There’s nothing more annoying than a delayed flight when you’re about to leave for a vacation or returning home from one. Due to the new variant of COVID-19, shortage of staff, bad weather, and various other reasons, airlines have to delay flights.

And it’s not just domestic flights; international flights get delayed as well.

If an international flight is delayed for longer than 3 hours, and the airline is responsible for the issues caused, the passengers get compensation according to the EU regulations 261 of 2004.

We know international flights get delayed, but how are we supposed to deal with such a situation? Let’s find out.

Why Do International Flights Get Delayed?

There are various reasons for international flight delays. Some can be prevented by the airlines, others only by God.

One of the most common reasons is overcrowding in air traffic. With time, the number of passengers who travel by air has increased. With many aircrafts taking the same route simultaneously, a delay is inevitable.

Severe Weather Conditions

Another common reason for international flight delays is severe weather conditions. Extreme weather conditions, e.g., storms, can force planes to change their routes. However, aircraft that are yet to take off are kept from flying to ensure passengers’ safety. Such severe weather conditions are considered extraordinary and cannot be controlled by the airlines.

Bird Strikes

Sometimes flights can also be delayed due to bird strikes. When a flock of birds bumps into a plane, very little damage is caused. However, it is still considered a safety issue. A bird strike is also considered an extraordinary situation, and the airline does not need to compensate the passengers.

The conditions for which airlines are held responsible include mechanical problems, late arrival of the crew, staff going on strike, etc.

What Can You Do if Your International Flight Is Delayed?

Save yourself from the drive to the airport if your flight is delayed.

Before leaving, you must review the status of your ticket by putting the flight number and airline into the Google search bar.

But what to do if your international flight gets delayed after you’ve arrived at the airport?

If there is a flight delay you can ask the airline representatives if they offer refreshments and accommodation for the duration of the delay. However, if the delay is more than 5 hours you can ask the airline to put you on another flight if you wish.

According to EU261 rule, if your flight has been delayed and you reach your final destination three or more hours late, you are entitled to compensation of up to €600. The actual amount is determined by the flight distance and not by the amount you paid for the ticket.


It is common for international flights to get delayed. They can be delayed due to extreme weather conditions, mechanical problems, staff problems (late arrival of crew or staff going on strike), bird strikes, etc.

In this situation, if you choose to continue traveling, look for a hotel suite to stay in if the delay is long. Some airlines might even do that for you if the reason for the delay is not an extraordinary situation. You can also speak to a gate agent to talk about your options.

If you choose to take another flight because of the long delay, you can do that. However, you are only allowed to choose another flight if the delay is more than 5 hours.

If you still have questions regarding international flight delays, check out this page to find companies that can assist you.