Flight delayed? Czech ministry sheds light on how to claim compensation

If you face delays or unexpected cancellations, you may be entitled to a lot of money – however, important exceptions apply.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 01.07.2024 16:30:00 (updated on 01.07.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

In light of the delays and cancelations plaguing air travelers around Europe as the summer season gets underway, Czechia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has released help and guidance on how to claim compensation in case you run into flight-related trouble.

Who can actually get compensation?

In sum, EU regulation warrants that airlines must pay a form of compensation if a flight is delayed – though important conditions apply.

The EU law applies to all passengers departing from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) airport. It also applies to passengers departing from an airport outside of the EU/EEA but arriving at an EU/EEA airport on an EU/EEA licensed carrier.

The Czech Trade and Industry Ministry reminds consumers in Czechia that passenger compensation for flight delays is calculated based on the distance of the flight. Passengers on flights that are delayed three or more hours are entitled to compensation.

Here is an overview of what you may be entitled to in case of delays:

  • Short-distance flight delays of up to 1,500 kilometers (km): passengers are due EUR 250 compensation
  • Medium-distance flight delays of over 1,500 km (for intra-EU flights) and all other flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km: passengers are due EUR 400 compensation
  • Long-distance flight delays of over 3,500 km: passengers are due EUR 600 compensation

The ministry also says that you are entitled to food and drink if your flight is delayed. Here is an overview of what you can claim:

  • For flights under 1,500 km, you are entitled to food and drink after two hours.
  • Flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km get food and drink after a three-hour delay.
  • Flights over 3,500 km are entitled to food and drink after a four-hour delay.

Flight cancellations

And what about flight cancellations? It gets a little complicated.

You are not entitled to compensation if you have received at least two weeks’ notice of the cancelation, or have received between two weeks and seven days’ notice but you have been offered an alternative flight departing no more than two hours before your original departure time and arriving at your final destination less than four hours after your original scheduled time of arrival. 

Where your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a choice of:

  • A refund of the cost of your ticket within seven days
  • Re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity
  • Re-routing at a later date at your convenience, subject to the availability of seats

When are airlines exempt from providing compensation?

Airlines are exempt from paying compensation in case of so-called extraordinary circumstances. These can include: adverse weather conditions; planned strike action; air-traffic control restrictions or disruption; or security risks.

How can I claim?

You can claim by filing a claim directly with your airline – this can all be done airline; processes depend on the type of airline. You can also file a claim via post, or do it via a third-party agency for a fee.

What happens if I don't receive my compensation?

Czechia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry advises people in Czechia to reach out to the Czech branch of the European Consumer Center in case of any compensation-related disputes. The ministry also advises reaching out to advisory bodies such as the Association of Czech Consumers or the Association of Citizens' Advice.

The Czech Trade Inspection Authority can also step in to help should any issues arise. You can also take the airline to court if all else fails.

Many airlines are also part of Alternative Dispute Resolution Entities, which you can contact to help get compensation before going to court.


  • Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents
  • Ask why the flight was delayed.
  • Gather proof of the delay (for example, photos of the departure board or communications from the airline confirming the disruption).
  • Make a note of the arrival time at your destination.
  • Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.
  • Don’t sign anything or accept any offers that may waive your rights.
  • If needed, get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.
  • Keep your receipts if your delayed flight ends up costing you extra money.

    Source: Air Help

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