The Guide to Flight Delay Compensation with British Airways

When delays or cancellations happen on British Airways you may be eligible for compensation or meals and lodging.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Published

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Flying is stressful enough, even when everything goes according to plan. However, sometimes issues can crop up — no matter how prepared you are. If you’ve been on a British Airways flight and experienced a delay or cancellation, the good news is that you’re likely entitled to some money.

Let’s take a look at British Airways flight delay compensation, how it works and what you’ll need to do to get your funds.

British Airways delayed flight compensation

British Airways flight delays can be frustrating experiences, especially if they cause you to miss an onward connection. Depending on the circumstances of your delay and if you want to continue your journey, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your airfare, coverage for meals and lodging or even additional compensation.

Deciding not to travel

If you’ve been delayed for five or more hours on a flight and end up missing your connection, you can choose not to continue traveling. In this case, British Airways will fly you back to your original departure point and refund the parts of your ticket you didn’t fly.

Meal and lodging entitlements

If your flight has been delayed for a significant period of time, you’re entitled to meals and, if necessary, lodging. When this entitlement kicks in depends on the length of your flight:

  • After two hours’ delay: Flights that are 932 miles or less. 

  • After three hours’ delay: Flights of 932 miles or more within the European Union and all other flights between 932 miles and 2,174 miles. 

  • After four hours’ delay: All other flights. 

Compensation entitlements

Due to European Union regulations, you’re entitled to compensation in certain circumstances when your flight has been delayed. The delay must have resulted in you arriving at your destination at least three hours late, plus the delay must have been caused by the airline (rather than, say, weather).

  • Flights of 932 miles or less: $270 (250 euros).

  • Flights of more than 932 miles within the EU and all other flights between 932 miles and 2,174 miles: $432 (400 euros).

  • All other flights: $648 (600 euros).

If your flight ends up rerouted but still has a delay, compensation may be reduced by 50%, but this will depend on how far you’re going and how long of a delay you experience.

British Airways canceled flight compensation

If your British Airways flight ends up completely canceled rather than delayed, you may also be entitled to compensation. This depends on when the cancellation occurred and how much it impacts your trip.

Cancellation occurring more than 14 days before departure

You’re not entitled to any compensation if your flight is canceled more than two weeks in advance.

Cancellation between 13 and seven days before departure

If your flight is canceled and you’re offered rerouting that departs a maximum of two hours before your previously scheduled time, plus arrives within four hours of your original time, you aren’t entitled to compensation.

Cancellation fewer than seven days in advance

If your flight is canceled and you’re offered rerouting that departs a maximum of one hour before your previously scheduled time, plus arrives within two hours of your original time, you aren’t entitled to compensation.

Cancellation compensation

With the exception of the situations above, if British Airways cancels your flight due to a situation within its control, you’re entitled to compensation. The rates are the same as for delayed flights:

  • Flights of 932 miles or less: $270 (250 euros).

  • Flights of more than 932 miles within the EU and all other flights between 932 miles and 2,174 miles: $432 (400 euros).

  • All other flights: $648 (600 euros).

Compensation may also be halved if your re-routing gets you to your final destination within a certain timeframe.

Note that you’re entitled to a refund of your ticket if you choose not to fly. If your canceled ticket ends up causing you a significant delay, you’re also entitled to meal and lodging benefits.

How it works on partner flights

Note that delay and cancellation compensation isn’t always applicable. If you’re booked on an airline that partners with British Airways, you may not be entitled to the same benefits.

For example, booking an American Airlines flight operating within the United States would not grant you these protections, even if you’ve booked via the British Airways website.

This is because compensation is tied to each country’s legislation. A flight operated wholly within the United States is going to be subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s laws rather than those within the United Kingdom or the European Union.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Many travel credit cards offer complimentary travel insurance that’ll reimburse you if your travel is delayed or interrupted.

How to apply for BA compensation

If you’ve experienced a flight delay or cancellation and want to apply for compensation, the process is simple. The easiest method is via British Airways’ online form.

Otherwise, you can mail your claim to British Airways at:

British Airways Customer Relations

EU Compensation Claims

PO Box 1126

Uxbridge

UB8 9XS

United Kingdom

Once you’ve filed your claim, you can check its status online.

Check your credit card for trip delay insurance

Even if British Airways won’t pony up, you may still be able to receive a reimbursement for expenses incurred due to a delay. Many travel cards offer complimentary trip delay insurance, along with other travel benefits like baggage delay and flight cancellation coverage.

Some examples of travel cards with travel insurance benefits include:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee
$95
$550
$695
$95
Travel protections (not a comprehensive list)

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip for delays more than 6 hours.

Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

Terms apply.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

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Terms apply. Note the following disclaimers for The Platinum Card® from American Express:

Trip delay:

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Please visit http://americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Trip cancellation:

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Please visit http://americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Trip interruption:

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Please visit http://americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Loss luggage:

British Airways flight delay compensation recapped

In many cases, you’re entitled to compensation if your British Airways flight has been delayed or canceled. In addition to this, you’re also entitled to meals and lodging if you’ve been delayed for a significant portion of time.

If you want to file a claim for compensation with British Airways, be sure to check whether your flight falls under any exceptions. If not, you can file your claim for reimbursement online or via mail.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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