In the event of a major flight delay, Regulation (EC) 261/2004 entitles you, depending on the duration of the delay and the length of the flight, to:

  • information (in the event of a delay of more than two hours), particularly through a written notice that contains the rules on compensation and assistance, as well as the contact details of the national body responsible for compliance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 (according to Article 14 of this European regulation);
  • assistance (Article 8), i.e. if the delay exceeds five hours, the right to choose between a return flight to your initial point of departure or the reimbursement of the ticket (within seven days), when the journey has become useless due to the delay; 
  • care (Article 9): refreshments, meals, where applicable accommodation and transfers, two free telephone calls (or telex, fax or email), while waiting for a later flight;
  • compensation (Article 7) whose amount varies between 250 and 600 euros, depending on the length of the journey when the passengers of delayed flights experience a loss of time equal to or greater than three hours in relation to the arrival time originally scheduled by the airline (according to the Decree of the Court of Justice of the European Communities of 19 November 2009 on the interpretation of Regulation 261/2004/EC and sanctioning compensation for airline passengers suffering delays).

However, such a delay does not give the right to compensation if the airline is able to prove that the significant delay is due to extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

Disputes and Complaints

Flight Cancellations/Delays

FPS Mobility and Transport  
Civil Aviation Authority (DGTA) 
Strategy Unite - Passenger Rights

City Atrium (6th floor - locker PAX) 
Rue du Progrès 56 
B-1210 Brussels

Tel: + 32 2 277 44 00  (between 9am and 12pm) 
Fax: + 32 2 277 40 73 

Cross-border disputes and complaints

European Consumer Centre 
Rue de Hollande 13 
B-1060 Brussels

Tel.: + 32 2 542 33 89 

Last update
21 October 2022