united airlines flight delay compensation 

United Airlines flight delay compensation


How it works

Regulation 261/2004, a law issued by the European Parliament and the European Union Council, entitles air passengers to claim financial compensation when they have faced a flight delay, cancellation, or denied boarding. EU261, as the law is commonly referred to, obliges airlines to reimburse their customers for flight disruptions that they are responsible for.

Even if the law is issued in the EU, it does not discriminate against non-EU citizens. This includes UK travellers, since EU261 has its British equivalent, UK261.
The two important conditions for compensation qualification are:

  • a flight with a European (or UK) airline;
  • a flight departing from a European (or UK) airport.

SkyRefund can be your trusted partner and help you claim compensation from United - submit your flight details and verify your eligibility with our free calculator.

Did you have a delayed flight in the last 3 years?

Check your compensation for delayed flights for free!


Air passenger rights for United Airlines flight delays

If you have faced a United delayed (or cancelled) flight in the last 3 years, you might be entitled to compensation of up £520 (€600). United is of course an air carrier registered in the United States, however, its flights departing from European airports are subject to EU261. You can also claim reimbursement from them for codeshare flights when travelling in Europe. Nevertheless, United States domestic flights are not covered by the European directive. You may need to contact United’s customer service and the Department of Transportation should you encounter any difficulties in such cases.


Extraordinary circumstances

Unfortunately, EU261 does not protect your rights if your United flight gets delayed for reasons beyond the airline’s control. The so-called extraordinary circumstances could be related to bad weather, safety risks, restrictions issued by air traffic control, bird strikes, etc. For an extensive list of situations which fall outside EU261’s umbrella, please refer to our respective article.


What to do in case of a United Airlines flight delay

  • Contact the airline staff and insist on a clear explanation for the delay

United usually presents a good on-time performance in flight statistics but in today’s dynamic world, delays are inevitable. You need to make sure that the airline doesn’t try to come up with a faulty excuse for your flight delay in order to avoid paying you compensation.

  • Insist on receiving snacks and refreshments, food vouchers, and accommodation if applicable

If your flight was cancelled, you also have the right to a replacement flight with no additional charges.

  • Collect all documentation

You can take pictures of information screens, make recordings of PA announcements, save all receipts and flight related documents: all these can be used as proof in your case.


Compensation amounts for United Airlines flight delays

The amount of money you can receive from United Airlines as compensation for a flight delay depends on the distance covered by the flight and to some extent, on the duration of the delay. We have described all the possible scenarios in the table below.



Duration of the delay


All flights under 1,500 km

Between 3 and 4 hours

£213 (€250)

More than 4 hours

All flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km

Between 3 and 4 hours

£340 (€400)

More than 4 hours

Internal EU flights over 1,500 km

Between 3 and 4 hours

£340 (€400)

More than 4 hours

All non-EU flights over 3,500 km

Between 3 and 4 hours

£340 (€400)

More than 4 hours

£520 (€600)



United Airlines Missed Connection And Denied Boarding

EU261 provides legal protection for air travellers, including rights related to a missed connection because of a flight delay. United Airlines may not be a European carrier but as a member of Star Alliance, it has codeshare agreements with over 30 international airlines.

This is, without a doubt, an advantage for passengers who choose United for connecting long-haul flights departing from European airports. If, for example, you have to fly from Prague, Czech Republic, to Chicago, Illinois, and you make a reservation with United, you will fly from Prague to Frankfurt with Lufthansa, United’s partner, and then from Frankfurt to Chicago with United.

If the Lufthansa flight gets delayed and causes you to miss your Frankfurt-Chicago flight, you will be eligible for EU261 compensation for the whole journey, not just for its first leg. Yet, it is essential that you make the reservation for the two flights under the same booking number.
You may be also eligible for compensation of up to £520 (€600) if your United flight was overbooked and you were denied boarding. However, in order to keep your eligibility, you should not accept any other offers from the airline like travel vouchers, perks, upgrades, etc.


Why choose SkyRefund

  • Quick and effortless

To submit a claim with SkyRefund you only need to enter the details about your flight and your personal information. That is all we need to assess and investigate the case. The whole process is as simplified as possible and takes no more than 5 minutes. If you are not sure whether you are entitled to reimbursement, you can use our free compensation calculator.

  • Experience and expertise

Choosing SkyRefund’s team as your partner means your case will be placed in capable hands. The legal professionals in our network of law firms are dedicated to advocating for air passengers’ rights and to always achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. We rely on years of experience in the field and have successfully assisted over 700,000 travellers from all over the world in obtaining their lawfully owed compensation from various airlines. We are at your disposal for any questions and concerns, you can contact us and count on a professional and adequate response.

  • No win, no fee

There are no risks involved in choosing to submit your compensation claim with SkyRefund. There is no small print, no hidden charges: we strictly stick to our “no win, no fee policy”. We will only charge you a commission of 35% of the compensation amount if and when United Airlines reimburse you.

Did you have a delayed flight in the last 3 years?

Check your compensation for delayed flights for free!