The process of flying can be difficult. You have to pack, plan your trip, get to the airport and go through the check in and security process. What can make things more difficult is if your flight is delayed or cancelled. Luckily depending on why the flight was delayed or cancelled you may be entitled to compensation from the airline. What is delayed flight compensation explained here.

When Am I Entitled to Compensation?

When a flight is delayed or cancelled you may be entitled to financial recompense in certain events. If your flight is delayed 2 or more hours, if you are 3 hours behind schedule when landing or if you miss your connecting flight due to a delay you may be entitled to delayed flight compensation. However, this is only if the delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances include extreme weather, medical emergencies or other events that  may be beyond the airlines control. In the case of weather, some may claim weather as a reason for the delay even though other airlines are taking off on schedule no problem. In this case companies such as Skycop or Airhelp can look up weather data and flight data to see if there was a legitimate claim and help strengthen your case when trying to claim compensation.

How much compensation you are entitled to depends on the distance the flight was supposed to be. If the flight is equal to or less than 1500 kilometers, then you are entitled to €250. If the flight was between 1500 and 3500 kilometers, then you are entitled to €400. And if the flight was more than 3500 kilometers then you are entitled to €600.

How to Claim Compensation

There are three main ways to go about trying to claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight.

1. Do It Yourself

The first is to do it yourself. This is probably the most difficult as you need to do as much research as possible including why the flight was delayed as well as knowing and understanding your passenger rights. This is also the least likeliest way you will even receive compensation since airlines are dealing with so much, you may get lost in the shuffle. You will need to contact the airline directly and either fill out an online form or send them a letter or email. When contacting them you need to include as much information as possible including the circumstance of your delayed flight, how much money you are claiming for the delay and what the actual quote is according to the EU Regulation 261/2004. If the airline denies your request there are other avenues to take personally, such as a small claims court or you could let someone else claim on your behalf.

2. Hire a Lawyer

The next path you can take is trying to claim through a lawyer. This is not recommended as a lawyer will charge you no matter if you win the case or not. It can also be extremely time consuming trying to meet them, explain the circumstances and resolving the dispute and they may not even be familiar with the air passenger laws.

3. The Best Option: Hire a Delayed Flight Compensation Company

Luckily, there is a third option that is easier and that is to go with a delay claims management company. This is the best option because not only do these companies specialize in air passenger rights, but they also provide benefits to you that doing it by yourself or going with a lawyer will not. They also have their own in-house lawyers and experts who will negotiate with the airline on your behalf and fight for any compensation you may be entitled to. It’s also easy to shop around since some companies only operate in a certain region and their price, length of time and amount of compensation you can receive are generally similar. The best part is most won’t charge you for their services unless you win compensation.

Flight compensation companies generally cover flights that fall in the European Union umbrella. This includes any flight that departed from an EU airport or an airline that operates under the EU whether or not the departure was from an EU airport or not.

While finding the right company will require some research, you can check out our list of top 10 best companies to help you with delayed flight compensation here. These companies are some of the highest rated with similar compensation fees and average compensation reimbursements. We selected the best 10 providers by reviewing 24 companies in total.

Flying can be a hassle, but getting the money you may be owed doesn’t have to be. Knowing your passenger rights and getting with professionals, who are in the business of getting you a delayed flight, can help relieve unneeded stress of dealing with airlines directly.