A flight can be canceled for any number of reasons, but where does that leave stranded travelers for the night? Depending on the cause of cancellation, you may be entitled to a hotel stay covered by the airline.
Flight disruptions are a nuisance and a canceled flight is even worse, particularly if you are not rerouted until the following day. In this case, barring cancellation for extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather, you should expect cancelled flight hotel compensation. This rule applies if it's the first and only leg of your journey, in the case that you have missed a connecting flight due to a delay during an earlier flight, or if a subsequent leg of travel is delayed or canceled until the following day. In all these instances, airlines are required to offer overnight accommodation free of charge.
To take advantage of canceled flight hotel compensation, the best course of action is to make yourself known to your airline in order to request assistance. The airline should arrange overnight accommodations for you, as well as transportation there and back to the airport, as necessary. This applies whether or not you have already been offered refreshments or compensation. However, if your airline does not offer assistance and you cover the cost of a hotel yourself, keep a record of your receipts in order to request hotel compensation. There is an exception to this rule: under rare circumstances, airlines may decline or limit assistance in the event that it would further delay the next flight.
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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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