Airlines must give prompt notification in the event of a delay over 30 minutes. The notification must be at the boarding gate area, via telephone informational system, and on its website. We recommend passengers to select how the airline will notify them of delays. (by phone call, text, or email)
Policies for what services are provided to a customer waiting in the airport vary by airline and are contained in their contracts of carriage. The contracts of carriage generally leave it to the airline’s discretion to distribute meal vouchers and hotel accommodations. Airlines refer to “reasonable accommodations” and further limit their obligations by making any accommodations “subject to availability.”
For example, United Airlines will provide snacks or beverage vouchers during “extensive” delays caused by the airline. United Airlines, and the other airlines in general, will not reimburse you for money spent on food or drink. You must use their voucher.
You may also be entitled to hotel vouchers for overnight delays and ground transportation vouchers between the airport and hotel.
For any leg of an international itinerary, Montreal Convention Article 19 mandates that airlines are liable for damages caused by delay, up to approximately $5500, unless the airline proves it took all reasonable measures to prevent the damage caused by the delay or that it was impossible to take such measures.
For flights to, from, or within the European Union, EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261 guarantees a right to compensation based off of the length of the flight and the length of the delay. Please see the below table for reference. If, however, your flight was operated by a non-EU carrier and arriving from outside the EU, Regulation 261 does not apply. The delay must be caused by the airline, i.e. staffing problems, mechanical problems, or underbooking.
For flight cancellations where alternative transportation is scheduled to arrive at least one hour later, passengers are also entitled to compensation.
|Distance of Trip||Delay||Compensation under EU Regulation 261|
|<1500 km||2+ hours||meal* and 2 telephone calls|
|more than 1500 km (within the EU)||3+ hours||meal and 2 telephone calls|
|between 1500 km-3500 km||3+ hours||meal and 2 telephone calls|
|all other flights||4+ hours||meal and 2 telephone calls|
|all other flights||5+ hours||reimbursment for full price of that leg and any trips serving no purpose|
|all other flights||the next day||meal, 2 telephone calls, transportation to and from hotel, and hotel when necessary|
*The meal is to be reasonable under the circumstances
|Flight Distance||Cancellation Compensation|
|<1500 km||250 Euros|
|intra-EU flights||400 Euros|
|between 1500-3500 km||400 Euros|
|all other flights||600 Euros|
*The amount of compensation may be reduced by 50% depending on the length of the delay