Flight Cancellations Rights to Compensation

If your flight was canceled without prior notice of at least 14 days, you may have the right to compensation of up to 600€ (i.e., $700) from the airlines under EU Regulation 261/2004.

Flight Cancellation Compensation

Flight cancellations can put any passenger in distress, which leads to travel plans in suffering and the consequences could be serious.

It’s one of the most frustrating things to experience for any air traveler. Maybe an important opportunity or appointment is in unwarranted jeopardy.

You may have the right to compensation for flight cancellations without prior notice of at least 14 days under the EU Regulation 261/2004.

When an airline cancels a flight, you may be eligible for compensation under the European Regulation EC 261 of 2004.

Provided the flight wasn’t canceled due to extraordinary circumstances, or situations which are beyond the control of the airlines.

Rights to Compensation under EU261 rule

According to European Union Regulation EC 261/2004, air passengers are entitled to compensation or refund for flight cancellations.

For last-minute cancellations, or if you were not informed earlier, you can ask for a refund of your ticket cost. It should be credited within 7 working days. Or, the airline must provide a replacement flight to your final destination as per your convenience.

You will probably be re-routed on a flight operated by the same airline, or their partnered airline.

If the rescheduled flight delays for more than 2 hours at the final destination, you might be eligible for compensation under the EU law.

The amount of compensation varies between 125€ to 600€ based on the route distance and length of the delay. Read further here.

You are not eligible for cancelled flight compensation if…

  • You reached your final destination on time
  • You have been informed 14 days prior to the scheduled departure date, whereas you can ask for a refund
  • There involves any extraordinary circumstances such as extreme weather, or security threats, i.e., situations beyond the control of the airlines

When you can claim compensation for cancelled flights?

Here in the table below, are the situations when you can request reimbursement …

Arrival and Departure EU Airline Non-EU Airline
1. Flight departing from an EU airport and arrival within EU Yes Yes
2. Flight departure from an EU airport and arrival outside the EU Yes Yes
3. Flight departure from a non-EU airport and arrival to an EU airport Yes No
4. Flight departure from outside the EU and arrival outside the EU No No
The rules for claiming compensation are sometimes complicated. There are other rules that allow the airline to reduce the amount of compensation of up to 50%.

If you are not so familiar, that’s no problem. We assist you to understand your rights.

How much you can claim for cancelled flights?

The amount of compensation that you can claim for canceled flights depends on route distance, length of the delay, and the number of days when you were informed about it.

Flight delay compensation based on distance

1: If your flight was canceled 0 to 7 days before departure

If your flight was canceled between 0 to 7 days prior to scheduled departure, and the airline offered you alternative transportation, which takes you to the final destination with a delay of more than 2 hours, you may request compensation.

Check the table below to know the amount that you can demand from the airlines …

Route Distance Length of Delay Compensation
<1,500 km Departure – at least 1 hour earlier & Arrival – up to 2 hours later 125€
Arrival – at least 2 hours late 250€
1,500 km – 3,500 km Departure – at least 1 hour earlier & Arrival – up to 3 hours later 200€
Arrival – at least 3 hours later 400€
3,500+ km Departure – at least 1 hour earlier & Arrival – up to 4 hours later 300€
Arrival – at least 4 hours later 600€

2: If your flight was canceled before 7 to 14 days of departure

If the airline notified you about your scheduled flight to be canceled before 7 to 14 days of departure and offered you a replacement flight or alternative transportation which takes you to the final destination with 2+ hours delay, you may request compensation.

Check the table below to know the amount that you can demand from the airlines …

Route Distance Length of Delay Compensation
<1,500 km Departure – 2+ hours earlier and arrival – 2 hours later 125€
Arrival – 4+ hours later (or)
Departure – 2+ hours earlier and arrival – 2+ hours later
250€
1,500 km – 3,500 km Departure – 2+ hours earlier and arrival – 3 hours later 200€
Arrival – 4+ hours later (or)
Departure – 2+ hours earlier and arrival – 3 to 4 hours later
400€
3,500+ km Departure – 2+ hours earlier and arrival – 4 hours later 300€
Arrival – 4+ hours later 600€

3: You were informed about flight cancellation 14 days before date of departure

You cannot demand compensation if you have been informed of flight cancellation before 14 days of scheduled departure.

Please note that you will not receive any compensation if your flight delays or gets canceled due to extraordinary circumstances (such as earthquake, volcanic eruption, strike).

However, you are entitled to compensation for technical defects and if you have experienced cancellation less than 14 days.

Flight cancellations – Can I Get Refund or Replacement

You are at the airport but hear that your flight has been canceled, you may have these 3 options to choose …

  1. You may ask for the full refund of the flight ticket cost, (or)
  2. Replacement flight to the final destination on same day, (or)
  3. Replacement flight to your final destination later as of your convenience.

Note: If you choose the 2nd option and it’s later than 2 hours then the airline should provide you following facilities:

  • Foods & Beverages;
  • Two telephone calls, emails, fax messages;
  • Hotel accommodation when stay becomes necessary
  • Transport facility between the Airport and Hotel

These are deemed responsibilities of the airlines to ensure that your journey is safe and comfortable.

If you were offered an alternate flight but that was delayed on arrival for more than 2 hours you may also claim flight delay compensation under the EU law.

You can use the free compensation checker tool to check how much you can demand from the airlines for your flight.

EU Law for US or residents’ outside of EU

All the nationalities, including US citizens, can avail our services for making their claims if their travel suffered due to airline cancellations.

You do not need to be an EU citizen to claim compensation for a canceled flight.

It is sufficient if the departure was from any EU airport (with any airline), or if its scheduled arrival was at any EU airport booked with an EU-registered airline.

If your flight was canceled without prior notice of at least 14 days, you can ask for compensation of up to $700 under EU Regulation 261/2004.

However, keep in mind that if you have taken advantage of the replacement flight or alternative transportation, which takes you to the final destination on time, no reimbursement or refund can be claimed.

Things you should do before you apply for Compensation

If you are already at the airport, we recommend you the following points:

  • Always try to stay close to the gate. Thus, you could hear the announcements clearly that may help you to understand the real status of your scheduled flight and find out the reason for flight cancellation.
  • If possible, collect and store letters in printed format. To provide all necessary shreds of evidence for the flight failure.
  • Make sure that you check-in early. So you can prove that you were actually at the airport at the time the flight was canceled.
  • And (of course) keep your booking and billing records. Because it is important that you at least know your booking number.

What happens if my flight is canceled due to weather?

Flight cancellations can be due to numerous reasons. Bad weather conditions, Acts of God, Hurricane, or Tsunami aren’t control of the airlines.

Thus no compensation can be claimed under such circumstances, which are beyond the control of airlines.

If there’s news of the other airlines to be operational under weather conditions, you might be eligible for compensation.

What are ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’?

Extraordinary circumstances are the conditions – beyond the control of airlines – that cause flight disruption, despite taking preventive measures.

The following are the extraordinary circumstances that preclude compensation …

  1. “Act of God” e.g. earthquake, volcanic eruption, bad weather, tsunami, etc.
  2. Airport staff strike, or air traffic control (ATC).
  3. Invisible technical problems, such as bird hitting the plane engine.
  4. Political unrest, Terrorist attacks, etc.

How we can help you with your claim?

We support you in enforcing your claims by making our service available to you 24/7. We provide you with a comprehensive user interface that allows you to complete the claim process within few minutes.

Many people consider that their chances are very rare to win against the airline, but we – Claim Flights proves the opposite. Our claim experts have all the expertise on claiming compensation.

Claim Flights is an expert in properly classifying technical defects and so-called “Act of God” or exceptional circumstances. We make it easy for you to enforce your rights to compensation for flight cancellations without any unnecessary complications.

Why Choose Us?

Claim Flights works on a “No Win – No Fee” base. We don’t charge any extra cost for our services. We have made it our primary goal to help the stranded passengers, and all our users get well-deserved compensation.

We are the best site on the internet for providing information on rights for flight cancellations. For passengers who are looking for a professional service provider, we are their first choice.

We provide you with up-to-date information and ensure that you are kept updated at all times throughout the process.

You receive the reimbursement without investing your valuable time and money.

At Claim Flights, we make it easy for you to enforce your rights without any unnecessary complications.

We provide you the best service for dealing with airlines from all over Europe and also ensure you a hassle-free process all the way to get your money back.

Flight Compensation Calculator

Some air travelers found difficult to figure out exactly how much compensation they can claim from the airline.

With our cancelled flight compensation calculator, you can easily calculate the total amount and thus avoid confusion at later. You just need to enter your flight number and flight date.

Once you’ve entered your details, we’ll show you more information so that you can fully understand the true facts about your canceled flight.

To avoid difficulties in tracking data, please always provide the correct information.

FAQ

What to do when your flight is cancelled?

There are some actions or steps you need to take to assert your rights…

  • Contact airlines’ customer support and ask them to rebook you onto another flight
  • Get free access to your airlines’ website, or social media while at the airport
  • Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments
  • Ask for hotel accommodations, if the replacement flight is later than 5 hours, or on another day
  • Keep your receipts if your flight ends up costing you some extra money
  • Don’t sign anything or accept any vouchers
  • Stay calm and be nice to the airline staff
  • At the airport, ask gate agents for help as they are responsible for processing and boarding the passengers
  • Understand your rights & ask for reimbursement

What is 'flight cancellation'?

Under EU Law, a flight is considered to be canceled if the flight you booked did not take-off as previously planned.

But in the US, a flight is considered as canceled if the airplane never left the tarmac.

Why do flights get cancelled?

Flight cancellations occur when the airline does not operate the flight due to certain reason.

But the airline should reimburse the flight ticket cost if the cancellation is due to their own fault, but not if the cause was beyond their control, such as extreme weather.

If an airline cancels a flight what are your rights?

If the airline canceled the original flight without prior information you may get compensation.

Both the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the EU take serious note on canceled flights by air carriers and have carefully provided adequate compensation to the air passengers.

Under EU 261 Rule

You are entitled to refund or replacement:

  • You can claim a full refund of ticket cost (OR)
  • Alternate flight to the final destination with the same carrier on next schedule (OR)
  • Alternate flight to the final destination at a later schedule as per your convenience, subject to availability of seat and passenger request.

You are also entitled to “Right to Care” service which includes following:

  • Ask the airline to pay for your meals, refreshments
  • Two phone calls, e-mails, faxes for communication
  • Hotel accommodation (if stay becomes necessary)
  • Transportation between the airport and the hotel accommodation

How much compensation can I claim?

According to EU air passenger rights Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, you can claim compensation up to 600€ (i.e. up to $700) per person.

The amount of compensation varies depending upon your arrival delay and route distance.

Use our compensation calculator to determine the exact amount of the sum you can ask for flight cancellation.

What if I cancel my flight?

If you want to cancel your booked flight ticket, you are bound by the terms and conditions set out by the airline at the time of booking.

You may get a refund of the flight ticket cost. However, the fees and taxes are deducted. Some airlines deduct processing fees from the payout sum. Every airline has its own flight cancellation policy.

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