Monday, 29 May 2017

FLIGHT DELAYS: EU 261 Compensation

Victory in the UK Courts means YOU can win more easily!

  • At first they denied responsibility

  • Then Easyjet lost a Court case and Ryanair ‘considered’ an appeal

  • Finally  I got paid €400 compensation but YOURS will be much quicker and could be MORE


Flight Delay Compensation

You should, in the first instance, contact the airline concerned

Airline links;

British Airways: Customer Compensation

Jet2.Com Send booking details by email to

The process should now be quick thanks to EU 261 and the Court victories

The biggest lesson that I learned, as I proceeded was that I would only lose if I gave up! I was certain at times that it was exactly what they wanted and expected. But I kept responding.

How it started
On 31st July 2010, myself and about 200 other passengers were about to board a Ryanair flight from San Javier Murcia airport en route to Birmingham. The loud bang we heard as we waited in the Murcian sunshine was the baggage handling truck hitting the side of the plane!

We were asked to return to the Terminal whilst the damage was assessed. Unsurprisingly, the news came about an hour later that the aircraft was too badly damaged to fly. Ryanair would ‘let us know’ when arrangements had been made to get us back to Birmingham.

Most of the next five hours were taken up with mindless tedium, though one incident does come to mind.

I spotted a WiFi symbol on the side of the Information Desk. On enquiring with the ‘Information Assistant’ I was informed that WiFi was only available to flight crew and ground staff, so I was denied access! That, of course, added to the feeling amongst passengers of being unwanted. They did give us ‘refreshment vouchers’ which was equivalent to a sandwich and a cold drink. The sandwich choice as I recall was Cheese & Ham or Ham & Cheese!

Eventually, Ryanair put a crew together, an aircraft was readied in Stansted and dispatched to Murcia. On arrival, amidst cheers from bored and tired passengers came the news that we were to board the plane but it wouldn’t leave for an hour due ‘Air Traffic Control difficulties’. But we did land in Birmingham at 9.30 pm just about 9 hours late!

The initial response, unsurprisingly, was that it wasn’t Ryanair’s fault, they gave us vouchers, they had sent us a replacement plane – no compensation.
Four years later, light appeared at the end of the tunnel. In the European Court , a passenger claimed compensation against Tui for a flight delay using an European Union regulation which is known as EU 261/2004. The Court found in favour of the passenger.

I wrote to Ryanair in detail. Based on the formula established based on the length of the delay and the flight distance, I was entitled to €400 compensation. Even with the Court  ruling Ryanair dismissed compensation on the grounds that it was not their fault. I stood firm.

In February 2015, in the Liverpool County Court Easyjet lost a case brought by a passenger over a lengthy delay. Easyjet claimed it wasn’t their fault so no compensation was due. The Court set the defence aside and awarded the passenger damages based on the formula in EU 261/2004.

I wrote to Ryanair reiterating my entitlement and referring to the Easyjet case. In fairness to Ryanair, their responses had always been prompt, but on this occasion the reply took six weeks.

Their defence was now based on the likelihood that Easyjet would appeal the decision!  By July 2015, Ryanair continued to use the ‘there could be an appeal’ reason for not settling.

By December 2015, with no further correspondence from Ryanair, I decided giving it one final push before using seeking to redress. Having not received a reply, I sent an identical letter in mid-January 2016.

Rejoice! On the 4th February 2016, Ryanair let me know that they were pleased to offer me compensation of €400 under EU 261/2004. All I had to do was to send my bank details, which I did within the hour. Sorry, dear patient reader, it’s not quite over yet.

On 8th February 2016, I was thanked for my bank details and Ryanair were ‘happy to confirm’ that I would receive €400 within 28 working days. I suppose that from incident to acknowledging the claim took 2,014 days what’s another 28 days amongst friends! I’m now expecting to hear Ryanair’s trumpeting ‘music’ claiming that it arrived early. 26th February 2016 the compensation arrived


But now your entitlement should be settled very quickly, let me know if it isn't!

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain 

Further Reading: