Flight cancellation reimbursement refers to the benefits an airline owes you after a flight cancellation. However, this reimbursement only applies if the cancellation was within the airline's control, so things like bad weather and security issues are not reasons to receive reimbursement. If your flight was canceled because of overbooking, flyers' rights dictate that you're entitled to compensation, a rescheduled flight at the soonest possible time and care from your airline or a refund within seven days.
A rescheduled flight could mean being upgraded or downgraded in the class you had booked to fly in. It could also involve being booked onto a flight operated by a different airline to make sure you reach your intended destination. When the cancellation is the airline's fault, they must provide accommodation (if delayed overnight), meals, and drinks to keep you comfortable as you wait for the situation to be resolved.
The first thing you should do when your flight is canceled is to make sure you keep all your travel documents such as tickets, luggage tags and boarding passes. The airline will request these as supporting documents for your reimbursement claim. Secondly, contact the airline and explain your situation. Make sure you ask why your flight was canceled as this information will decide how much cancellation reimbursement you receive. Request the airline to reroute and give the necessary care as you wait.
Reimbursement due to flight cancellation includes any additional costs you incur as a result of the cancellation, so be sure to keep receipts for all reasonable expenses. But be careful - accepting compensation other than that stipulated by the law waives your right to receive the reimbursement.
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:
|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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