The regulations about EU flight cancellation compensation aim to make sure travelers get the compensation they deserve if their flight is cancelled. According to EC 261/2004, the airline must give you at least 14 days' notice of a cancelled flight. If your flight is cancelled later than this, you're entitled to an alternative flight with the same airline. If this isn't provided, you qualify for a full refund. However, in either case, you can claim compensation.
Before claiming EU flight cancellation compensation, make sure the cancelation was due to circumstances within the airline's control. A claim submitted with reasons outside the airline's control, such as extreme weather, could be turned down. Be sure to call your airline and explain that your flight has been canceled before making your claim. This helps them keep track of your case and provides a basis to make sure it's honored.
When a flight cancellation causes you to wait for more than three hours or overnight, the airline should provide accommodation, meal and drink vouchers, and transportation. If you're forced to dig into your pocket to cover costs resulting from a canceled flight, the cancelation compensation policy says that you should keep receipts for all reasonable expenses.
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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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|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|
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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