Get Paid for Your Delayed Flight (in the EU)

Dan Kay
10 min readNov 7, 2023

If you suffer a flight delay of a certain length within the European Union, you are legally entitled to monetary compensation. But you may find that actually CLAIMING this compensation is a bit difficult.

I was delayed by seven hours on a Norwegian flight from London Gatwick to New York JFK in September 2018. Here is how I successfully claimed my compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004, how long it took, and how I claimed compensation for my airline delay, for free.

What is EU Regulation 261/2004?

I’ll try and be clear and brief. EU Regulation 261/2004 is a European Court of Justice ruling which requires airlines to pay passengers for their inconvenience if flights are delayed by a significant amount of time.

Which delays qualify for payment?

The length of acceptable delays and the amount of compensation owed depends on how FAR your flight is going.

  • For a flight of less than 1,500 km: a delay over 2 hours
  • For a flight between 1,500 and 3,500 km: a delay over three hours
  • For a flight longer than 3,500 km: any delay longer than four hours qualifies for compensation



Dan Kay

Always adventurous. Occasionally political. I write creative stories about life, love, climbing and travel.