Flight Delay Compensation Letter: Free Template to Complain to the Airline

This free flight delay compensation letter template helps you claim money from the airline for your delayed plane. Submit a complaint now!


If your flight was delayed by more than three hours and the airline was responsible for the disruption, you can claim up to 600€ in compensation for the flight delay.

You can use the template below to claim compensation for a delayed flight. Just copy and paste the letter below, replace what's inside the brackets with the correct information, and send the letter to the airline.

Alternatively, you can directly submit a claim using our Compensation Calculator. It takes less than 3 minutes and we handle everything from start to finish.

If you still want to pursue the claim on your own, here's what you need to do before sending the letter that you'll find at the bottom.

Gathering the Correct information

1. Your flight details

Start by gathering the information about your scheduled flight. In your flight delay complaint letter to the airline, you need to mention:

  • The departure airport and scheduled time of departure
  • The arrival airport and scheduled time of arrival

You can find this information in the confirmation email that the airline or your travel agency sent you after you purchased the tickets.

2. A copy of your travel documents

It's very likely that if you don't send them along with your letter, the airline will request your travel documents. To save time, we recommend that you attached a copy of at least one of the following documents:

  • Ticket or eticket
  • Booking confirmation email
  • Boarding pass

Some airline request specifically a paper boarding pass or the luggage tag. If you still have those, scan them and add them as well.

3. Flight distance

The distance of your flight determines the compensation amount you can claim (more on that below, in point 5). That's why before contacting the airline, you need to know the flight distance.

You can use this handy tool by WebFlyer to calculate this distance. Make sure to look at the total distance under "One way", not "Round trip".

Note that it's the length of the journey from your departure airport to the arrival airport that matters: even if you had a connection, only fill out the departure and arrival airports.

4. Total delay

The length of the delay is the second criteria which determines the compensation amount. To be eligible to a compensation for flight delay, you must have reached your destination at least 3 hours late.

Note that only the delay at arrival matters. If your plane departed more than 3 hours late but you reached your final destination less than 3 hours after the scheduled time of arrival, then you're not entitled to compensation.

5. Compensation amount

Once you know the flight distance and the length of the delay, you can calculate how much the airline owes you for the delay.

The general rule to determine the compensation amount for a delay over 3 hours is this:

  • 250€ for flights with a distance less than 1,500km
  • 400€ for flights between 1,500km and 3,500km
  • 600€ for flights longer than 3,500km

There are, however, specific cases. The easiest option to determine how much you should claim is to use our free flight compensation calculator or refer to the post linked to at the beginning of this section.

You now have all the information required to fill out the template of the flight delay compensation letter below.

If you'd rather let us do all the work for you, submit a claim in less than 3 minute:

Flight Delay Compensation Letter Template

To contact the airline yourself, copy and paste this letter. Don't forget to fill out the brackets with the information relevant to your flight!

[Your name]

[Your address]

[The airline’s name]

[The airline’s address]

Compensation claims according to Art. 7 Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004

Dear Sir/Madam,

As per Art.7 Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, I hereby claim compensation for the delay of my flight [flight number] on [flight date], for which I had the reservation [booking number].

The flight was due to depart from [departure airport] at [scheduled time of departure] and arrive at [arrival airport] at [scheduled time of arrival], but it was delayed at arrival by [length of the delay] hours. Please find attached a copy of my travel documents.

This delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances.

I am therefore entitled to €[compensation amount] in compensation and look forward to receiving this amount within the next 14 days.

You may transfer the compensation to the following bank account:

Full name of the account holder



Currency of the account

In the absence of any response within 14 days, I will have no choice but to seek immediate legal assistance.

Yours sincerely,

What Next?

If the airline doesn't reply or denies you compensation, you may need to undertake legal action.

While you don't always have to attend a hearing in person, some courts will require you to do so. You may also need to hire a lawyer to represent you: decide whether this cost is worth pursuing the claim.

Remember that we can handle the compensation claim for you.

Flight Delay Compensation: the Essentials

Here's a handy summary of everything you need to know before claiming compensation for your delayed flight:

  • You can claim for flights that took place up to 6 years ago - the time limit for how far back you can claim compensation varies depending on the country's statute of limitation

  • EC261, the law on passenger rights for flight delays is applicable only to EU flights - that's all flights departing from the EU and flights to the EU operated by a European airline

  • Your flight must have been delayed at arrival by at least 3 hours - the delay at departure isn't taken into account

  • The airline must be responsible for the delay - if the disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances, the air carrier isn't liable to pay compensation to its passengers. Make sure the reason for the flight delay is not extraordinary circumstances.

  • The flight compensation amount is fixed - it varies between 250€ and 600€ depending on the length of the journey

  • You're entitled to cash - you can refuse a compensation offered in the form of a voucher by the airline

Travelling during the coronavirus outbreak? Stay up to date with best practices with those guides on COVID-19: