The EC 261/2004 is a European Union law to protect passengers' rights the event of delays or cancellations. EC 261 states that if your flight is cancelled, you may be able to claim up to $700 in compensation. If you have experienced a cancelled flight, then you should know your rights as a passenger. Luckily, AirHelp is here to help you understand them and to assist you in making a successful compensation claim.
To be eligible for compensation under EC 261 regulation, your cancelled flight must meet the following criteria. First of all, a cancelled flight must have been scheduled to depart from a European airport or have landed in Europe with a European carrier. The airline must also have notified the passengers of the flight cancellation less than 14 days before departure.
Passengers who wish to claim compensation must have a confirmed reservation for the original flight, and the flight must have occurred in the past three years. The EC 261 also states, however, that if the flight was cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances that were beyond the airline's control, such as dangerous weather or a security risk, then the airline cannot be held responsible. If your experience with a flight cancellation successfully meets all these criteria, then you may be entitled to claim up to $700 in compensation.
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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.
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AirHelp is a part of the Association of Passenger Rights Advocates (APRA) whose mission is to promote and protect passengers’ rights.
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