Under EU law, passengers are entitled to as much as £520 compensation if their flights are cancelled. Once you have confirmed that your flight fits the criteria for a compensation-worthy cancellation, EC 261 guarantees that airlines must offer you three options, either: a full or partial refund of your ticket and a return to your point of departure if needed, the next available alternative mode of transport, or a completely new ticket for a later flight, the date of which you can choose subject to availability of flights. The next section will explain how to claim compensation for a cancelled flight.
In the event that your flight is cancelled, ensure that you follow all of these steps as airlines may try to reject or at least reduce your claim entitlements if you do not have sufficient evidence. First up, collect proof that the flights have been cancelled. This can take the form of a boarding pass or other travel documents. Gather everything you can and store it safely.
You should also request written confirmation of the cancellation from the airline. You can do this at the same time you request either a new flight or a refund. If you go with an alternate flight, note the actual arrival time to help in any later interactions with the airline. You can ask the airline to cover things like unplanned meals, hotel rooms, and other unexpected expenses so keep your receipts but never sign anything that waives your rights in exchange for things of this nature.
AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organisation, here to help air travellers secure compensation for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights .
We make claiming compensation easy and stress-free. Whether you are unsure of your rights, lack the time, or simply want an expert to handle your entire claim for you, AirHelp can help you get what you are rightfully owed.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis, so you can check your compensation risk-free.
How do you know when you should claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight? Though the law can be complicated, we're here to break it down for you:
Delayed flights: you may be able to claim compensation if your flight arrived 3 hours or more late.
Cancelled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was cancelled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
Overbookings: you are owed compensation any time you are denied boarding through no fault of your own — so long as you didn't voluntarily give up your seat.
We should note that if extraordinary circumstances were involved, arirlines are under no obligation to pay compensation. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include bad weather, travel restrictions, and air traffic control strikes. Though these situations cause delays and cancellations, the airline isn't at fault, so can't be expected to offer compensation.
Remember these are European flight regulations and so only apply to flights departing from an EU airport, or flights landing in the EU with a European airline. The table below makes it clear which flights are covered:
|All flights under 1,500 km||Up to £220 per person|
|Internal EU flights over 1,500 km||Up to £350 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km||Up to £350 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km||Up to £520 per person|
Table shows values in € as specified in EC 261
In some circumstances the compensation amount may differ from the standard amounts shown above. The easiest way to find out what you’re owed is to use our Compensation Check.
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