Flight Cancellation Compensation: Your Right to Refund
The discomfort caused by a cancelled flight may be unavoidable. However, according to EU Regulation 261/2004 (EC261), you have the right to reimbursement for the price of your journey or re-routing to your final destination.
Furthermore, if you were informed about the flight cancellation less than 14 days you may be entitled to compensation of up to €600 for your troubles. The amount depends on the distance of the flight and the delay at your final destination.
SkyRefund makes claiming your cancelled flight refund quick and easy: simply enter your flight details in our calculator and check if you are eligible!
How much compensation can I claim for my cancelled flight?
The amount of EU flight cancellation compensation is determined by the length of your journey.
With short-haul flights up to 1,500 km you are entitled to €250 in cancellation compensation. This amount increases to €400 for all intra-EU flights over 1,500 km and all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km. Finally, your cancelled flight compensation would further rise to €600 if the length of your trip exceeds 3,500 km, and if you either flew on an EU-registered airline or departed from an EU airport.
Compensation is cut in half if your flight arrives with 2,3 or 4 hours after schedule for short-/mid- and long-distance flights, respectively.
Our website provides a quick and easy way for you to check your compensation for your cancellation.
2 - 3 hours
3 - 4 hours
/ Never arrived
|€ 125||€ 250||€ 250||€ 250||All flights up to 1500 km|
|€ 200||€ 200||€ 400||€ 400||*ECAA flights of more than 1,500 km and
/all others between 1,500 and 3,500 km
|€ 300||€ 300||€ 300||€ 600||All other flights of more than 3,500 km|
* Please note: EU Regulation 261/04, which establishes the requirements for flight cancellation compensation applies to all EU countries as well as to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland and Serbia.
If my flight is cancelled can I get a refund?
To be eligible for compensation under EC261:
- your flight needs to be operated by an EU-based airline or
- to have been scheduled to depart from inside the European Union
- the airline must have notified you of the flight cancellation less than 14 days before departure
- the airline must be responsible for the disruption
If the airline fails to inform you of the cancellation at least 14 days in advance, you can claim cancellation compensation for your disruption.
In addition, if you are provided with a replacement flight which departs and lands within a reasonable timeframe compared to the original flight, the airline would not be required to pay compensation.
The following table summarizes the conditions under which airlines are released from having to pay cancellation reimbursement:
|Notice Given||Alternate Flight Requirements|
|7-13 Days||Departs no more than two hours before schedule or arrives no more than four hours after schedule|
|Less than 7 Days||Departs no more than one hour before schedule or arrives no more than two hours after schedule|
* Please note: If the airline informs you of the cancellation more than 2 weeks before the flight departure, you would not be entitled to compensation for your cancelled flight. However, your flight cancellation rights still entitle you to a full refund of your ticket or rerouting to your final destination.
Your airline cancelled: flight refund passenger rights and all you need to know.
What you should know about Flight Cancellations?
Rerouting or a Ticket Refund
What happens if your flight is cancelled and what should you expect?
In the case an airline cancels a flight, it is required to provide you with either:
- An alternate flight to their final destination at the earliest opportunity, plus reimbursement for your hotel and food expenses
- A refund of the full cost of the booking, plus a return ticket to your original point of departure if the flight cancellation occurred after the first leg of your journey
It doesn’t matter if your cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances or not. According to EU flight refund rules, if a flight is cancelled, passengers are always entitled to either an alternate flight or a reimbursement for their journey.
Note that if you are downgraded to a lower class, you could be entitled to a partial refund of the price of your original ticket.
Yet if the airline provides you with a ticket to a higher class than the originally booked, you would not be required to pay the difference.
What happens if an airline cancels flight and claims extraordinary circumstances?
Extraordinary circumstances can often be decisive when claiming compensation. This legal term encompasses events that may cause a delay or cancellation which the airline cannot ameliorate or prevent.
Naturally, carriers are required to pay out EU261 flight cancellation compensation only when the avoidance of the cancellation is within their powers, i.e. when no extraordinary circumstances were in effect.
The most common instances of extraordinary circumstances include:
Air traffic control restrictions
Civil or political unrest
Note that technical problems are not considered extraordinary, so you might be eligible to get your money back for cancelled flights in case of a technical fault.
Read more about extraordinary circumstances here.
How many flights are cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances? Sometimes it is hard to know what the reason for the cancellation really is, as passengers do not have access to air travel logs, etc. The easiest way is to use our free compensation calculator.
It is important to keep in mind that even in the event of extraordinary circumstances, passengers still have the right to rerouting or reimbursement as well as accommodation, food and drinks.
Missed Connection due to Flight Cancellation
Sometimes a flight ticket cancellation may force you to miss your next connecting flight. As with other cases of cancelled flights, you could be entitled to EU flight compensation.
There are two important considerations when connecting flights come into play. Firstly, the delay upon arrival at your final destination is what determines your right to compensation. The number of connections required to arrive does not matter.
Secondly, in order to be eligible for compensation for the cancellation, your tickets need to be on the same booking.
Learn more in our missed connection guide.
What should you do when your flight gets cancelled?
Contact the airline to ask for a replacement flight and get more information.
Keep proof of when you were informed about the cancellation - this is crucial for your compensation.
Keep your boarding pass and booking confirmation.
Note the departure and arrival times of your replacement flight.
Keep all receipts for meals, refreshments and hotel accommodation expenses.
Submit your cancelled flight compensation claim as soon as possible.
Submit your cancelled flight compensation claim as soon as possible.
SkyRefund can help you claim your EU cancellation compensation!
The process of enforcing your air passenger rights if an airline cancels flight can often be very complex and time-consuming. At SkyRefund, our mission is to assist passengers in the challenge of protecting their right in case of a flight delay, cancellation or if they are denied boarding.
With the help of our compensation calculator, you can instantly find out if you are eligible for compensation. We will handle the entire communication with the airline and take all of the necessary legal steps to help you receive your compensation. We are even ready to take the airline to court in order to ensure that you receive what is yours.
And since we work according to a “No Win, No Fee” principle, you don’t owe us anything in advance. In fact, we would only receive our fee after we have successfully claimed your cancelled flight compensation.