Millions of people worldwide travel by air as it is the fastest way of traveling. But even the quickest mode of traveling faces delays, more than one might expect.

If you’re going to air travel any time soon, it would be a good idea to know about flight delays and the best course of action in such situations.

Let’s take it one step at a time. Below are all the steps you should take to deal with these sudden disruptions in your trip.

Check the Reason for the Flight Delay

Don’t panic if your flight is delayed. Stay calm and ask the reason for the delay from the airline. As a passenger, it’s your right to know the reason: whether it’s the airline’s fault behind the delay or it’s due to extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather, Air traffic control (ATC) restrictions, medical emergencies, etc.

You need to know the reason for the delay to take the next step.

Verify if You Are Eligible for Compensation

According to the regulation EC 261, you are eligible for compensation if:

  • The flight arrives three or more than 3 hours late at the destination.
  • The flight has denied your boarding.
  • The delay is the airline’s fault due to mechanical or operational issues, overbooking, etc.
  • You have checked in on the flight on time (No less than 45 minutes before departure).

If you have experienced a delayed flight, verify that you are eligible for compensation under EU 261.

Think Before Taking Any Offers From the Airline

The airline will offer you free vouchers and bonuses if the delay is their fault. It’s your choice to accept them or not. But you need to pay the tax in cash, as per the regulations. Even if you take vouchers, make sure that the coupons are of the same amount you are legally entitled to get from the airline.

Keep All Your Travel Documents Safe

Keep all your travel documents, i.e., your ticket, passport, and boarding pass, close to you in a secure place. These documents will help you claim compensation (if any) from the airline. Sending these documents along with the claim can speed up the process.

Even though airlines have all your information, they still ask for all the documents as proof when submitting a claim for a delayed flight.

Ask the Airline for Free Facilities

In case of 2 or more hours of delay, some airlines provide various facilities for free, including meals and refreshments. You might also get a free phone call.

While airlines are not responsible (by law), some airlines offer free accommodation. Ask if the airline you’re traveling with offers free accommodation in case of a long flight delay.


It can be an absolute nuisance to wait at the airport for hours on end. Luckily, there are some things you can do that will help you in this situation.

Stay calm and ask for the reason for the delay in case of a delayed flight. See if you’re eligible for compensation. If not, you might get free accommodation or refreshments in case of a long delay.

If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a flight delay compensation or not, visit this page to find companies that will help you out.