How to claim compensation for delayed or cancelled QF2, QF10 flights

Qantas flights from London to Australia are covered by a UK ‘passenger rights’ rule for $1,000 in compensation.

By David Flynn, March 27 2024
How to claim compensation for delayed or cancelled QF2, QF10 flights

Qantas has two daily flights from London to Australia – QF2 is the Airbus A380 from to Sydney via Singapore, while QF10 tackles a non-stop trek to Perth – and while both enjoy a decent track record of on-time performance, delays and even cancellations can still happen.

However, most passengers on a delayed or cancelled QF2 or QF10 aren’t aware they are entitled to compensation by Qantas under, to the tune of £520 (A$1,000), under a United Kingdom ‘passenger rights’ rule known as UK261.

That payment also applies to any passenger ‘bumped’ off QF2 or QF10 because the flight is overbooked.

For delays of three or more hours, as well as cancellations, Qantas is also required to cover reasonable ‘duty of care’ expenses such as meals and in some cases overnight accomodation at a hotel, plus your transport to the hotel and back.

(Similar compensation is available for delays and cancellations on Qantas flights QF34 from Paris and QF6 from Rome under European passenger rights law EU261 – read our EU261 guide for more details.)

Note that there’s no legal compensation required for delayed or cancelled flights from Australia or indeed from most other countries to Australia: that may yet come in the form of an equivalent Australian ‘Pay on Delay’ legislation which is currently working its way through Parliament.

But if you’re on a flight from London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom, UK261 has you covered.

UK261 applies in the following situations: 

  • when you’re travelling from a UK airport on any airline 
  • when you’re travelling to a UK airport on a UK-based airline (such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet)

UK261 obligates airlines to compensate passengers on those flights under the following circumstances:

  • flight delays of three or more hours
  • flight cancellations less than 14 days before the departure date
  • denial of boarding due to overbooking

UK261 compensation for delayed or cancelled Qantas flights

The amount you’re entitled to claim through UK261 is determined by distance travelled:

  • flights under 1,500km: you can claim £220 (AUD$404) 
  • flights between 1,501km and 3,499km: you can claim £350 (AUD$643) 
  • flights over 3,500km: you can claim £520 (AUD$956) 

Because Qantas flights QF2 and QF10 to Australia are greater than 3,500km, a delayed departure of three or more hours or a cancellation makes Qantas liable to pay £520 to every passenger; the same applies to passengers ‘bumped’ off QF2 or QF10 in the event they are overbooked.

Qantas is also be eligible for reasonable ‘duty of care’ expenses such as meals and in some cases overnight accomodation at a hotel (along with covering your transport to the hotel and back).

Claiming UK261 compensation for delayed or cancelled Qantas flights 

In an ideal world, the airline responsible for your delayed or cancelled flight will promptly notify you of your rights – especially with regards to any cash compensation. 

Of course, this rarely happens, leaving it up to the traveller to make their claim and chase down the appropriate compensation.

For that reason, always hold onto your boarding passes as proof of your booking, and try to get some documentation from the airline confirming the flight delay or cancellation, or denial of boarding (in those events airlines are required by law to notify you of your rights in writing at the airport).

Airlines should have a page on their website explaining the process of how to make a claim, as well as stipulations on what and when you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. The British Airways UK261 compensation page is a good example of this.

Airlines can deny a UK261 claim if the delay or cancellation was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’ – something out of the ordinary, such as extreme weather conditions (for example, a volcanic ash cloud, industrial action unrelated to the airline, and political or civil unrest).

But they can’t play this card if the reasons for a delay or cancellation include technical problems with the aircraft, conventional bad weather such as storms and snow, staff shortages or airline staff on strike.

All UK261 claims must be directed to the airline in question, either by email or old-fashioned post.

It’s easy enough to find a template letter online, but there’s also the option of going through a ‘no-win, no-fee’ intermediary agent if you simply don’t have the time to make and follow up on your claim – although they’ll take a cut of the final compensation payment for their services (25% is not uncommon).

A typical claim letter should include:

  • all passenger details
  • your affected flight details, including booking reference number
  • state that you are claiming compensation according to UK261
  • state the reasons for your claim, including what happened and how long you were delayed for
  • reaffirm that the delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances or an ‘act of God’
  • the amount of compensation you are seeking, in line with the guidelines above
  • your payment details, and a reasonable deadline for when you want a response by

How each airline approaches the situation will differ. In less-than-ideal scenarios, some may offer you travel vouchers less than what you are entitled to – others may continue to cite ‘extraordinary circumstances’ or even ignore your letter outright. 

In those cases, it might be easier to try again through one of many third-party agencies and law firms that prosecute UK261 and  EU261 cases in exchange for a slice of your airline payout.

Be aware that accepting any voucher or negotiated offer from the airline – whether at the airport when your flight is delayed or cancelled, or afterwards when you are chasing compensation – actually waives your rights to UK261 compensation.

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