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Flight Diverted Compensation - Claim Compensation For Flight Diversions

Last Updated .
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Based on 12,393 reviews.

EU Regulation 261 and your rights to claim compensation applies to all types of flight delays, including if your flight was diverted to another airport and you arrived at your original destination more than three hours later than originally scheduled.

When Can I Claim Compensation For A Diverted Flight?

You may be entitled to claim compensation if your flight was diverted to a different airport and you arrived at your final destination more than three hours later than planned.

You can claim compensation for a diverted flight as long as the cause of the diversion is not an extraordinary circumstance, such as an unexpected technical fault with the aircraft.

It is unlikely that you will be able to claim compensation if your diversion was caused by unexpected bad weather, an medical emergency on board, or a security risk, as these are classed as “extraordinary circumstances” and are generally not claimable under EU Reg 261.

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How Long Does My Diverted Flight Need To Be Delayed To Claim Compensation?

You may be able to claim compensation for your diverted flight if you arrive at your original destination more than 3 hours later than originally scheduled.

When your flight is diverted to another airport, your airline is responsible for getting you to your original destination as soon as possible and at no additional cost to you.

In many cases, this will mean your airline will need to arrange another flight or book you on a flight with another airline to take you to your original destination. Sometimes, alternative transport, such as a bus or train, is arranged if the destination is close.

You may be able to claim compensation if your airline provides alternative transport that causes you to arrive at your final destination more than three hours after your initial arrival time.

Which UK Airlines Can I Claim Compensation From For A Diverted Flight?

If eligible, you may be able to claim compensation for your diverted flight from any UK airline, as these airlines are responsible for the laws stated in EU regulation 261. This includes the most popular UK airlines, such as British Airways, easyJet, TUI, Jet2, Wizz Air, and Virgin Atlantic.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Diverted Flight?

The amount of compensation you can claim for a diverted flight will depend on the length of your delay and the flight distance. The maximum amount of compensation you can claim for a flight diversion is £520 per passenger.

The actual amount you can claim is based on the length of your delay and 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.

Add your flight details to our flight delay compensation calculator to get an instant decision on how much you could claim.

The amount of compensation increases the longer you are delayed and the further the distance of your flight.

The compensation amounts are fixed and unrelated to the ticket cost or the class of the fare you booked. EU Regulation 261 laws are in place to protect airline passengers’ rights and to compensate them for the loss of time and inconvenience.

Our table below shows the amount of compensation available for valid flight delay compensation claims.

EU261 Compensation Amounts For Diverted Flights 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

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What Diverted Flights Are Covered By EU Regulation 261?

You may be able to claim compensation if your flight departed from a UK or EU airport or arrived in the UK or EU with a UK or European airline and was diverted to a different airport than the airport on your itinerary, and you arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours late.

Under EU Regulation 261, the following flights are eligible if they were delayed more than 3 hours.

  • The flight departed from a UK or EU airport on any airline or
  • The flight was on a UK or EU airline and arrived at a UK or EU airport.

However, you would not be eligible to claim if the airline you were travelling on is not based in the EU or UK and it departed from a non-EU country or the UK and landed in the EU or UK.

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

How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation For A Flight Diversion?

You have up to 6 years from the date of the flight to start your claim for compensation. In Scotland, it is 5 years.

Claims for flight delays can only go back 6 years because this is the statute of limitation for claims of this type in the UK. Claims for flight delays older than this can no longer be taken to court, and the airline is no longer legally liable.

However, once court proceedings are issued against an airline, this effectively ‘stops the clock’ on the 6-year limitation period, so it doesn’t matter how long the legal process takes after that point as long as you follow the timeframes set by the courts for each stage of the process.

Our success in the landmark ruling of Dawson v Thomson in September 2014 set a legal precedent for how far back a passenger can make a claim. The Supreme Court dismissed the airline’s appeal and ruled in favour of Bott and Co and Mr Dawson, establishing the 6 year time period as legally binding.

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Can I Claim For Out-Of-Pocket Expenses If My Flight Is Diverted?

If your flight is diverted, the airline is responsible for covering all costs to get you to your original destination.

Additionally, airlines are obliged to provide a level of care and assistance to passengers if your flight has been diverted and you will be delayed getting to your final destination.

The airline should inform you of this while you are travelling and cover all these costs at the time of the delay. However, we see cases where passengers have had to use their own money to buy food and drink or get taxis to and from the airports.

Under Article 9 of EU Regulation 261, the airline is legally responsible for the following

  • 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

The level of care depends on the length of your delay and how far you are travelling. Our table below shows when the airline becomes legally responsible.

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

Can I Get A Refund For A Diverted Flight?

You may be able to claim for a refund from the airline if your diversion causes you to arrive at your final destination more than 5 hours late.

Can I Claim Compensation For A Flight Diverted Due To Bad Weather?

It is unlikely that you can claim compensation if your flight was diverted due to bad weather, especially if the weather is extreme and unexpected.

Unexpected changes in weather are considered an “extraordinary circumstance” under EU Regulation 261 and are outside of the airline’s control. In this case, the airline is not considered at fault and, therefore, not responsible for paying compensation.

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Can I Claim Compensation For A Flight Diverted To Another Airport?

You may be able to claim if the diversion caused you to arrive at your original destination more than 3 hours late and the cause of the delay was the airline’s fault. Additionally, the airline is responsible for any additional costs you may have incurred while travelling.

Can I Claim Compensation For A Diverted Flight If I’m On A Package Holiday?

As long as the airline you are flying on is either a UK or EU-based airline or you are arriving at a UK or EU airport, you have the same rights to claim compensation if you are on a package holiday as if you just booked a flight.

Can I Claim Compensation For A Diversion If I Accepted A Booking On A Different Airline?

As long as you arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours later than originally scheduled, your rights do not change if you accepted a booking on a flight on another airline or were put on another flight by the airline you had your original ticket with. Compensation can be claimed against the airline that operated your original flight.

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.