Under the regulation EC 261/2004, created by the European Union, passengers that have experienced an airline canceling their flight in the past could be entitled to compensation. This regulation states that if a flight is cancelled, passengers can claim compensation from the airline. However, if the canceled flight was due to extraordinary circumstances, including extreme weather or security risks, the airline is not responsible. As long as a canceled flight meets all the legal criteria, passengers may claim for reimbursement.
A flight is considered canceled if the plane never left the tarmac. Passengers can claim under certain circumstances. The canceled flight should have left from the EU (regardless of airline) or have been scheduled to land in the EU with a European airline. The responsible airline for the specific flight must have notified passengers of the cancellation less than 14 days before the scheduled departure date. If the passenger took an alternative flight, the new arrival time must have been significantly different from the original itinerary, and the reason for the flight cancellation cannot be because of extraordinary circumstances.
The passenger must hold a confirmed reservation for the original flight and the cancellation must have occurred within the last three years. If the canceled flight falls under all these criteria, passengers can claim up to $700 per person for flight cancellation. Also, the airline must also offer a new flight or a refund of the original flight and a return flight to the original point of departure when needed.
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AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organization, here to help air travelers secure compensation for delayed, canceled, 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 canceled 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.
Canceled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was canceled 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:
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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 Calculator.
If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:
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