Under EU law, airlines must provide you with care and assistance if your long-haul flight of
over 3,500km is delayed significantly.
However, these rules only apply to certain flights to, from or within the EU.
Check if the law covers your flight
If the law covers your long-haul flight, your airline must look after you once you have been
delayed by more than four hours.
This means they must provide:
The airline must provide you with these items until it is able to fly you to your destination,
no matter how long the delay lasts or what has caused it.
If your flight is delayed, many airlines will provide vouchers for you to buy food and drink. If
you require accommodation, they may book a hotel and arrange transportation for you.
Sometimes airlines are unable to arrange care and assistance for all passengers. This can happen
when staff are stretched during major disruption.
If this happens, in our view you have the right to organise reasonable care and assistance
yourself, then claim the cost back later. If you end up paying for things yourself, keep
every receipt and do not spend more than is reasonable. Airlines are unlikely to refund
you for things like luxury hotels or alcohol. Some will provide guidance on reasonable costs.
Occasionally, airlines refuse to provide care and assistance. If your airline does this, but you
are sure you are entitled to help, you can organise it yourself and claim the cost back later.
Always keep receipts in this situation.
However, it can take time to complain and get your money back.
If you’re currently waiting for a delayed flight, learn more about your rights and what to do
during the delay.
I’m currently delayed
If you paid for food, drink or accommodation during a delay, see how to claim your money
Claiming after a delay
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