It is a pain: Airlines cancel flights – more often and with short notice. If your flight has been cancelled, you are not only entitled to alternative transport, but also to compensation. But only ten percent of all flight passengers are aware of this. That’s why we explain to you the most important points about how to claim your compensation.
- When is a flight “cancelled”?
When a flight is cancelled, you have to look at two sides of the story: For an airline, a flight is considered cancelled if no aircraft departs for this specific destination on this specific date with this specific flight number. As a passenger, “your flight” was “cancelled”, if you have a valid ticked for exactly this flight on exactly this date when it does not take place.
- When am I eligible for compensation when my flight is cancelled?
In case your flight is cancelled, the airline is obliged to offer a comparable alternative flight. Depending when the airline notifies a passenger about a flight cancellation and how much the new itinerary differs from the original itinerary, passengers are additionally entitled to claim 600 Euros compensation – as “damages”. However, depending on other criteria, e.g. the difference between the arrival time of the original booking and the alternative flight, the cash refund may be reduced by up to 50 percent.
- My flight schedule has moved forward, my flight departs earlier. What does that mean for my claims?
If your flight does not depart as scheduled but significantly earlier, i.e. the arrival time is more than two hours earlier than originally scheduled, then the flight is also considered cancelled. In such a case you are also eligible for compensation.
- When am I NOT eligible for compensation?
Under extraordinary circumstance – strikes or bad weather – the airline is not obliged to pay compensation.
If the airlines informs the passengers at leas 14 days before the scheduled departure about the cancellation of the flight, there is no claim to compensation.
However, if there are no extraordinary circumstances, EU regulation 261/2004 secures compensation also retrospectively – in the UK, your claim is limited to six years after the scheduled date of the flight.