What are my rights as a passenger on cancelled flights?
Flight cancellations can often be the result of unavailability of the aircraft or crew. In recent years, many airlines have reduced costs by having fewer crew and maintenance personnel on standby. In addition, they are now operating with less waiting time (the time an aircraft 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 network, which can result in flight cancellations.
Questions and answers
What compensation is guaranteed if the flight has been cancelled?
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 our claim calculator on this website.
- You will be notified then how money you can expect.
- Finally, you receive an email with a “power of attorney” letter. You sign it, send it back, 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 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 29,75% of the compensation as commission (corresponds to 25% success fee plus VAT) and transfer the rest of the money directly to your bank account!
When is a flight considered “cancelled”?
- The airline considers a flight that did not take place as cancelled.
- As a passenger, you must fulfil a number of conditions to be considered affected by a cancelled flight. Firstly, you must have booked a ticket for the particular flight with all the corresponding flight data. This is only the case where the flight number has been altered. (A delayed flight is not a cancelled flight.) Sounds complicated?
Which regulations apply for my flight if the fight leaves much earlier than scheduled?
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.
Will I receive compensation for my extra costs if I want return to the destination?
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 had cancelled my 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 during booking. This can frequently result in your costs being reimbursed entirely. However, sometimes 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 method. What must be kept in mind at all times is to check your eligibility for airline compensation as quickly as possible.
Who is entitled to compensation on a business trip?
You are travelling on business and your company has paid for the flight. Your flight fulfills the compensation claim requirements of EU Regulation 261/2004. Who is entitled to receive the compensation?
In accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004, the applicant and claimant is always the air passenger.
That means the air passenger has to create and submit the claim via refund.me and, in the first instance, has the right to receive the compensation, since he or she alone had to bear the inconvenience caused, for example, by a delayed flight. Further details in this connection are not specified in EU Regulation 261/2004.
Ultimately, whether you have to hand over the compensation payout to your employer can be governed in your employment contract.
Here, neither EU Regulation 261/2004 nor refund.me are applicable but only the “bilateral” relationship between the employee (air passenger) and employer (payer of the ticket).
Why is my claim still pending if I travelled with others?
That is a perfect question and indeed the “big mystery of claim processing”. Honestly, there is no rational explanation for that.
However, what it shows is that airlines and courts still do not organize their work most efficiently (e.g. different staff member of a claim processing department adjudicate two claims w.r.t. the same flight. Because there are large gray zones especially w.r.t. the so-called extraordinary circumstances it might happen that these two claims result in a different final verdict at very different times). But please stay relaxed: the ABL System automatically detects these inconsistencies and the refund.me Settlement Team is dedicated to resolve these situations as fast as possible.
How is the process going?
To claim your compensation after a cancelling of your flight, 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 compensation, we’ll keep 29,75% of the total amount paid (corresponds to 25% success fee plus VAT) and transfer the rest of your money directly to your bank account!
Passenger Rights for Canceled Flights
Flight cancellations can often be the result of aircraft or crew unavailability. In recent years, many airlines have been reducing costs by having fewer 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.