Flight Delay Claims

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How British Airways Flight Delay Compensation Works

Delayed or Cancelled British Airways Flight? Check Your Rights to a Refund

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Feb 14, 2024
7 minutes read
  • British Airways flight delay compensation up to £520
  • What the regulations are for British Airways delayed flight compensation
  • How to get compensation if your claim gets rejected

Even the best laid travel plans can go wrong, and if your flight was delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to compensation. Any British airline must comply with UK regulations, and you can claim British Airways flight delay compensation if your trip was delayed and it was their fault. You’re also able to claim if British Airways cancelled on you.

This article will explain the definition of flight delay and how you can go about claiming for it. It will also look into how long a typical claim can take and how much you can receive. Flight delay compensation from British Airways is no more or less than any other airline, but all airlines set out their terms and conditions a certain way. If any of your BA flights made arrival at your final destination later than it should have been, and messed with your plans, receiving money back could help with the stress caused.

Been on a delayed BA flight? Use our online form to find out how much compensation you'd get. It only takes a minute.

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Flight Delays: The Definition

Just because you were delayed and the plane doesn’t take off on time, it doesn’t mean you can automatically claim compensation. The legal definition for a delayed flight is that it must reach its destination at least three hours later than intended. This means that in order to claim British Airways flight delay compensation, you must have landed three hours late when one of the doors has opened. This is the same for any British airline.

What About Cancelled Flights?

If the airline cancelled your flight with less than 14 days’ notice, they must offer you alternative transport to your destination. A full refund is available if you don’t wish to take this option. You can only receive compensation for a cancellation if you arrive late to your final destination.

EC Regulation 261/2004

This EU regulation came into effect in 2005. It established common rules that all EU airlines must follow in regards to flight delays and cancellations. Air passenger rights are protected and airlines must follow the regulations to reimburse customers in these instances. Under this law, you can receive a maximum of €600 for British Airways flight delay compensation.

All European airports where an EU regulated airline departs or arrives is covered by this regulation, which protects you from flight delays.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

At the end of the Brexit transition period, the UK wrote the EU regulation into law. This extends the rights of air passengers in relation to delays and cancellations no matter whether they are in the UK or the EU. Under this regulation, you can claim up to £520 in British Airways flight delay compensation, but this depends on the distance travelled and the delay experienced.

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Any connecting flight is due compensation under these regulations, so if you were delayed and missed your next flight operated by the same airline, that is also covered. The airline must compensate you for missing your connection. Any airlines operating outside the UK or EU may not have the same levels of protection.

Why Can You Claim British Airways Delayed Flight Compensation?

Each passenger is entitled to compensation up to £520 per person. You can claim for any delays you experienced up to six years in the past. This is just a cut off point for legal proceedings to be instigated. You can only claim British Airways flight delay compensation within six years of experiencing a delay.

You can claim from an airline if your:

  • Flight was delayed by at least three hours

  • Flight was cancelled with fewer than 14 days’ notice

  • Boarding was denied because of overbooking

You are only eligible for compensation if the airline was at fault. This means that any issues under the control of the airline are covered when you make a claim for British Airways flight delay compensation. The six year claim window is slightly different in Scotland, as their courts operate on a five year basis. Any claim over this time frame will likely be rejected.

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Applicable British Airways Delays

  • Airline crew lateness

  • Airline sickness or strikes

  • Cancellation due to underbooking

  • Routine technical problems

Delays Not Covered

The extraordinary circumstances listed below are not covered for flight delay compensation with British Airways, as the airline has no control over them.

  • Bad weather conditions (preventing takeoff)

  • Airport strikes

  • Political issues

  • Safety issues or security risks

  • Decisions by air traffic management

  • Unusual technical problems

When you go to claim British Airways flight delay compensation, they may argue that something within their control wasn’t their fault. It might not be the case, but if your claim gets rejected, there are ways of escalating it to regulatory bodies. These are covered at the end of this article.

How Long Does It Take?

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British Airways flight delay compensation doesn’t have a set time period for how long it might take. Depending on the situation and whether they disagree with your claim, it can take a couple of weeks or a couple of months. In rare cases, your claim might be put on hold until the results of a court decision are reached, which can delay the process even more.

In cases where the airline doesn’t agree that you can claim, escalating it through a regulator can be done, but this will mean waiting longer for a payout. With up to £520 on offer, this could be worth waiting for.

What Are British Airways Rules?

You could be due compensation for a trip that was either delayed or cancelled.

You must have the following to be able to claim British Airways flight delay compensation:

  • Reservation confirmation (within the last six years)

  • A paper ticket or e-ticket receipt

  • Checked in for your flight in good time

If you booked through a travel agent, you will have to contact them to get a refund.

How Much Is British Airways Flight Delay Compensation?

Your payout depends on the distance you were travelling. It also depends on how long you were delayed for. British Airways flight delay compensation is up to £520 for a flight that arrived four or more hours late to its destination and was over 3,500km long.

For a flight that’s over 3,500km long but only delayed by over three hours, the British Airways flight delay compensation will be £260. Shorter distances up to 1,500km long and delayed by over three hours are eligible for £220 compensation.

Alternative Flights Due Compensation

According to EU regulations, the amount of compensation can be reduced by 50% if an alternative route can be offered to your final destination, as long as the arrival time isn’t several hours over your original arrival time.

For 1,500km flights, this is an alternative within two hours. For 1,500–3,500km flights, this is three hours. For trips aver 3,500km long, this is four hours. The rules for claiming British Airways flight delay compensation for cancellations effectively work as if your alternative flight was your original one.

You can see the total amounts of compensation in the interactive graph below.

Claiming British Airways Flight Delay Compensation

You will need to know if you have a claim before you start this process. There are several options available to you for making a claim, and you can even challenge a rejected one.

What You Need

Before you start your claim for British Airways flight delay compensation, you need the following:

Air Travel Documents Vector
  • Address

  • Booking reference

  • Name (for each passenger)

  • Flight number

  • The date of flight and the route

Claims Management Company

To take out all the legwork and the continuous communication, you can always make use of a claims management company. They use their legal expertise to help process your claim for British Airways flight delay compensation.

These companies communicate with British Airways on your behalf and know the avenues to pursue if your claim has been rejected by the airline. They can process claims quickly and efficiently to get you the compensation you deserve. Also, if you’re coming up to the six year deadline, a claims company can swiftly process your claim for British Airways flight delay compensation so you don’t miss out.

If court is the only option left, you may not feel comfortable going through this process. A claims management company has lawyers that have fought cases for British Airways flight delay compensation in court, which takes the stress and hassle off you.

Reasons to Use a Claims Company

  • In-depth know-how of airline processes

  • Eliminate possibility of errors

  • No hassle on your part

  • Able to quickly process your claim

  • Can go to court for you

Begin your claim for British Airways flight delay compensation by clicking on the button below.

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