Flight cancellation compensation

Flight cancellations with a notice of up to 2 weeks or even more in advance, the airline does not need to pay any compensation. Any occurrence or extraordinary factors such as a strike or general grounding, the airline is also exempt from paying any settlements as these causes are out of their hands.

What are my rights when there is a cancellation?

  • You could either get a refund or get a replacement flight
  • You could get compensation if the airline informed you 14 days or less before the flight was scheduled to depart
  • The repayment amount is between €250 and €600
  • Food and drinks courtesy of the airline after 2 hours of a delay

What should I do if my flight is cancelled?

  • Take advantage of the free food and drinks at the airport
  • Get the airline to confirm the cause of the cancellation in writing
  •  Collect proof, such as receipts of expenses, vouchers and alternative tickets

What compensation can I get for a cancelled flight?

The EU Passenger Rights Regulation entitles you to a full refund of the ticket price, or some method of different transportation. If you were informed of the flight cancellation less than 14 days before departure, you are eligible for a compensatory fund of between €250 and €600 per person, depending on the distance of the flight and the actual departure time or arrival time of the replacement flight.

In general, the earlier the airline alerts you to your rearranged flight times, the more likely it is that the new flight times differ from the original flight without the airline having an obligation to compensate you. The price you paid for your ticket has no relevancy to your claims, and passengers who ordered package holidays are also able to claim.

Notification prior to departure Alternative flight lands at the destination Right to compensation
More than 14 days before Departure/arrival Irrelevant
7 -14 days before Departs no more than 2 hours earlier/arrives less than 4 hours later
7 -14 days before Departs more than 2 hours earlier/arrives more than 4 hours later
Less than 7 days before Departs no more than 1 hour earlier/arrives less than2 hours later
Less than 7 days before Departs more than 1 hour earlier/arrives more than 2 hours later
Less than 14 days before No alternative flight proposed

If your flight passes based on the above requirements, you have the right to compensation if the following conditions are also met:

  • The airline was responsible for the cancellation
  • You checked in for your flight on time
  • Your plane was due to depart within the EU or land in the EU, for the latter the airline needs to have its headquarters in the EU
  • You had these problems on a flight in the last 6 six years

Provided the above conditions are met, you’ll be eligible to the following compensations:

  • Short distances – up to 1500km – Passengers are entitled to €250 compensation
  • Medium distances – Between 1500km and 3500km – Passengers are entitled to €400 compensation
  •  Long distances – More than 3500km – Passengers are entitled to €600 compensation

Cancellations: Ticket refund or replacement flight?

Airlines are required to inform you of a canceled flight as quickly as possible and must also offer you a replacement flight. Even if you are not entitled to compensation (e.g. the airline informed you more than 2 weeks earlier), they must also offer you a replacement flight or refund the full price of the ticket at the price at which it was bought.

You can choose the following options:

  • Reimbursement of the initial ticket price
  • Alternative transport by air or rail within a reasonable time frame
  • Alternative transportation at a later date (depending on availability)
  • A return flight to your departure point as soon as possible

Flight cancellation as a business traveller?

If you suffered a cancellation while traveling as apart of your business you’d be the one who receives the compensation, not your employer. Likewise, if you’re going as a state official, the EU regulation states that you’ll be the one owed payment from the airline. It is the individual passenger who endured the delay who receives the benefit in return – not the person who paid for the ticket. This stands, no matter the ticket price.

Important: you can claim up to €600 in compensation, even if you have already been reimbursed for the price of your ticket. If the airline provides you with refreshment vouchers, this doesn’t alleviate their responsibility to issue your compensation.