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Flight cancellation compensation

What options do I have if my flight is cancelled?

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Cancelled flights: Your rights

If your flight was cancelled, you may be able to claim flight cancellation compensation.

The rights of airline passenger are protected under European law and, depending on the specific circumstances of the cancellation, you are potentially eligible for a refund, an alternative flight or compensation if your flight is cancelled.

You can quickly check to see if you have a claim for cancelled flight compensation by providing us with a few details about your flight on our flight compensation claim page. It's free to check and only takes a minute.

Denied Boarding Regulation

If the airline you are travelling with is based in the EU or if you are travelling with a non EU based airline, but flying from an EU airport, you are protected by what's known as the Denied Boarding Regulation, and this is key as to whether you are eligible for compensation.

To ensure you are protected by the Denied Boarding Regulations, you must be able to answer "Yes" to all of the following questions:

  • Did you have a confirmed booking?
  • Did you check in on time (at least 45 minutes before the planned departure)?
  • Did you take off from within the EU or arrive in the EU aboard an EU based airline?

Dependant on the length of the delay and the circumstances, you could be entitled to the following:

1. A refund or alternative flight

  • If your flight is cancelled you can choose not to travel and get a refund for the cost of your ticket. If your flight is delayed by more than five hours, but has not yet been cancelled, you can also choose the option to take an alternative flight to your destination with the airline carrier.

2. Food, phone calls and accommodation

As well as alternative travel arrangements or compensation for a delayed flight, the Denied Boarding Regulation also lays out your entitlements in regards to food and drink while remaining in the airport terminal, communications and overnight accommodation if required.

What you have access to specifically depends on the length of your flight and your delay.

Are your circumstances listed below?

  • Your flight was less than 932 miles and you arrive at least two hours late

  • Your flight was within the EU and was more than 932 miles, and you arrived at your destination at least three hours late

  • Your flight was outside the EU and was between 932 and 2,174 miles and was delayed by at least three hours

  • Your flight was delayed by at least three hours

If so, you would be entitled to the following:

  • 2 free phone calls, faxes or emails

  • Free food and drink appropriate to the length of the delay

  • Free hotel accommodation and transfers if an overnight stay is required

  • You also have the option not to travel and instead receive a refund if the delay is of five hours or more, but the flight was not cancelled.

3. Flight cancellation compensation

Depending on your specific circumstances, you could be able to claim compensation up to the amounts listed in the table below. You can quickly check if you have a case for compensation and how much you might be able to claim by putting a few details about your flight into our claim form here.

 Flight distanceLength of delayCompensation available
 Up to 1,500km 3 hours or more€250 (£210)
 1,500km-3,500km3 hours or more €400 (£340)
 Over 3,500km 3-4 hours €300 (£255)
 Over 3,500km More than 4 hours

 €600 (£510)


No flight cancellation compensation in extraordinary circumstances

If the airline is able to demonstrate that the reason for the cancellation was beyond their control (extraordinary circumstances) then you will not be able to claim compensation.

Examples of what are considered 'extraordinary circumstances' are situations such as political upheaval, worker strikes or severe weather that would actually make flying dangerous for the passengers and cabin crew.

In the event of a cancellation due to 'extraordinary circumstances', you would still be entitled to receive refreshments and accommodation if required.

Cancelled flights on package tours and holidays

Passengers who have booked their flights as part of a package deal are still entitled to the same rights as regular travellers according to the Air Passenger Rights Regulation, including access to assistance at the airport and the payment of flight cancellation compensation.

Compensation payments of up to a maximum of £540 (€ 600) are available per passenger depending on the distance already travelled and the length of the delay in arriving at their final destination.



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