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European Union’s Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

We want to assure you that in the event of a disruption to your flight schedule, we will be taking steps to minimise the inconvenience to you and make any waiting time as comfortable as possible. All our actions meet the requirements of the European Union’s Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.

If your flight is delayed:

  • For 2 hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 km or less; or
  • for 3 hours or more in the case of intra-community flights of more than 1500 km and all other flights between 1500 km and 3000 km; or
  • 4 hours or more in the case of all other flights

We will provide you with meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, plus 2 short telephone calls, or telex, or fax, or e-mail messages.

  • For more than 5 hours

In addition to the above, you have the choice

To cancel your booking and receive a refund of your unused ticket, and for the part of the journey already made if the delay means your flight no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plans. Where relevant if you have already completed one or more segments of your flight we will also offer you a return flight to your first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.

Inclusive/package tour passengers should be aware that a refund would only relate to the airfare portion of the package and not the whole cost of the holiday. Your Tour operator should be contacted for further advice before you cancel your booking.

  • Until the next day (local time)

In addition to the above, if you have chosen not to cancel your flight we will offer hotel accommodation.

The care detailed above may be limited or declined if the provision of refreshments, meals and hotel accommodation would itself cause further delay.

If your flight is cancelled:

You have the choice

  • To cancel your booking and receive a refund of your unused ticket, and for the part of the journey already made if the cancellation means your flight no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plans. Where relevant if you have already completed one or more segments of your flight we will also offer you a return flight to your first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.

Inclusive/package tour passengers should be aware that a refund would only relate to the airfare portion of the package and not the whole cost of the holiday. Your Tour operator should be contacted for further advice before you cancel your booking.

  • To take an alternative flight, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination, where seats are available, at the earliest opportunity
  • To take an alternative flight to your destination, under comparable transport conditions and where seats are available, at a later date. (You will be responsible for any hotel accommodation; meals and other transport costs should you choose this option)

In addition:

If your flight is cancelled without prior notification to yourself and you have commenced your journey to the airport we will provide you, whilst awaiting a later flight, with meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, plus 2 short telephone calls, or telex, or fax, or e-mail messages. If your new flight departure involves an overnight wait, we will offer hotel accommodation and transport to and from the hotel. (This provision will not apply if you have chosen to take an alternative flight at a later date)

If we cancel your flight within 2 weeks of your departure date we may offer compensation in the sum of 250, 400 or 600 Euros depending on the distance of your flight. This depends upon the reason for the cancellation and the arrival time of your new flight.

Flight cancellation and delay compensation

You may be eligible to claim compensation if we cancel your flight within two weeks of your departure date, or if your flight is delayed in its arrival by more than 3 hours. This depends upon the reason for the cancellation or delay, as well as the arrival time of your new or delayed flight.

Compensation will not be offered if the cause of the cancellation or delay is beyond the control of Virgin Atlantic, or for disruptions which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect our operation. Neither will compensation be offered if we advised passengers about a flight cancellation at least two weeks before departure date and/or cases where a package tour is cancelled for reasons other than cancellation of the flight.

EU Compensation application process

If you are denied boarding due to a shortage of seats on your flight:

Virgin Atlantic operates a 'Voluntary' denied boarding scheme entitled 'Virgin Select' this scheme offers our passengers the opportunity surrender their seats and receive a refund of their unused ticket or fly on a later Virgin Atlantic flight in exchange for a complimentary or discounted flight or Virgin Holiday at a future date.

Passengers volunteering and accepted for the 'Virgin Select' scheme will also receive meals, refreshments and overnight accommodation depending upon the length of the waiting time. (Further details of the Virgin Select scheme can be obtained from member of our airport staff)

In the unlikely event that we have to deny boarding on an 'involuntary basis'

You have the right

  • To compensation in the sum of either 250, 400 or 600 Euros depending on the distance of your flight, which will be reduced by 50% if your new flight is scheduled to arrive within 2,3 or 4 hours after your original arrival time, again depending or the distance of your flight.
  • To cancel your booking and receive a refund of your unused ticket, and for the part of the journey already made if the delay means your flight no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plans.

Inclusive/package tour passengers should be aware that a refund would only relate to the airfare portion of the package and not the whole cost of the holiday. Your Tour operator should be contacted for further advice before you cancel your booking.

  • To take an alternative flight, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination, where seats are available, at the earliest opportunity
  • To take an alternative flight to your destination, under comparable transport conditions and where seats are available, at a later date. (You will be responsible for any hotel accommodation; meals and other transport costs should you choose this option)

Plus

  • We will provide you with meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, plus 2 short telephone calls, or telex, or fax, or e-mail messages. If your new flight departure involves an overnight wait, we will offer hotel accommodation and transport to and from the hotel. (This provision will not apply if you have chosen to take an alternative flight at a later date)

Important note:

These provisions will only apply if you are travelling from an airport based in the EU, or are travelling on an EU carrier from an airport based outside of the EU on a flight due to arrive into the EU, and have not received benefits or compensation and assistance in your country of departure.

These provisions and services will only apply on the condition that passengers have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and have presented themselves at check in at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of their flight.

These provisions and services do not apply to passengers travelling free of charge, or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public. However it does apply to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme.

If you are denied boarding for justifiable reasons such as health, safety, security or inadequate travel documentation we will be under no obligation to provide care, assistance, compensation, ticket refunds or alternative travel arrangements.

The above information provides a summary of the relevant EU legislation.

Compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights: (EC) No 261/2004(OJ L46, 17.2.2004)

Any legal claim or action taken in the event of a dispute should be based solely on the legal texts concerned. These may be found in the Official Journal of the European Union.