Flightright.co.uk, the consumer portal for air passenger compensation for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights, have revealed that UK air passengers are entitled to more than £539m in untapped compensation for delayed or cancelled flights every year.

Flightright estimates that more than 1.6 million passengers are eligible for a pay out they haven’t claimed.

The figures are based on a flightright evaluation of more than 3 million flights that pass in and out of UK airports annually.

UK air passengers are missing out on more compensation than their European neighbours. Passengers in Germany have yet to claim more than £468m, while passengers in Spain and France are entitled to more than £400m and £355m in unclaimed compensation respectively.

Of the estimated 210 million airline passengers in the UK, many are unaware of their rights. Based on EU law, airlines must pay out compensation to passengers in the event of flight delays of more than three hours, cancellations and overbookings.

Brits returning home from summer holidays that are affected by delayed or cancelled flights may be able to claim between £200 and £475 per passenger.

Compensation levels are as follows:

Length of flight Amount of compensation
Up to 1500km – delay of more than 3 hours Up to £200 (€250)
1500km to 3500km – delay of more than 3 hours Up to £315 (€400)
3500km or more – delay of more than 3 hours Up to £240 (€300)
3500km or more – delay of more than 4 hours Up to £475 (€600)
For all distances – delay of more than 5 hours Full refund available

Passengers who book flights in the UK have up to six years after the date of the scheduled departure to make a claim.

Marek Janetzke, Managing Director of flightright, commented: “Delayed or cancelled flights can ruin holidays for British families and it’s a shame that airlines so often get away without paying compensation where it’s due.

“While awareness of passenger rights is gradually improving, we estimate that more than 1.6m UK air passengers missed out on compensation that they were entitled to over the past year. It only takes a three hour delay for air passengers to be entitled to compensation and passengers have up to six years to make a claim.”



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