Flight Cancellation Refund

Flight canceled? Not to worry! There is a silver lining to a bad situation. If your flight is canceled, an EU Regulation called EC 261 works on the side of air passengers to ensure that you get a flight cancellation refund or are given an alternative flight option. And if your flight is canceled within 14 days of the scheduled departure time, you could also be eligible for up to $700 compensation.

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Rights Everyone Should Know Around Flight Cancellation Refunds

There are a number of options around flight cancellation refunds, giving you a lot to consider. If you cannot accept an alternative flight or one is not available, you will be issued a flight cancellation refund. That means a full or partial flight cancellation refund of the ticket price you originally paid. If you haven't even started your trip, you will get back a full refund of your ticket. If you're already on your way, you will be refunded for the remainder of your journey. If you have used part of your ticket, but because of the canceled flight it's no longer serving your original travel plan, you can get a refund for that used portion of the ticket too. Whenever relevant, the airline must also provide you with a return flight to the first point of departure, and at the earliest opportunity. Either way, EC 261 says you must be reimbursed within 7 days.

There are a few other things to keep in mind. Most importantly, new tickets to your final destination, flying at a later time, may also be offered, subject to availability. If you opt to receive new tickets for a later date, this journey should be offered under comparable conditions. If your flight is canceled while you are at the airport, you also have the right to care, meaning the airline must offer you communication, food and drink, and accommodation when necessary. Last but not least, if your flight was canceled with 14 days of the scheduled departure time you could be eligible for compensation. If you are not sure if you are owed compensation, you can use ou free Compensation Calculator.

AirHelp is here to help you get compensation for flight delays and cancellations. Find out what you could be entitled to.

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About AirHelp

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.


Claiming Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations

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:

Claim up to $700 in compensation if your flight has been delayed, canceled, or overbooked within the last 3 years.

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How Much Flight Compensation?

DistanceCompensation
All flights under 1,500 kmUp to €250 per person
Internal EU flights over 1,500 kmUp to €400 per person
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 kmUp to €400 per person
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 kmUp 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.


What to Do if Your Flight is Delayed or Canceled

If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, here's what you should do:

  • Hold onto your boarding pass and other travel documents.
  • Ask why the flight was delayed or canceled.
  • Request food, drinks, and if necessary, free transport and hotel accommodation.
  • If you had a canceled flight, ask for an alternative flight or a refund.
  • Keep all receipts of any extra expenses you may have had, including necessary food, clothing, etc.
  • Be careful not to sign any waivers or accept vouchers that will require you to waive your right to compensation.

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