An American Airlines aircraft during flight on a blue background..

American Airlines Flight Delay Compensation

How to claim compensation from American Airlines?

There are no laws in the US which entitle passengers to compensation in case of flight delays and cancellations. However, according to EU Regulation 261, you could claim delay compensation of up to €600 if your flight departed from the European Union, even if the airline is not EU-based.

Even in the EU, only one of every eight passengers is aware of their right to compensation. The number is even lower in the US. Even fewer know how to successfully enforce their right in case of an American Airlines flight cancellation or delay.

Check Your Flight

SkyRefund can help you. Just enter the flight details (your flight number and date) of your American Airlines flight into our free flight delay compensation calculator will immediately inform you if you are eligible. If you have a valid claim, we will take all the necessary steps on your behalf, so that you receive your delay compensation as soon as possible.

Since we work on a “No-Win, No-Fee” basis, we would only collect a fee (35% of the compensation amount) if we succeed in claiming your compensation for you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t owe us anything.

There’s only onegood thingabout a delay

You can get up to €600 in compensation

You could claim €600.

If your American Airlines delay occurred on a flight from an EU airport, you could be entitled to compensation worth €600.

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, the size of your compensation is determined by the length of your flight. If you flew from any point in Europe to the United States, you would be eligible for €600.

If the distance between your initial and final destination is less than 1,500 km, you can claim €250. If your flight is between 1500 and 3500 km, you could be eligible for €400.

However, all flights between the European Union and the US would be over 3,500 km. Therefore, you could claim American Airlines flight delay compensation of up to €600.

€ 250 € 400 € 600
Less than 1500 km Between 1500 & 3500 km More than 3500 km

When can you claim compensation?

According to EC261, you are eligible for compensation for flights departing from the EU in the following circumstances:

American Airlines Flight Delay

You can claim flight delay compensation from AA if your flight fulfills the following conditions:

  • You departed from an EU airport
  • You reached your final destination with a delay of over 3 hours
  • Your delay was not due to extraordinary circumstances

Check Compensation

Extraordinary circumstances are any events that cause a flight delay or cancellation, which are beyond American Airlines’s capability to prevent or mitigate. These may include prohibitive weather conditions, Air Traffic Control restrictions, bird strikes, medical emergencies and others.

Weather conditions which endanger the safety of a flight’s crew and passengers, for example, are circumstances under which no flight would be allowed takeoff. Moreover, there are no reasonable measures that the airline would be able to take in order to minimize the delay.

Instead, it would be a matter of waiting for the fog to lift or the snowstorm to pass.

And because there is nothing that American Airlines would be able to do to minimize the delay, the carrier would not be expected to pay passengers any flight compensation.

Other instances of extraordinary circumstances that free the airline from compensating passengers include:

  • Security risks
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Political or civil unrest
  • Air Traffic Control strikes
  • Union strikes
  • Hidden technical defects

Please note: technical problems which arise during the course of an aircraft’s normal operations are not considered extraordinary circumstances. It is part of airlines’ responsibilities to ensure that each aircraft is ready to go at the scheduled flight time. Therefore, airlines need to monitor for and fix any technical issues that may arise. If you arrived late because of a mechanical fault, then you would be eligible for American Airlines delay compensation.

In addition, your flight arrival needs to be delayed by more than three hours. It is important to remember that the duration of a flight delay is determined as the difference between the actual and the scheduled time of arrival.

In some cases, it may not be enough that your flight departed 3 hours late. Occasionally, the flight crew may be able to make up for some of the delay so that the flight arrives less than 3 hours behind schedule. If so, you would not be able to claim flight compensation for American Airlines’s delay.

Finally, as we mentioned in this article’s introduction, there are no laws in place which require American Airlines to pay delayed flight compensation for flights departing from the United States. However, the airline is subject to Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 whenever its flights depart from an EU airport.

American Airlines Cancelled Flight Compensation

If your American Airlines flight from the EU is cancelled, you may be eligible for compensation:

  • If you were notified of the cancellation between 7 and 14 days prior to departure and your alternate flight arrived more than 4 hours after schedule, or
  • If you were informed of the cancellation less than 7 days before the flight and your replacement flight reached its final destination more than 2 hours late.

Is My Flight Eligible?

From our experience, most flights cancellations occur within 24 hours prior to departure. Therefore, you would be entitled to compensation if your alternate flight arrives more 2 hours after your original flight.

Whenever an American Airlines flight is cancelled, the carrier is required to offer its passengers an alternate flight or a full refund of the ticket price. This right is separate from the right to cancelled flight compensation. Therefore, the airline would have to provide you with a replacement flight/refund even if the cancellation was due to bad weather, airport strikes or any other extraordinary circumstances.

For example, if there is dense fog at the airport, you would not be able to claim American Airlines compensation for the cancelled flight. However, the carrier would be required to provide you with an alternate flight to your final destination in the US.


You can claim compensation if due to overbooked flight, you have been denied boarding to an American Airlines flight.

As with compensation for delayed and cancelled flights, the compensation amount will depend on the flight distance. For EU-US flights, American Airlines would have to pay you €600 in denied boarding compensation.

Check Compensation

In addition to receiving compensation for the overbooked flight, American is required to either give you an alternate flight to your end destination or refund your ticket expenses.

About American Airlines

American Airlines is the largest airline in the world in terms of fleet, destinations served, revenue and scheduled passengers served. Its headquarters are located in Fort Worth, Texas in the United States.

After its merger with US Airways, its fleet now serves close to 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. Its destinations are spread across five continents.

American’s biggest hubs are situated in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, DC.

As of 2019, AAdvantage, American Airlines' frequent flier program has over 67 million members. This makes its the biggest such program in the world.

American is one of the founding members of the Oneworld alliance. American Airlines’s history begins in the 1920s when over 80 small airlines merge to create what almost a century later will become the world’s largest airline.

American Airlines Stats

Skytrax, the leading airline website has given American Airlines an overall rating of 3/10. This score reflects the quality of the airline’s customer service, inflight entertainment, seat comfort and overall value for money.

According to FlightStats, 22% of all American Airlines experience a delay. The average American Airlines delay duration is 60 minutes.