Depending on where you’re traveling, you may be eligible for compensation if your flight is delayed and the airline is at fault. The average amount depends on several different factors, including the regulations in place, the circumstances of your delay, and more.

Let’s explore the average flight delay compensation by country so you know what to expect if you face any issues.

European Flight Delay Compensation

Europe has very clear laws in place on what airlines are required to do in the face of a flight delay. The right to care kicks in after two hours and they are required to provide meals if applicable. Too, when the delay extends overnight, airlines are required to provide you with hotel accommodations and travel access when applicable.

Following the flight, you can claim additional compensation from your airline, though it’s difficult to say what the average amount is because it varies by flight length and destination. You could receive anywhere between €250 and €600.

  • Flights under 1,500 km can be up to €250 per passenger
  • Internal EU flights more than 1,500 km can be up to €400 per passenger
  • Non-EU flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km can be up to €400 per passenger
  • Non-EU flights more than 3,500 km can be up to €600 per passenger

Even though airlines are required by law to pay out for flight delays, sometimes they will try to avoid it, citing that the circumstances were out of their control. It’s important to document everything and appeal their decision if you feel you have been wrongfully denied compensation.

You can always work with specialized companies who specialize in flight compensation law to help you get the maximum amount of compensation.

Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention helps protect international passengers, but it operates on a case-by-case basis, so it’s difficult to say what the average settlement would be for a flight delay though the maximum you can claim is up to €7,000.

Instead of filing for your delay, it helps you recoup costs for the damages you incurred as a result of the delay. That means if you had to buy meals, pay for accommodations at their airport, lose a day of your pre-paid accommodations at your destination, buy new clothes, and more – anything that you had to do as a result of the flight delay counts as damages.

You have up to two years to file a claim for flight delays, so make sure you gather your documentation and submit your claim before you forget.

United States Flight Delay Compensation

Unfortunately, laws in the United States tend to favor the airline, and there are no overarching regulations in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation to hold airlines accountable for delays. Airlines are allowed to outline their own policies for flight delays in their terms and conditions.

As such, there are no federal laws in place that require airlines to compensate passengers for delays. They are not even required to pay for meals or hotels during the delay, which can be frustrating for many. You can always ask the airline what they can do for you, as many will offer goodwill gestures, but in many cases, that’s the exception, not the rule.

So What’s the Average Flight Delay Compensation?

Unfortunately, there is no average. The amount of money you can receive for your flight delay varies greatly, depending on where you’re traveling. Europe has clearly defined laws, so you know you’ll receive up to €600, and that’s on top of the airline covering many of the incremental costs. The Montreal Convention allows you to file for damages up to  €7,000, while there are no laws that guarantee any compensation in the United States.