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British Airways Compensation And Refunds For Flight Delays And Cancellations

Last Updated .
4.7/5

Based on 12,393 reviews.

As the UK’s number one flight compensation firm, we’ve claimed over £79 million in compensation from airlines for flight delays and cancellations, including many claims initially rejected by the airline.

Our simple no win no fee claim process takes less than a minute. Put your flight compensation claim in the hands of our expert solicitors and enjoy industry-leading success rates, with many claims paid in less than 60 days.

What Are My Passenger Rights Under EU Regulation 261 To Claim Compensation From British Airways?

If your BA flight arrives more than three hours later than the scheduled arrival time, is cancelled within 14 days of departure, or you are involuntarily denied boarding, you may be able to claim compensation.

As a UK based airline, British Airways is legally responsible for paying compensation for flight delays and cancellations if the delay was BA’s fault and was not classed as an “extraordinary circumstance” according to EU Reg 261.

In some circumstances, you may be eligible to receive a refund for your ticket.

Check to see if you are eligible to claim flight compensation from British Airways using our flight compensation calculator now. Just add your date of departure and your flight number to find out how much you can claim.

Can You Help If British Airways Has Refused To Pay My Flight Compensation?

Yes, we can. Many of our clients come to us after British Airways has rejected or declined their claim. If BA won’t pay your compensation or has denied your claim, just add your flight details to our flight delay compensation checker, and we can take over your claim.

We have an unparalleled level of legal expertise, having successfully negotiated with British Airways for thousands of customers for over a decade.

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When Can I Claim Compensation From British Airways?

You may be able to claim compensation from British Airways if your flight arrives more than three hours later than the scheduled arrival time or is cancelled within 14 days of departure.

Additionally, you can claim compensation if your delay was caused by involuntary denied boarding or if the delay means you missed a connecting flight.

You can claim for any flight within the last six years.


British Airways Live Flight Tracker For Delays And Cancellations

Go to British Airways flight tracker to find the live status of all BA flight delays and cancellations.


Are British Airways Flights Covered By EU261?

As a UK based airline, British Airways flights are covered by EU Regulation 261.

EU Reg261 applies to any flight departing from the EU or UK and any flight arriving in the EU or UK on an EU or UK airline.

British Airways Flights Covered By EU261

Departing From Arriving To Can I Claim?
Airport inside UK/ EU Airport inside UK/EU

Yes (Claimable for any airline)

Airport inside UK/ EU Airport outside UK/EU

Yes (Claimable for any airline)

Airport outside UK/EU Airport inside UK/EU

Yes (If on an EU based airline)

Airport outside UK/EU Airport outside UK/EU

No

What Our Clients Say

"I’m so glad that I contacted Bott and Co. My BA flight back to the US was cancelled after I was at Heathrow causing large expenses and inconvenience.

They were unforthcoming with any remuneration after six months so I looked into other options and stumbled across Bott and Co. In not much more than a month I had a cheque in hand."

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How To Claim Compensation From British Airways For Flight Delays

If your British Airways flight has been delayed by more than three hours and the delay was not caused by an extraordinary circumstance, you will be able to claim up to £520 compensation per passenger.

The purpose of EU Regulation 261 and the equivalent UK law, UK261, is to compensate passengers for the time lost and inconvenience they suffered when their travel arrangements were significantly disrupted.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Flight Delay With British Airways?

Compensation amounts for British Airways flight delays range from £220 to £520. How much you can claim from BA for a flight delay will depend on the length of your delay and the flight distance.

The maximum amount of compensation you can claim for a delayed flight is £520 per passenger.

The amount of compensation increases the longer you are delayed and the further the distance of your flight. You can claim for each passenger individually. If you were a family of four and were due £520 each, the total amount would be £2080.

The compensation amounts are fixed and unrelated to the ticket cost or the class of the fare you booked.

EU261 Flight Compensation Amounts For British Airways in UK Pounds

Flight Distance Less than 3 hours 3 hours or more More than 4 hours Never arrived
All flights 1,500km or
less

£0

£220

£220

£220

Internal EU flights over 1,500km

£0

£350

£350

£350

Non-internal EU flights between 1,500km and 3,500km

£0

£350

£350

£350

Internal EU flights over 3,500km

£0

£260

£520

£520

How To Get A British Airways Refund For A Flight Delay?

You may be entitled to a refund from BA for a flight delay of over 5 hours. As long as an extraordinary circumstance is not the cause of the delay, EU Regulation 261, class delays of five hours or more are the same as flight cancellations, and in this situation, you have the right to a full refund. However, if you choose to claim a refund on your flight, British Airways will no longer be responsible for finding you a replacement flight.

How To Claim Compensation For Flight Cancellations From British Airways

If your British Airways flight has been cancelled, you may be entitled to either compensation, a refund, or, in some cases, both.

You may be eligible to claim compensation if your British Airways flight is cancelled and your replacement flight arrives at your destination more than two hours later than your original flight. The compensation is paid for the length of delay on the replacement flight.

You may be able to claim a full refund and compensation from BA if your flight was cancelled less than 14 days before the departure date and the airline could not provide you with an alternative flight that arrived within 2 hours of the originally scheduled arrival time.

Recent Successful British Airways Claims

When Can I Get An British Airways Refund For A Cancelled Flight?

If your British Airways flight is cancelled, you are able to claim a refund if BA has cancelled your flight less than 14 days before departure.

Additionally, you will be able to request a refund if British Airways cancels your flight less than 14 days before departure and offers an alternative flight that does not suit your travel arrangements.

Refunds must be paid by electronic transfer, bank orders or cheques within seven days.

British Airways Overbooked My Flight, Can I Claim Compensation?

You may be able to claim flight compensation if you were involuntarily denied boarding by British Airways because of an overbooked flight.

In addition, you have further passenger rights to compensation if your flight was overbooked.

How To Claim British Airways Compensation For Denied Boarding

If you were involuntarily denied boarding your British Airways flight, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

To claim compensation from BA, you must show that you were a responsible passenger and have not given British Airways any reason not to allow you to board the plane. Your responsibilities as a passenger include:

  • You checked in for your flight on time, either online or in person at the airport
  • You have the necessary travel documentation, such as a passport, visa (where applicable), and boarding pass, to board the aircraft
  • You were present at the departure gate in adequate time to board the aircraft
  • You were not rude or displayed anti-social behaviour to fellow passengers or airline staff
  • You did not pose any safety or health risk to fellow passengers or airline staff
  • You were not intoxicated.

If you have fulfilled these responsibilities, you have a valid ticket, and there is no justifiable reason for not being allowed to board, you can claim compensation for the inconvenience and the delay to your travel.

In addition, you have further passenger rights to compensation if you were denied boarding your flight.

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British Airways Made Me Miss My Connecting Flight, Can I Claim Compensation?

Under EU Regulation 261, you have a right to claim flight compensation if your flight delay means you missed your connecting flight and you arrived at your final destination more than three hours late.

Additionally, BA is responsible for booking you on the next available flight on any airline and providing care and assistance, including accommodation if necessary, while you wait for your flight.

These rights are only applicable if British Airways were at fault for the delay, and were the reason why you missed your connecting flight.

EU261 does not protect passengers whose connecting flight is on a separate ticket. We explain more about your passenger rights for compensation for missed connecting flights.

Stuck At The Airport? British Airways Are Responsible To Provide Care And Assistance

Article 9 of EU Reg 261 states that airlines, including British Airways, must provide passengers with a level of “care and assistance” if their flight is delayed beyond a certain number of hours.

British Airways is responsible for providing passengers eligible for “care and assistance” if their flight is delayed at least 2 hours (for flights under 1,500km), delayed at least 3 hours (for flights between 1,500km and 3,500km), or at least 4 hours for flights over 3,500km.

Care and Assistance – Your Rights When Your Flight Is Delayed

Flight Distance Length of Delay
Up to 1,500km

After 2 hours

1,500km-3,500km

After 3 hours

Over 1,500km and between two EU States

After 3 hour

Over 3,500km

After 4 hours

Regardless of the reason for the delay, BA must provide passengers with:

  • Food and drink in reasonable relation to waiting time
  • Free hotel accommodation when a stay of one night or more is necessary
  • Free transport between the airport and the hotel
  • Two free telephone calls, emails, or fax messages

British Airways should cover all these costs during the delay as part of their ‘care and assistance’ obligations. The right applies to delayed passengers, even if caused by what the regulation calls an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.

Can I Claim For My Expenses Incurred While Delayed By British Airways?

As part of their legal obligations under EU Reg261, British Airways should cover a reasonable level of expenses you may incur during your delay. On its website, BA explains that these expenses can be claimed directly from them if they were not provided at the time of your delay.

What Does British Airways Class As An Extraordinary Circumstance?

British Airways is not responsible for paying compensation for delays or cancellations caused by circumstances that were not their fault. Under EU Regulation 261, these are known as “extraordinary circumstances.”

British Airways may not be responsible for delays or cancellations caused by examples of extraordinary circumstances such as;

  • Extreme and unexpected weather conditions
  • Industrial action, including strikes unrelated to the airline, such as air traffic control, baggage handler or border force strikes
  • Hidden manufacturing defects with the plane
  • Bird strikes, flying into and damaging the engine
  • Passenger taken ill on the flight
  • Acts of terrorism or civil unrest
  • Security risks

However, British Airways would be responsible for delays or cancelled caused by the following:

  • Insufficient staff, pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, or ground staff
  • Staff sickness, including pilots and cabin crew
  • Airline staff strikes
  • Known technical issues or defects with the aircraft
  • Technical problems with in-person or online check-in, boarding the flight
  • Flight overbooking or involuntarily denied passenger boarding
  • Expected bad weather
  • Lightening strikes
  • Bad weather affecting a previous flight causes your flight to be delayed.

Can I Claim Flight Compensation If British Airways’ Check In System Is Broken?

Yes, you may be able to claim compensation if you’re unable to check in for your British Airways flight as expected due to a technical issue with the airline’s check-in system. This would apply if you were unable to check in online or in person at the airport. You’d be able to claim compensation under EU261 in this situation, as providing a timely and effective check-in experience for its passengers is the airline’s responsibility.

Can I Claim Flight Compensation If British Airways Staff Strike?

Yes, if BA staff are on strike and this delays or cancels your travel plans, you have a right to claim compensation. This would relate to all airline staff, from pilots to cabin crew and ground staff.

Can I Claim Flight Compensation If My British Airways Flight Is Delayed Or Cancelled Because Of Disruption At The Airport?

It is unlikely that you would be able to claim compensation if your delay was caused by disruption at the airport that wasn’t the airline’s fault.

In previous years, we have seen issues such as long queues, delays at security and airport staff strikes from baggage handlers and air traffic control. In all of these circumstances, as unfair as it may be, passengers are unlikely to get compensation.

We wrote a blog post in 2022 that if you purchased your flight on a credit card, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 would protect passengers in some of the circumstances listed.

Do I Have To Accept Vouchers From British Airways Instead Of Compensation Or A Refund?

If BA offers vouchers instead of the monetary compensation or refund due to you, you are under no legal obligation to accept them.

Additionally, once you accept the vouchers, you forfeit your right to a monetary refund or any compensation if you decide to change your mind at a later date.

How Long Does It Take To Make An British Airways Compensation Claim?

The processing time for receiving compensation varies depending on your circumstances..

Many of our clients have come to us after they have been unsuccessful in claiming compensation directly, having their claims rejected or declined.

Our vast experience over the last decade and our access to many data points means we have far more information to prove when a claim is eligible for compensation, making it much harder for the airline to turn down our claim.

In addition, if we do not receive a response within 30 days, we issue court proceedings to ensure compensation is paid as quickly as possible. We have an industry-leading success rate of many claims being paid in less than 60 days.

Meet Our Solicitors

Coby Benson

Coby Benson Head Of Flight Compensation Team At Bott and Co

A member of The Law Society and a SRA Registered Solicitor, Coby has been instrumental in establishing flight delay compensation law in the UK, including playing a significant part in the landmark cases of Huzar v Jet2 and Dawson v Thomson at The Supreme Court.

Coby is regularly asked for comment in the national media, regularly featuring in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent as well as appearing on BBC Television, Sky News, ITV and BBC Radio 4 and Radio Five Live.

About British Airways

Founded in 1919, British Airways is the UK’s flagship airline, has a fleet of 257 aircraft, flying to 197 international destinations in 78 countries.

BA is part of IAG, and is the founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, along with most notably American Airline, Qatar Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

Read BA’s guidance on your rights under EU261 for flight delays and cancellations.