Cancelled and delayed flight

Cancelled flight – passenger rights

  • Ticket refund or other transport to your final destination
  • Right to care: meals and refreshments in relation to waiting time, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails
  • Hotel accommodation when a longer wait for an alternative flight is necessary, and transport between the airport and the hotelRight to compensation of EUR 250 to EUR 600 depending on the distance of your flight

Delayed flight – passenger rights

  • Right to care: meals and refreshments in relation to waiting time, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. The delay after which passenger may claim the right to care depends on the duration of the flight (table below):
    Delay giving the right to care when waiting for a flight Flight distance
    from 2 hours loty do 1500 kilometrów
    from 3 hours intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres
    from 4 hours wszystkie inne loty
  • If your flight is delayed for more than 5 hours you are entitled to claim a ticket refund and a return flight to the point of departure (connecting flight) or re-routing.
  • Hotel accommodation, where a wait for one or more nights for an alternative flight becomes necessary, and transport between the airport and the hotel.
  • If your flight is delayed and you arrive 3 or more hours late at your final destination, you are entitled to compensation of EUR 250 to EUR 600 depending on the distance of your flight.

Legal basis

The above rights are guaranteed to the passengers by the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

NOTE: Passengers of delayed flights may claim compensation on the basis of Judgment of the Court of Justice in the case of Sturgeon v Condor Flugdienst GmbH of November 2009 (C-402/07).


1. You should complain about delayed or cancelled flight to the actual carrier (operator of the delayed/cancelled flight). The complaint must be submitted in writing (using a complaint form available at the website, by e-mail or by post). You should keep the confirmation of the delivery of your complaint to the carrier.

2. If the carrier refuses to pay compensation or fails to respond to the complaint within 30 days from its submission (contractual time limit), you have the right to complaint to the Civil Aviation Authority competent for the country where the flight was delayed or cancelled. In Poland, the competent authority is the Commission on Passengers’ Rights at the Civil Aviation Authority, operating within the NEB-Net (National Enforcement Bodies).

NOTE: Polish speaking passengers may file a complaint to the Commission on Passengers’ Rights. The complaint will be translated and sent to the competent European authority.

3. Decisions issued by the Civil Aviation Authority are administrative decisions. If the carrier fails to pay compensation, despite the fact that the relevant decision has been issued, you can bring an action to the court.

Limitation periods

The Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 does not define the time limit for the passenger to claim compensation, and thus two solutions are possible:

  • based on Article 208 of the Act – Aviation Law, pursuant to which the carrier is liable for damages during carriage according to principles laid down in international agreements ratified by Poland (Montreal Convention – 2 years),
  • based on Article 205(1) of the Act – Aviation Law, which refers to Article 778 of the Civil Code, pursuant to which claims are subject to a limitation period of one year.


  • The carrier is not obliged to pay compensation in the case of extraordinary circumstances (political instability, meteorological conditions, security risks, strikes, unexpected flight safety shortcomings).
  • You should keep the receipts for meals and refreshments purchased while waiting for the flight and for the hotel. The copies of those receipts should be included in the complaint filed to the airline.
  • Passengers of charter flights also are entitled to claim compensation for delayed/cancelled flights.
  • The carrier has the right to re-routing 14 days before the flight.
  • If, in the case of a longer delay, the carrier fails to offer an alternative flight of a similar standard, you have the right to claim compensation, if you buy a ticket on your own.