How to claim compensation for delayed Ryanair flights?

Zorica Lončar

Delays to flights can be inconvenient and stressful, but unfortunately they do happen occasionally. They can also end up costing you money, especially if you need to rearrange your plans.

The good news is that you may be entitled to compensation if your flight is delayed. However, it all depends on the length of the delay, your departure and arrival destination, and the length of the flight.

In this guide, we’ll talk you through how to claim compensation for delayed Ryanair flights. This includes eligibility for compensation, how much you could get and how to put in your claim.

And when you next fly overseas, remember to take the Wise international debit card with you. It automatically converts your pounds to the local currency at the fairest exchange rate around⁵, and it works in 175 countries.

But more on that later. For now, let’s get back to Ryanair flight delay compensation.

What happens if my Ryanair flight is delayed?

There are a few options available to you if the departure boards show a delay to your scheduled Ryanair flight.

If your flight is delayed by 2 hours, you will be offered the option to re-route¹. This means taking the next available flight to your destination. Ryanair should email you to notify you of the delay and explain your options.

If you choose to re-route, you may be able claim expenses for¹:

  • Meals and refreshments during the extra waiting time
  • Two phone calls
  • Reasonably priced hotel accommodation for 1-2 nights where necessary
  • Reasonable transport costs between the airport and hotel.

You can claim these expenses through Ryanair’s online expenses claim form.

If your flight is delayed for 5 hours or more, you don’t have to take the flight or the option to re-route¹. You can choose not to travel, and apply for a full refund from Ryanair here.

If you choose to take the delayed or re-routed flight, you may be able to claim compensation under your EU-261 Passenger Rights. We’ll look at what this means and how it works next.

What are the EU-261 Passenger Rights?

EU 261 is a regulation under EU law, which came into force in 2004 with the aim of protecting passengers against severe flight disruption.

The regulation aims to compensate passengers for the significant inconvenience that flight delays can cause, from missed connections to disrupted onward travel plans.

The EU-261 Passenger Rights set out how much compensation can be awarded depending on flight distance, departure and arrival destinations and the length of the delay.

How much compensation will I get for a delayed Ryanair flight?

Take a look below for those all-important EU-261 compensation figures for delayed flights²:

DelayFlight distanceCompensation (per person)
3 hours+Under 1,500km£220
Between 1,500km and 3,500km£350
4 hours+Over 3,500km£520

These apply to Ryanair and all other airlines running UK and EU regulated flights. Essentially, this means all flights departing from a UK or EU airport.

The delay length given above is how late you are in reaching your arrival destination. If you’re not sure of the flight distance, you can check your flight distance on the WebFlyer website.

Another important thing to know is that you can only get compensation if the delay was the airline’s fault. For example, if the airline overbooked the flight or there was a technical fault.

The EU-261 Passenger Rights don’t provide cover for flights delayed due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ deemed to be outside the airline’s control. This includes things like³:

  • Bad weather conditions
  • Worker strikes
  • Airport or airspace closure
  • Security risks
  • A bird flying into the engine
  • Political instability.

How to apply for Ryanair flight delay compensation - a step-by-step guide

If your delayed flight does qualify for compensation, you’ll need to claim directly with Ryanair. Even if you booked the flight elsewhere, claims can only be submitted with the airline actually operating the flight².

Here’s what to do:

  1. Get all of your booking details ready - this includes all of your flight details, passenger information and booking references.
  2. Use the Ryanair EU261 online claim form.
  3. Fill in all the required sections.
  4. If the option is available, explain clearly what went wrong with your flights and what you expect the airline to give you in compensation. The Civil Aviation Authority has a handy guide to writing a good claim on its website.
  5. Submit your claim.

Where possible, make sure to keep a copy or record of your claim.

How long does it take to get flight delay compensation from Ryanair?

On its website, Ryanair says that it aims to process compensation claims within 10 days⁴.

If you don’t hear back in that time, you can contact Ryanair customer services to chase it up. You can do this via live chat on the Ryanair website, or sign into your Ryanair account to see other contact options.

If there are any problems with your compensation claim, such as it not being paid or receiving the wrong amount, you can make a complaint about Ryanair to Aviation ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution for Aviation)⁵.

Obviously, you’ll only want to do this once all attempts to contact Ryanair to rectify the situation have failed.

Flying again soon? Take the Wise international card with you

If you’re already planning the next trip abroad, make sure to check out the Wise international debit card.

This powerful multi-currency card can be used in 175 countries (including the UK), so you can take it with you anywhere. It automatically converts currency at the mid-market rate whenever you spend in restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. There’s only a tiny fee for the conversion, or it’s free if you already have the currency in your Wise account.

You can even use your Wise card for overseas ATM withdrawals, taking out up to £200 a month fee-free. Note that some ATMs could still incur a fee. Again, you’ll get the fairest exchange rate around. Note that Wise will not charge you for these withdrawals, but some additional charges may occur from independent ATM networks.

The Wise international card is your convenient, cashless and cost-effective way to spend abroad. Get yours for a one-time fee of just £7 when you open a free Wise multi-currency account online.

Join Wise today


Sources used:

  1. Ryanair Help - Flight Delays
  2. Citizens Advice - Flight Delay and Cancellation Compensation
  3. Flightright - EU Regulation
  4. Ryanair Help - EU-261 Passenger Rights
  5. Aviation ADR - Members
  6. Wise - terms and conditions & pricing

Sources last checked on date: 17-Oct-2022


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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