Passenger Rights for Flight Cancellations
Flight cancellations can often be the result of aircraft or crew unavailability. In recent years, many airlines have been reducing costs by having less crew and maintenance staff on standby. Additionally, they are now operating with less turnaround time (the time an airplane spends at an airport). That means that even the slightest problem with an aircraft or crew can cause a chain reaction across the entire airline’s network potentially resulting in cancelled flights.
Compensation for a flight cancellation is guaranteed by European Passenger Rights Regulation EC 261/04.
Based on certain conditions, it entitles passengers to up to €600 for a cancelled flight. In case of flight cancellation, the airline must provide an alternate flight. Depending on when the passengers were informed of the cancellation, if the itinerary suffers significant changes, passengers may be entitled to a cash refund of up to €600. Depending on other conditions (such as when the replacement flight arrives compared to originally scheduled), the flight cancellation compensation may be reduced by 50%.
If extraordinary circumstances occurred, such as a strike or general grounding of flights by authorities, the airline will be exempt from paying the refund. Additionally, if passengers are informed of the flight cancellation 14 days or more in advance, they will not be entitled to cancelled flight compensation.
Extraordinary circumstances apart, EU 261/04 also covers missed connections, flight delays and overbooking that have occurred in the last two years. Like with flight cancellations, you may be entitled to up to €600 if you reach your destination three or more hours after schedule.
Please note: It is crucial you stay at your gate after being informed of your flight’s cancellation. This way you will be aware of any change in circumstance or alternatives provided by the airline, such as a replacement aircraft. If you miss the airline’s suggested alternatives your right to cancelled flight compensation is lost.
Get an expert to help
In the absence of exceptional circumstances, air passenger rights Regulation EU 261/2004 stipulates that compensation is due in the event of a flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding due to overbooking. If you were affected by a cancelled flight and want to file a claim for cancelled flight compensation with the help of refund.me, please take the following steps:
- Enter the flight data of your cancelled flight into the claim calculator found on our website.
- You will be notified immediately how much you are owed.
- Now sign a power of attorney and we will take care of the rest on your behalf.
We will contact the airline in question. If an airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation, we will take the claim to court, at no extra cost to you. Our Europe-wide network of passenger rights lawyers has a proven track record in obtaining cancelled flight compensation from airlines for our clients.
Once the airline has paid out your cancelled flight compensation, we’ll keep our sector-low commission starting at only 25 per cent and transfer the rest of your money directly to your bank account!
FAQ: Compensation for a cancelled flight
- When is a flight considered cancelled?
With a flight cancellation one must take two parties into consideration. The airline considers a flight that did not take place as cancelled. As a passenger, one must fulfil a number of conditions to be considered affected by a cancelled flight. Firstly, one must have booked a ticket for the particular flight in question with all the corresponding flight data. A delayed flight is not a cancelled flight! This is only the case where the flight number has been altered.
- My flight time was moved forward. Which regulations apply?
If your flight departs much sooner than the originally scheduled time, this is also considered a cancellation. In such a case, you are also eligible for cancelled flight compensation.
- I was placed on a substitute flight headed to my original destination, yet a different airport of that city (for example, to Berlin Schönefeld as opposed to Berlin-Tegel). Will I be be remunerated for any costs incurred, if I wish to (or have to) return to the destination airport originally booked?
Yes. If there are several airports in one region the travel cost for this journey must be covered by the airline. The airline is even required to pay you if you wish to travel to another airport nearby. You should however discuss the details of your airline compensation with the responsible airline representatives.
- What happens, if I cancel my own flight?
If you chose not to board a flight you had booked, you are bound by the terms and conditions set out by the airline at the time of booking. This can frequently result in your costs being reimbursed entirely. However, at times only a small portion, i.e. the fees and taxes, are reimbursed. Some airlines deduct processing fees from the payout sum – each airline has its own method. What must be kept in mind at all times is to check your eligibility for airline compensation as quickly as possible.
To claim your cancelled flight compensation with refund.me, simply submit your flight information on our website. You can find out right away how much you may be owed. You’ll then simply have to sign and upload a Power of Attorney and we’ll get the process underway. We’ll first try to settle directly with the airline, but if it refuses to pay, we’ll take your case to court at no extra fee. With our Europe-wide network of passenger rights lawyers, we have proved successful in winning airline compensation for our clients time and again.
Once the airline has paid out your cancelled flight compensation, we’ll keep our sector-low commission of only 25% (+VAT) and transfer the rest of your money directly to your bank account!