Is There a Time-Limit to Claim Compensation for a Delayed Flight?

"My flight was delayed 6 years ago, can I still get a compensation?"

When your flight was delayed, I bet the airline didn’t proactively tell you that you may be entitled to a compensation.

Am I right?

And now, there you are, a few years later, learning that the Regulation EU 261/2004 lets you get up to 600€ in compensation for your trouble. You WERE eligible to some money since you arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

What a shame! You've been sitting on money this whole time...

Bummer...

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Unless…

It’s not over yet! There is still hope for you!

You Can Claim Compensation For a Flight Delay That Happened Several Years Ago

Here at ClaimCompass, we often receive messages from air passengers enquiring if they can still claim compensation for the disruption of a flight that happened 2, sometimes 5 or even 10 years ago.

As it is the case with many questions, the answer is often: "It depends".

On what?

Each country has a time-limit for air passengers to submit their complaint.

The time-limit depends on the legislation of the country you bring the claim to.

The best thing you can do is to submit your claim through our Compensation Calculator. In about 3 minutes, you'll know if you're eligible for a claim. One of our claim specialists will handle your case and bring it to the attention of the airline.

What Are The Time-Limits To Claim Compensation In Each Country?

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Below are the time-limits for an extensive list of countries that will let you know how far back you can claim:

  • Austria: 3 years
  • Belgium: 1 year
  • Bulgaria: 5 years
  • Croatia: 2 years
  • Cyprus: 6 years
  • Czech Republic: 10 years, but only 3 to bring the case to the attention of a National Enforcement Body (NEB)
  • Denmark: 3 years
  • Estonia: 3 years
  • Finland: 3 years
  • France: 5 years
  • Germany: 3 years
  • Greece: 5 years
  • Hungary: 5 years
  • Iceland: 2 years
  • Ireland: 6 years
  • Italy: 2 years
  • Latvia: 3 years
  • Lituania: 10 years
  • Luxemburg: 10 years
  • Malta: 2 years
  • Norway: 3 years
  • Poland: no time-limit
  • Portugal: 3 years
  • Romania: 6 months for a complaint to the NEB, 3 years for a court action
  • Scotland: 5 years
  • Slovakia: 2 years
  • Slovenia: 2 years
  • Spain: 5 years
  • Switzerland: 2 years for a complaint to the NEB
  • Sweden: 10
  • The Netherlands: 2
  • United-Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland but not Scotland): 6 years

There is absolutely no harmonization on the European level: each country has their own legislation regarding the matter.

For example, you can claim up to 5 years after the flight in France, but only 3 years in Germany and 2 in Italy. In the United Kingdom, you can still claim 6 years after the disruption!

How Do I Know Which Country To Bring My Claim To?

If you submit your claim with ClaimCompas, you won't have to worry about it: our legal experts take care of everything!

However, if you choose to claim on your own, know that you can bring the case to the country of:

  • The departure airport
  • The arrival airport

If you contact a National Enforcement Body, contact that of the country where the legislation is more favorable to you: for example, in the case of a flight between the UK and Germany, contact the British NEB, since their statute of limitation is 6 years, versus 3 for Germany.

Can I Still Claim When The Flight Wasn't In Europe?

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Now let's imagine that the EU Regulation is not applicable: can you still claim compensation for your delayed flight?

The Montreal Convention acts as International Law in the matter and sets a 2 years time-limit:

"The right to damages shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived, or from the date on which the carriage stopped" - Article 35, Montreal Convention

You can start a claim under the Montreal Convention in cases where the EU Regulation 261/2004 cannot be enforced.

What Do I Do Now To Get My Money?

The most important thing for you to do now is to gather your travel documents and flight information.

You'll be required to provide a copy of your passport at least, along with the number and date of the disrupted flight. Boarding passes and/or e-tickets are usually required by the airline and, if you need to submit your claim to them as well, the National Enforcement Bodies.

Which is why whenever you run into a flight delay or cancellation, make sure you keep your documents and emails from the airline or online travel agency.

You can submit your claim directly online with the help of a third party like ClaimCompass. For a commission paid only in the case that your claim is successful, you won't have to do anything!

Of course, you can also claim on your own: take a look at this guide if you need help.

What You Need To Remember

You can claim for a delayed flight up to 10 years after the event occurred: the time-limit is dependent on the country you bring the claim to.

You will need to provide proof, so prepare your travel documents - they will at least speed up the process.

Again, feel free to fill in your flight information to know if you're eligible to a compensation!

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