Let's say I have a flight delayed and would like to apply for delayed flight compensation based on EU rules. Is there any way to verify in advance (based on facts rather than hearsay) if a given airline is known for ignoring the rules? Perhaps the EU keeps official statistics on the subject?

If I know a certain airline is notorious for not paying out I might choose a different flight to avoid dealing with them in case of trouble.

  • The EU wouldn't be involved in this, as any complaints made about inaction under the EU air passenger directives are to be made to the nations civil aviation body or other designated national body, not an EU body. – Moo Dec 21 '17 at 1:28

Under EU regulations, passengers are entitled to compensation if delayed by more than three hours when flying from the UK or with an EU airline to an EU airport. Holidaymakers flying short-haul can claim as much as €250, while long-haul passengers could claim up €600 if their flight is delayed by more than four hours.


Compensation claims end up with the CAA if a passenger is dissatisfied with an airline’s decision to reject a claim or has not had a response.

This site has a sample letter you can use to apply for your compensation, under Regulation (EC) 261/2004.

The worst airlines are tracked by the CAA, and a watchdog does monitor them:

Some airlines had an alarmingly high percentage of decisions against them. Norwegian Air was advised by the CAA to pay up in a staggering 83% of cases. Vueling (79%) and Ryanair (77%) were also told to pay out to passengers in the vast majority of cases.

The site also lists the airlines by delays, % of complaints upheld, and % of cases where the airline still refused to pay. Surprisingly to me, Emirates did NOT fair well in this list.


Good question. I searched in German because we have some more information about EU passenger rights, but to no avail.

But what I found is the ranking of Air Help, a firm which makes money from buying compensations directly from passengers and getting compensation from the airlines. You can sort the ranking of airlines by "Fairness & Schadenersatz" (fairness and compensation)..

And voila, what a surprise:

Cathay Pacific 1.0
Ryanair 0.8
Monarch Airlines 0.8

The next one, Bulgaria Airlines, has already 2.2 points. So I am confident that those three are the worst offenders (And in fact, Ryanair is notorious for this behavior).

For a better picture:
6 airlines have a ranking of >= 9.0
28 airlines have a ranking of >= 8.0
17 airlines have a ranking of >= 7.0
10 airlines have a ranking of >= 6.0
17 arlines have a ranking of >= 3.0
6 airlines have a ranking of >= 2.0

Given that the average of most known airlines is between 6.0-8.9 you really must try hard to get under 2.0.

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