 12 weeks before you hear a decision.

If your claim is accepted, you will need to determine how you want to be compensated. It may be quicker to receive compensation in the form of a travel voucher, but you are entitled to cash compensation if you want it. Keep in mind that if you partnered with a flight compensation company, you will need to pay them a percentage of your winnings.

How to File A Claim with British Airways

In order to get compensated under EC 261, you must file a claim with your airline. First, make sure you are eligible using this easy claim checker. If you are, you’ll want to gather your documentation and fill out your form via PDF or online. Include all proof that the flight issue was within British Airways’ control, including booking confirmations, boarding passes, emails, text messages, pictures at the airport, and more.

Once you have everything together, you need to file a claim with British Airways or by using a flight compensation company. We’ve made a list of the best flight compensation companies out there to help you pick the right one for your needs. They are well-versed in the law and can advocate on your behalf, ensuring you get the maximum compensation for your issue.

Once you file, you simply need to wait for the decision. You can track the status of your claim on British Airway’s website. If you win, you’ll need to indicate how you wish to be compensated and pay any partner fees. If you don’t, you can file an appeal and resubmit your claim with additional information.


The amount of time it takes to be compensated by British Airways will vary. Typically, expect claims to be processed within 4 to 12 weeks, with additional time needed for the funds to hit your account. You have options on how you can be paid out, so choose wisely.


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