2 August 2023

Flight departed early compensation

Flight departed early compensation

On December 21, 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a ruling that may surprise many airline passengers in Spain. If your flight took off more than an hour earlier than planned, you may be entitled to compensation for the accelerated flight.

The CJEU's ruling classifies these cases as "cancelled" flights, leading to reference to the European Parliament's Regulation 261/04. In Spain, as in other countries of the European Union, in the case of a cancelled flight, the carrier must provide a seat on the plane on the same route as soon as possible or refund the money for the tickets. Additionally, the passenger may claim compensation. The key is that the carrier has not informed about the acceleration of the flight at least two weeks before its start.

What does this mean for passengers in Spain?

The CJEU's ruling is highly significant for passengers using airlines in Spain whose flights are accelerated. The Court has determined that in the case of significant acceleration of the flight, the carrier must always pay the full amount of compensation, which depends on the distance of the flight (250, 400 or 600 EUR).

What conditions must be met?

In Spain, the conditions are the same as in other European Union countries. The decisive factor for determining the planned flight time will be the airline ticket, the booking confirmation, and other documents containing relevant information.

How to obtain compensation in Spain?

The process for filing a claim in Spain does not differ from the process in other European Union countries. In case of difficulties, it is advisable to use the services of firms specializing in claims in Spain.


The CJEU's ruling also applies to Spain and is an important step towards protecting passengers' rights in this country. If your flight is advanced, you should know that you are entitled to compensation, in accordance with European Union law. This is an important signal to carriers in Spain that they must respect the rights of their customers, which may make air travel a more friendly and fair experience.