Flying to Europe? Consider flying an European Airline.

European Union has enforced a regulation that flights that are delayed by more than 4 hours is subject to compensation up to €600!

What are the conditions of the claim?
The fault is with the airlines. This includes technical delays (ground staff are waiting for a new part), lack of crew, or the previous flight was delayed. For situations like weather, strikes by air traffic control you will not be able to claim but instead claim from your travel insurance.

The delay has to be three hours or more to be able to claim. This based on when your flight lands at it’s final destination. The compensation is done per passenger so for families this is more beneficial than you may think.

What is the compensation?

Flight Distance Delay
(Upon Arrival)
London to Amsterdam
(Up to 1,500km)
> 3 hours €250
London to Istanbul
(1,500km-3,500 km)
> 3 hours €400
London to Kuala Lumpur
( > 3500 km)
3-4 hours €300
London to Kuala Lumpur
( > 3500 km)
> 4 hours €600

Why fly with an European Airline?
Here’s the important information. If you flew Malaysia Airlines to London (or any European city), then you would not be covered for delays on the outbound journey. If you flew Lufthansa or Air France you would be covered in the event of a delay.

On the return journey you are covered no matter which airline you fly. So if you are flying to Europe it may be worthwhile considering an European airline over and Asian airline and it’s also important that the delay is the airlines fault.

Codeshares have no relevance when it comes to claiming under this regulation, you can only claim for flights to the European Union if the operating airline is home base in the European Union. So for example a KLM codeshare on a Malaysia Airlines operated flight from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam would not fall under this regulation.

Travel Insurance
Another option is to sign-up for travel insurance, which would cover you for flight delays, baggage loss, injury and many other things. Personally I think everyone should have travel insurance when they travel. Airlines and hotels are commercial entities and they may not be as forthcoming as you might think with the help they provide when you have a situation – this is especially the case for budget airlines! I will not recommend a specific travel insurance product as it varies from person to person based on their needs.

So next time when you are booking a flight to the European Union, bear this in mind.  As a minimum I really recommend that you purchase a travel insurance, especially if you are a regular traveller.


I'm a blogger and travel consultant. Working in the travel industry for over 18 years has allowed me to travel extensively in Asia and Europe. This blog allows me to share my travel experience and tips.

2 thoughts on “Flying to Europe? Consider flying an European Airline.

  • June 15, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I have a question – are the regulations mentioned above part of EUR42?

  • June 15, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    This is from EU Regulation No 261/2004.

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