Let’s pretend that two years ago you took a flight that was cancelled without meeting regulations set forth by EU 261. At the time, you weren’t aware of your rights as a passenger. In time, you learned of your rights.

Now you know what rights are as a passenger you have and are seeking compensation. Can you still file a claim? What is the EU flight compensation time limit?

Believe it or not, you probably can still claim any due cancelled or delayed flight compensation, but there is a time limit. How far back you can claim that compensation varies between countries in the EU.

However, if your flight was cancelled or delayed by at least 3 hours, you might be eligible to receive up to 600€ in compensation from the airline carrier. You can even file for such a claim on your own.

How Far Back Can I Claim Compensation?

As previously mentioned, it is perfectly within your rights to claim for flight disruptions that occurred many years back. What ist the EU flight compensation time limit? The exact time-limit depends on the unique legislation set forth in the country you choose to bring the claim to.

Here is a list of the countries in Europe, with how far back you are able to claim compensation for each:

  • Austria: 3 years
  • Belgium: 1 year
  • Bulgaria: 3 years
  • Croatia: 2 years
  • Cyprus: 6 years
  • Czech Republic: 3 years
  • Denmark: 3 years from the date of departure
  • Estonia: 3 years
  • Finland: 3 years
  • France: 5 years
  • Germany: 3 years
  • Greece: 5 years
  • Hungary: 5 years
  • Iceland: 2 years
  • Ireland: 6 years
  • Italy: 2 years
  • Latvia: 2 years
  • Lithuania: 3 years
  • Luxemburg: 10 years
  • Malta: 2 years
  • Norway: 3 years
  • Poland: 1 year
  • Portugal: 3 years
  • Romania: 6 months for a complaint to the NEB, 3 years for court action
  • Scotland: 5 years
  • Slovakia: 2 years
  • Slovenia: 2 years
  • Spain: 5 years
  • Switzerland: 2 years
  • Sweden: 10 years
  • The Netherlands: 2 years
  • United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland): 6 years

It goes without saying that there is no single harmonious number in which the European Union has agreed upon. Instead, each country holds its own legislation. For example, In England, you can claim up to 6 years after a flight, but in Scotland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, you can only claim 5 years after a flight. Some countries will allow up to 10 years for you to file a claim!

In Which Country Should You File A Claim?

You’ve departed one country and landed in another. In which country should you go about filing your claim? Whether you file on your own or escalate your claim to a legal body such as the National Enforcement Body, you have the option to bring the case to the country of the departure airport or the arrival airport. However, many tend to have more success dealing with the country of the departure airport, as that is where the flight was delayed or cancelled initially.

Despite this fact, should always strive to contact the legal body of the country in which legislation will be most favourable to you. For example, if you took a flight from Germany to the UK, you’ll want to deal with the British NEB as their statute of limitations is much higher. Thus granting you a greater chance of achieving favourable results and getting compensation.

Beating the Clock

Remember, the EU flight compensation time limit varies by country. Though you should be able to file a claim with most if your flight has occurred within the last 2-5 years. Keep in mind, you can only receive compensation for a delayed flight if that delay lasted for 3 or more hours. An hour-long delay is not going to be worth your time or effort.