Rights when cancelled
Was your flight cancelled? Read about your rights to receive compensation here


You may be entitled to compensation if your plane was cancelled. Airline passengers are entitled to compensation of up to EUR600/£540 if there is a flight cancellation, which is not due to "exceptional circumstances." However, airline passengers are not entitled to compensation if the airline has announced the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled departure time, or the airline has offered alternative routing options within a reasonable time frame.

If you are in doubt whether your flight has been cancelled in a reasonable timeframe or by "exceptional circumstances," you can determine the status by entering your travel information in our calculator. You will then be provided with an immediate response, answering whether you are entitled to compensation for flight cancellation, and if so, the amount you can expect to receive.

Lang ventetid i lufthavnen ved aflyst fly

Long waits can occur when your flight is cancelled, but how much are you entitled to receive in compensation?


Compensation for flight cancellation


You may be entitled to receive compensation if your plane has been cancelled as a course of non-exceptional circumstances such as technical problems.  If you're arriving 2 hours later than the scheduled time of arrival as per your itenerary, in general you are entitled to receive compensation even though the airline carrie out repairs or find a new plane that you can board soon afterwards.


It is important to be aware that cancellation will not qualify for compensation if you reach your destination less than 2 hours after you original scheduled arrival time. The following criteria measure the actual arrival time: the plane has landed, the doors have opened, and passengers have been allowed to leave the plane.


Please note that several airlines measure the actual arrival time as "touchdown" or when the aircraft has arrived at the gate or parking position. However, with regards to your legal right to compensation, the above listed

criteria take precedent.

Statute of limitations when seeking compensation for flight cancellations


If you have experienced a flight cancellation within the last three years, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the loss of time you have suffered due to the cancellation. Since the statute of limitations for these types of cases in some countries including the UK is three years, it can often pay to follow up on a cancellation that has happened some time ago. The three-year limitation period also applies to your rights in case of flight delays.

Note that if you reside in another country, the statute of limitations for compensation may be shorter or longer. We are happy to advise you on the applicable rules for your country of residence.

Cancellation of flights due to exceptional circumstances


Passengers are not entitled to compensation under EC 261/2004 if the cause of a flight delay is exceptional circumstances not created by the airline, and the airline has taken all reasonable measures necessary to attempt to correct the issue.

Exceptional circumstances include the following:

  • Labour strike (planned as well as spontaneous)
  • Unusual weather conditions (weather which reduces visibility and presents a safety risk)
  • Terrorist/military action (an event which constitutes a threat to the general welfare)
  • Curfew/flight ban at the airport
  • Acute illness or illness of passengers

Passengers should be aware that airlines sometimes qualify a reason for the delay as an "exceptional circumstance," although the reason does not qualify as an "exceptional circumstance." This is done as an attempt to avoid the compensation obligation of the airline. Are you unsure whether an exceptional circumstance was the reason for the cancellation of your flight? Create a case at Refundmore, and we will evaluate and investigate whether there was an exceptional circumstance at no cost to you.

How much compensation are you entitled to receive?


If a passenger's flight is cancelled, the passenger has the choice between a refund of the ticket price (if the flight no longer serves any purpose for the passenger), or a new ticket to the original destination at the earliest opportunity. If the passenger opts to re-book for departure at a later date, the passenger is entitled to do so as long as there is a seat on the selected flight.


Per EC 261/2004, passengers have the right to be compensated for meals, hotel accommodation, transport between hotel and airport, and two telephone calls if they experience a flight cancellation. The airline is required to make the above services/items available free of charge to passengers. If a customer is not offered meals, accommodation, etc. after the cancellation of a flight, and the customer incurs extra costs due to flight cancellations, the customer can seek reimbursement for meals, hotel costs, etc. refunded by the airline. Have you incurred additional expenses related to a cancellation? Be sure to save your receipts and submit them to Refundmore with your claim.

It is important to bear in mind that airlines are required to cover passengers' meal expenses, hotel costs, etc., even if a flight is delayed by exceptional circumstances, which do not entitled passengers to compensation under EC 261/2004. Are you unsure about your right to recover additional expenses due to a cancelled flight? Fill out our online form, or call (0044) 0333 4040 999 and our Customer Service will assess whether you are entitled to compensation for expenses caused by a flight delay.


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