How to Get Compensation for OLD FLIGHTS

How to claim flight compensation for old flights

As an air passenger, you have not only obligations, but certain rights too. In fact, there are many regulations, protecting you in the sky! They cover the whole world, apart from a few third world countries in Africa, Asia and Central America.

The Montreal Convention is the universal treaty, governing airline liability in over 130 countries across all continents. Certain parts of the world have additional protection under other, more comprehensive laws. These are the US law, Canadian Transportation Act, Brazilian law ANAC 400, UK law, EU law EC 261 and Turkish law.

What is Flight Compensation

If your Air Passenger Rights have been violated, you are usually entitled to monetary compensation. If you haven’t been reimbursed by the airline or your holiday provider, you do have the right to claim compensation!

HOW FAR BACK can you claim Flight Compensation

A lot of people are not familiar with the fact that you can usually claim flight compensation up to several years back. The time limits vary, depending mainly on the country you’re flying from. In some countries like Sweden, Luxembourg and Lithuania, you can have up to a whole decade, while in Malta it can be unlimited! UK law is very generous too, allowing air passengers to claim compensation up to 6 years back. For most countries, the deadline is 2-3 years.

Flight Compensation RULES and CRITERIA

  • Flight delays of at least 3 hours, based on arrival time (shorter for some domestic flights within the US)
  • Flight cancellation less than 14 days before departure
  • Missed connection
  • Denied boarding due to flight being overbooked
  • Baggage mishandling
  • Medical emergency (better to contact the airline before the flight)

You are usually entitled to compensation if any of the above occurred, unless there have been unavoidable extraordinary circumstances. They can include exceptionally bad weather or terrorist threat. Most importantly, your Air Passenger Rights do NOT depend on whether you have travel insurance.

HOW MUCH Flight Compensation can you get

The amount you’re entitled to if your Air Passenger Rights have been violated, depends mainly on the regulations in the country you’re flying from. The reimbursements are fairly large, especially in Europe. For instance, just for delayed flights from Europe, you can claim up to €600/ $700. If you weren’t unable to fly at all, you can claim thousands!

What to do if you’re offered vouchers instead of money

That’s a common practice in the US, but in Europe airlines are obliged to provide monetary reimbursement under the EU law EC 261. So, if you’re entitled to compensation for a flight from Europe, DO NOT SIGN any papers, offered to you by the airline about voucher payments (unless you don’t mind receiving vouchers instead of money). If you do sign such agreement, you can no longer claim the monetary compensation you’re rightfully owed.

HOW TO CLAIM Flight Compensation

There are 3 ways to file a claim:

  • Apply through an Air Passenger Rights Organization
  • Speak directly with the airline or booking agent
  • Contact a lawyer

Getting in touch with the airline or the company you bought your tickets from, may seem like the best option, at first. However, their customer service departments are usually extremely busy and may not be willing to give you the reimbursement you’re entitled to. Calling them can be very expensive too.

That’s the reason why more and more air passengers choose the first option – to use an independent company to claim their rights for them. Most operate on ‘no win, no fee’ basis and take just a couple of minutes to check if you’re eligible. For example, offer an instant compensation calculator online (check it out here). All you need to do is to fill in your flight details and voilà – you can see how much you’re owed straight away.


You can surely claim compensation for old flights! Especially if you’re flying from Europe, where the relevant law gives air passengers the right to ask for generous reimbursement several years back. The terms and conditions depend mainly on the country you’re flying from and not on whether your trip was insured. Nowadays, you can do it all online in no time if you use a reputable Air Passenger Rights Organization. GOOD LUCK! 🍀✈️☀️

You might also want to read: How to FLY NOW and PAY LATER


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