Your rights when your flight has been cancelled
If your flight was cancelled shortly before your scheduled departure, you have rights. You are entitled to a replacement flight or you can choose to get a refund of the original ticket price. You may also be entitled to compensation.
Flight cancelled, what now?
- Ask for a cancellation or delay statement from the airline
- Take account of extraordinary circumstances; in this case, you may not be entitled to compensation
- Check your right to care, such as food, beverages and, if necessary, a hotel with transfer
- Check your right to compensation up to € 600 per person
- File your claim with the airline or let an external party help you obtain your rights
Ask for a cancellation or delay statement
Should your flight be cancelled, ask for a cancellation or delay statement from the airline. This is a written statement from the airline in the event of a flight incident. You need this if you have trip cancellation insurance. In addition, this statement can be used as evidence when claiming compensation.
Extraordinary circumstances in case of cancellation of your flight
A flight can be cancelled due to an extraordinary circumstance. This is a situation that is not inherent to the normal exercise of the activity of the airline and therefore beyond its control. An example of this such is dense fog in which case the pilot cannot see the runway or airspace. A strike of the airline’s own staff is not considered an extraordinary circumstance in the UK. In this case, you are entitled to compensation.
Flight cancelled due to an extraordinary circumstance, what are your rights?
Has your flight been cancelled due to an extraordinary circumstance? Then you are not entitled to a financial compensation. Did you have to incur extra costs for food, drinks or did you have to stay in a hotel overnight? Then you can request a reimbursement of these additional costs directly from the airline.
Your rights in the case of a cancelled flight
The event that your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to an alternative flight or you can choose to get a reimbursement for the cost of the original ticket. You may also be entitled to care and compensation for the loss of time suffered.
Right to care
You are entitled to care if the difference between the departure time of your original flight and the departure time of your replacement flight is:
- Two hours or more for flights of 1500 km or less
- Three hours or more for all flights within the EU with a distance of more than 1500 km and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km
- Four hours or more on flights with a distance of more than 3500 km
The type of care that should be provided entails meals, refreshments and two free telephone calls, fax or e-mail messages. The amount and size of the meals and refreshments depends on the waiting time. If the airline does not offer you care, you can purchase this yourself and request the costs directly from the airline. In that case, it is important that you send them copies of your receipts.
Right to an accommodation
If you are offered a flight that leaves one or more days later, the airline is obliged to provide accommodation. Transport between the airport and the location of the accommodation is included. If the airline does not offer you accommodation and / or transport to and from the accommodation, you can find a suitable accommodation and / or transport yourself. In this case, always keep the payment receipts.
Right to compensation
Whether or not you are entitled to compensation is determined, among other things, using the date of which you were informed by the airline of the cancellation and your actual arrival delay:
- If you were informed more than 2 weeks before scheduled departure, you are not entitled to compensation
- If you were informed between 14 and 7 days before departure and arrived 4 hours later with a replacement flight, you are entitled to compensation
- If you were informed 7 days or less before departure and you have arrived more than 2 hours later than the original scheduled flight, you are entitled to compensation
In addition, it must be an airline departing the EU or a European air carrier arriving at an airport in the EU. If the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance, you are not entitled to compensation.
Compensation for the cancellation of your flight
If you are entitled to compensation under Regulation 261/2004, the amount of your compensation will be determined based on the distance of the original flight.
Informed 14 tot 7 days before departure
Informed 7 tot 0 days before departure
Example: You booked a flight from London Gatwick Airport and Malaga Airport (1.646 km), departing at 16.00 PM. You are informed about a cancellation two days before departure. Your replacement flight departs at 20.10 PM. You are entitled to a possible compensation of €400.
Claim compensation for your cancelled flight
Would you like to know what you are entitled to from the airline for the cancellation of your flight? Fill in your flight details on the website of EUclaim and check your compensation. If you fall within the scope of the Regulation you can file your claim with EUclaim, or contact the airline directly, your travel agency, travel insurance.
Tips in the event of a flight disruption
1Be careful with accepting vouchers. These are often difficult to exchange and have a limited validity. They may also limit your right to compensation.
2Write down all of the details concerning your flight incident and ask for a written statement from the airline.
3Save all documents, tickets and receipts in the event of costs due to problems with your baggage.
4Ask your travel agent or insurance for help to contact the airline upon your return.
5Above all, always remain calm and try to enjoy your journey!