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Compensation After Helsinki Airport Flight Cancellations and Delays

When your travel plans are ruined by issues like Helsinki Airport flight cancellations or delays, you'll be glad to know that there are laws in place that protect passengers. A European law, EC 261, means that you might be owed up to US$700 per person to make up for the disruption. Find out what you're entitled to.

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Air Passenger Rights at Helsinki Airport

Helsinki Airport (HEL) is located within the zone covered by EC 261 - that is EU and EEA countries, as well as the 'outermost regions' which include Guadeloupe, Réunion, and the Canary Islands. That means that any passenger departing from Helsinki Airport may be entitled to up to US$700 compensation when flights are delayed or canceled. And in some cases when there are similar problems on flights to Helsinki too.

If you did experience Helsinki airport delays or cancellations, you usually have up to 3 years to claim your compensation.

Which Flights are Covered by EC 261?

Route EU Airline Non-EU Airline
Departures from Helsinki Airport ✔️ Yes ✔️ Yes
Arrivals at Helsinki Airport ✔️ Yes ❌ No
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Claiming Compensation for Helsinki Airport Flight Cancellations

Looking into Helsinki Airport cancellations brings up a whole range of questions for affected travelers. Under EU law, airlines must take care of their passengers, but must also get them to their intended destination, assuming the passenger still wishes to travel.

Additionally, if the airline canceled your flight less than 2 weeks before you were due to fly, you may be owed up to US$700 as well.

Passengers should be aware that there are some exceptions under EU law. One example is if Helsinki Airport had to cancel flights for a reason that was outside of the airline's control. That is classified as extraordinary circumstances and the airline won't have to pay compensation. Typical examples of extraordinary circumstances include dangerous weather conditions at Helsinki Airport, or a strike by air traffic control.

We break down the situations where you are, and aren't, in line for compensation here, but our free compensation check can also tell you in just minutes if your flight cancellation qualifies for compensation.

Compensation for Helsinki Airport Delays

Getting stuck for several hours because of delays in Helsinki Airport isn't just frustrating, it often costs passengers their hard-earned money. Whether that's paying for essential food and drink during your wait, or missing out on pre-planned activities thanks to a late arrival at your destination. That's why it's so important passengers are aware that they may have the right to compensation — up to US$700 per person, under EU law.

Although passengers on delayed flights from Helsinki Airport will be counting down the hours until takeoff, when it comes to claiming compensation, it's the delay getting to your destination airport that's important. The right to compensation kicks in when passengers land 3 hours or more after the scheduled time.

Air travelers should know about one key exception: flight delays as a result of extraordinary circumstances. If the flight delay was caused by bad weather conditions, an incident at the airport, or strikes by air traffic control, the airline won't pay compensation in these cases, because these are not situations that they can control.

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How Much Compensation?

Distance Compensation
All flights under 1,500 km Up to €250 per person
Internal EU flights over 1,500 km Up to €400 per person
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km Up to €400 per person
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km Up to €600 per person

While the law does contain plenty of exceptions and conditions that apply to these compensation amounts, our free Compensation Calculator will quickly tell you just what you're owed.

Cancellations at Helsinki Airport - What to Do

Delays or Helsinki Airport flight cancellations have the potential to ruin holidays. Here’s what you need to do if your flight is affected:

  • Collect proof of the delay or flight cancellation (e.g. emails from the airline, photos of the departure board).
  • Keep all your travel documents.
  • Ask your airline why your flight's been affected.
  • Ask the airline to pay for your meals and refreshments.
  • Pay attention to what the airline offers you — don't sign anything that would waive your right to compensation.
  • Keep all receipts that prove the disruption cost you extra money.
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