UK/EU flight cancellation compensation

This is a guide to UK/EU flight cancellation compensation.

Sometimes flights get cancelled because of technical problems, other times - because of natural disasters, and there are many more reasons why flights get cancelled. Whenever that happens and it’s due to airline’s fault, you may be entitled to flight cancellation compensation up to €600 per passenger.

This applies to most flights to and from Europe.

Check your compensation online.

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UK/EU air passenger rights

Air passenger rights are almost identical in the EU, EEA and UK.

That's why we may refer to them simply as European air passenger rights, and use terms like European flight compensation and European flight compensation regulation. We may also use a word Europe to refer to this whole region, where the flight compensation regulations EC 261/2004 and UK261 are in effect (both of them are almost identical).

  • With European airlines these rules apply to all flights to and from Europe
  • With non-European airlines - flights departing from Europe

1. UK/EU flight cancellation compensation: Rules

The compensation rules in Europe are very simple.

The rules are as following.

1.1 You're notified 7-14 days in advance

If you are notified of the cancellation between 7 - 14 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 2 hours before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 4 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

If you reach your destination 4+ hours late, you are entitled to UK/EU flight cancellation compensation. Even though, you've been taken to your destination at no extra cost for you. In fact, it's airline's obligation to take you to your destination (by providing a new, free flight).

1.2 You're notified less than 7 days in advance

If you are notified of the cancellation less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 1 hour before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 2 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

If you reach your destination 2+ hours late, you are entitled to UK/EU flight cancellation compensation. Even though, you have been given a new flight to your destination for free.

As you can see, sometimes even a 2-hour flight delay is enough to get compensation. It's enough for you to be 2 hours late to be entitled to UK/EU flight compensation. That's why it's so important to pay attention to these small and seemingly insignificant details.

Find out if you are eligible for UK/EU flight cancellation compensation Check your flight

EU Flight Compensation Rules - SUMMARY

Just a quick reminder - here we are talking about UK and EU flight cancellation compensation. This is the compensation you can get even when the airline has already given you a full refund for cancelled flight or you’ve been taken to your destination. Because that's the rules in the European Union, EEA and UK - you can get both a flight or refund and compensation. We work also with EEA and UK claims.

1.3 Other things to take into account

Rules are similar with delays and overbooking.

EU flight compensation basics:

  1. It applies to all flights with European airlines. If your flight is with a European airline, these rules apply to all flights. You can get compensation also when flying, for example, from New York or Istanbul to Paris. The same rules apply to all UK airlines and UK flights.
  2. It applies also to many flights with non-European airlines. If you're flying with a non-EU airline, these rules apply to flights departing from European airports. At the same time, you won't be entitled to compensation for flight cancellation for a non-EU - EU flights, when flying with a non-EU / non-UK airline.
  3. All passengers are equally protected. In Europe everyone has the same rights. Hence also these rules apply to all passengers on all flights that fall under the European flight regulations. These regulations protect also tourists travelling to, from or within Europe. You don’t have to be a citizen of the EU or UK to be entitled to European flight cancellation compensation.
  4. All commercial airlines have to follow these rules. These rules apply to all commercial airlines operating in Europe. The rules are the same for low-cost airlines and full-service traditional airlines. They are the same also for charter airlines.
  5. It must be your airline's fault. This includes everything from bad planning to technical problems with aircraft, missing aircraft and staff shortage.
  6. All of this applies to EU, EEA and UK.

1.4 Extraordinary circumstances

When you can't get compensation from airline?

Situations such as natural disasters, airport staff strikes and everything else that is outside of the airline’s control are called “extraordinary circumstances” and are exempt from compensation. You can't get UK/EU flight cancellation compensation in these situations. But you should remember, that not all airport strikes are the same -- in some situations you will be entitled to compensation.

Remember - you always have a right to care.

Even in the worst cases you still have a right to care.

All passengers have a right to care from the airline.

Find out if you are eligible for EU/UK flight cancellation compensation Check your flight

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1.5 Last-minute flight cancellations

Maybe your flight got cancelled at the very last minute. Or you were informed about the cancellation a week in advance. In both situations you have the same rights. In both situations you may be entitled to compensation for cancellation.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for compensation or not, fill in our claim form, upload your boarding pass or ticket, and we'll take it from there. If we find out that you aren’t eligible for compensation, it will cost you nothing.

1.6 Am I entitled to compensation for a cancelled flight?

Can you claim compensation for cancelled flight?

Does your flight qualify for compensation?

If your flight falls under the above mentioned description - yes. Then yes, you might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation, flight cancellation refund or both.

But you still have to file a claim.

If you do nothing, in 99% of situations you'll get nothing.

Had an issue with a flight recently? You might be eligible for compensation Check your compensation

2. UK/EU flight cancellation compensation: How to claim cancellation compensation in the EU/UK/EEA?

This is the single most important step.

In order to get compensation you have to claim it. You need to get in touch with the airline and to request the compensation. Because, as we have already mentioned, if you do nothing, you will also get nothing. Unfortunately, but these things aren't done automatically, even though it would make so much sense.

How to claim EU flight cancellation compensation? UK?

2.1 How to claim compensation for a cancelled flight?

Here are 2 best options that you have.

One of the options is to contact the airline directly.

In a perfect world you would send an email or two to your airline and receive compensation soon afterwards. Unfortunately mostly it's way more difficult. Because airlines don’t want to pay. You may get a refusal. Or, if you're more lucky, they might offer you compensation in the form of vouchers or discount codes. Even though they know that compensation has to be paid to customer's bank account.

Another option - to seek legal representation (best option).

To put it simply, ask someone more experienced to do it on your behalf. Sounds difficult and expensive? It isn't. We offer such a service. Scroll down a little bit to see how easy it is. With us, submitting an UK/EU flight cancellation compensation claim takes less than 5 minutes. All you need is your passport or ID and one of the following - boarding pass, flight ticket or flight confirmation.

Calculate your flight compensation for free! It takes less than 2 minutes Calculate compensation

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When working with us, here is all you will have to do:

  1. Go to this page;
  2. Fill in the details about yourself and your flight cancellation;
  3. Upload your boarding pass and passport copy;
  4. Sign the claim online.

And that’s it.

You file a claim for cancelled flight. We do the rest.

If we'll need anything else, some paperwork or your signature, we'll contact you via e-mail. When we are done we’ll ask you to provide your bank account details, so we can send you your funds by bank transfer. We offer also PayPal payments.

You'll receive compensation in your bank account.

As simple as that.

2.2 Flight Cancellation Refund

Here's how it works in Europe.

It applies also to non-European airlines.

These guidelines are regulated by the law. If a flight is cancelled, airline should offer you a choice between two options - new flight or full refund to your bank account. You can choose either option. If only one option is offered, you may still request the other option.

Here’s in an excerpt from the Regulation.

Article 5


In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall: (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8.

Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between: (a) - reimbursement within seven days (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity.

Re-routing in this case means a new flight.

Anyway, you should be given a choice.

Taking a cancellation refund? It must be paid within 7 days.

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3. How much can you claim for cancellation?

The amount of flight cancellation compensation varies.

Mostly it's based only on the distance of your flight.

However, it's not affected by the price of the flight or airline you are flying with. For example, you can get a €250 compensation even if your flight cost only €25. And your Wizz Air flight cancellation compensation is going to be the same as your friend’s BA flight cancellation compensation. Assuming that both of you’re flying on the same route, the distance is the same, your flights get cancelled due to the same or similar reasons that are within the airline’s control and you are notified about the flight cancellation only 2 weeks or less before the scheduled date of departure.

All thanks to Europe's Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004.

3.1 How much can you claim for a cancelled flight?

Mostly you can claim €250, €400 or €600 for a cancelled flight.

Here is how you can calculate it.

When your destination is within the EU/UK/EEA:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres;
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the EU/UK/EEA:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres;
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is between 1500 - 3500 kilometres;
  • €600 - if the distance of your flight is more than 3500 kilometres.

The rules are the same for all passengers. No matter the age, nationality, airline, price of the ticket or travel insurance. Your under 2 years old can receive full flight compensation, too. The latter applies also in situations when you haven't booked a separate seat for your kid.

3.2 Exception (you can receive only 50%)

There is one exception when it comes to compensation amounts.

The exception applies to long-haul flights of more than 3500 kilometres. These usually are at least 4-5 hours long flights. In this case, if you reach your destination with a delay between 3 - 4 hours, you will be entitled to compensation of €300. That’s in case you agree to alternative flight offered by the airline. If you take a refund - you'll be entitled to €600 and refund.

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4. Why work with Refundor?

Because it makes things much easier.

Here are three of the top reasons to work with us.

4.1 It saves your time. Significantly

First of all, it saves your time. Significantly.

In most situations, when working with us, all you have to do is to submit your flight information once and wait for the money. Just fill in our EU/UK flight cancellation compensation form, and wait. We do the rest. No negotiations. No emails from airline. No wasted time looking for the right EU flight compensation claim form.

One claim form, and less than 5 minutes of your time.

4.2 It saves your money

Secondly, we have a simple and honest pricing.

Working with airlines is hard at the best times. Now, in the post-2020 world, it has gotten only harder. And legal services and legal consultantions are costly. Would you sooner or later decide to search for legal advice to make a flight cancellation claim against the airline, you’ll have to cover all the related expanses yourself. No matter the outcome of the legal actions. How much does it cost? It depends from a lot of factors.

At the same time, with us you pay only if we win.

Our fee is €25 + 25% of the amount of the compensation. No administration fees or tax expenses. There are no upfront fees.

4.3 It saves your nerves

Last but not least, it's zero risk for you.

It will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. No win, no fees.

Let's work together?

Click here. That is our claim form.

Enter all the information asked, all of what you can find on your boarding pass and flight ticket. And we’ll get the ball rolling. When we finish the job, you’ll just tell us your bank account details. And we’ll make the money transfer.

Does that sound complicated? It isn't.

Had an issue with a flight recently? You might be eligible for up to 600€ compensation Check your compensation

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5. Flight cancellations due to extraordinary circumstances

Extreme weather conditions.

Airport employee strikes or national strikes.

Or a global pandemic after all.

All kind of unexpected things happen, have happened and will happen. And there are a few things you need to remember about these kind of situations, when a flight or flights get cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. And when it isn't your airline's fault.

The most important thing - your airline should handle this.

If it's a EU/UK flight, the rules are very specific.

According to the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, if your flight is cancelled, the airline should offer you either a new flight or a full refund. You may choose whatever suits you the best. Every passenger has a right like this. If you choose refund, know that it should be paid within 7 days to your bank account.

It must be a choice - new flight or refund to bank account.

You don't have to accept coupons if you don't want to.

In Europe you also have a right to care. So, yes, even if your flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances, you are still protected by the laws of the European Union. The laws are generally the same also in the UK and with UK airlines.

Airport strike - Men in uniforms

6. Claiming compensation for a cancelled flight: Frequently asked questions

Most of the following is gonna be more relevant if you work with us. If you decide to make a claim yourself, it will depend from situation to situation, your experience with law, and also from your experience in dealing with similar matters.

Here are some of the most popular questions we're receiving.

6.1 How long does it take until you get flight compensation for cancellation?

On average it takes 2-3 months, sometimes - more.

When will you receive compensation?

It will happen as soon as the airline makes a payment.

You can rest assured, because we do finish every case we start, and whenever there will be any news regarding your claim we will let you know. And if you'll have questions during the process, you can always contact our customer support team via e-mail or Facebook.

In what situations does it take longer?

If the case has to be taken to court, NEB or both. Because working with government and law institutions always is a time-consuming process. Usually it adds extra 2-3, sometimes 6+ months to the whole process.

6.2 Will you take my flight compensation case to court on my behalf?

Yes, we do that as well.

The whole compensation claim process usually looks like this - we first start by reaching out to an airline and initiating a negotiation process; if it doesn't work, we take a case to NEB; and the last step is court. The sooner airline agrees and makes a payment, the sooner you receive the money.

6.3 What airlines does Refundor work with?

We work with following types of airlines (from around the world):

Here's a list of some of the most popular airlines that we work with. We work also with airlines not listed on this page. Just fill in our claim form and we'll get back to you. UK/EU regulations applies to all airlines operating flights from or to Europe.

Euro bills

6.4 How much does it cost?

We pursue your compensation for a €25 + 25% fee.

No hidden administration fees or tax expenses. No upfront fees. For example, if we'll win a 400 EUR compensation for you, we will transfer you 275 EUR and keep 125 EUR for our services. You pay our fee only if you're receiving the UK/EU cancelled flight compensation.

At the same time it will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. If, for example, the airline goes bankrupt or if it turns out you aren't entitled to it. No win, no fees.

6.5 How far back can you claim cancelled flight compensation?

It varies from country to country.

There is no one answer to the question how far back can you claim for flight cancellations. It depends from the local laws of the country your flight is from. But mostly it’s at least 2-3 years. What matters in this case are the aviation laws of the country you are flying from / were planning to fly from.

6.6 The new flight was only the next day, I had to book an accommodation for the night. Can I claim extra expenses with you?

Yes, you can claim extra expenses with us.

As you may already know, in some situations airlines are obliged to take care of their passengers. That includes long flight delays and last-minute flight cancellations. And if they fail to deliver that, you can cover these extra expenses yourself, and later file a claim.

We talk more about right to care further below.

6.7 What if you can’t get my compensation?

It’s a possibility.

As already mentioned, it will cost you nothing.

No matter the reason.

Entering a hotel room

7. Right to care from airline

Long waiting often means that you have a right to care.

Most of the above mentioned on this page is possible thanks to the EU regulation 261/2004 and UK Regulation 261. The same regulations also give you right to care from airlines. If your flight is cancelled last-minute or heavily delayed, no matter the reason of that, you have a right to care from your airline.

Generally speaking (there are exceptions):

  • If it's a 3-hour wait, you have a right to food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time. Mostly airlines provide that in a form of coupons that you can exchange at the airport cafes and shops.
  • If it's more than 3 hours and if it's overnight, you have a right to free hotel accommodation. Airline has to provide both a room and free transfer to and from the hotel. You also have a right to at least one meal and some drink.

Contact your airline to request this.

Or, if it's impossible, pay for the services yourself and afterwards request a reimbursement. Don't go overboard by booking yourself a luxury stay, though - most likely you won't get reimbursed for that.

Flight information screen at the airport

8. What to do if your flight is cancelled?

Unfortunately, but flight cancellations happen more or less every day.

So even if you don’t fly too often it’s still likely that sooner or later you are going to experience flight cancellation yourself. What happens if flight is cancelled? And what should you do next? See our step-by-step guide to cancellations.

Step 1 - Don’t stress over it

Flight cancellations happen.

It’s just how it is.

Step 2 - Where are you right now?

If you are already at the airport - go and talk with a representative of your airline, ask at the airport information desk or wait for the announcement. If you are still at home - stay there before you find out what’s going to happen next.

There likely will be a new flight, but it may depart only the next day. Hence it's important to contact the airline first.

Step 3 - Listen to what your airline is saying

Whenever there is a flight cancellation, it’s your airline’s responsibility to inform you about it. Read that email or listen to that announcement carefully, so you know what to do next. Get in touch with the airline if you aren’t sure about something.

Step 4 - Know your rights under EC261/UK261 (EU and UK regulations)

If the flight is from or to the EU or UK, you must be offered a choice between a new flight at the earliest opportunity, a new flight at a later date or a full refund. You can also claim for flight cancellation compensation, if it's airline's fault.

Things like technical problems are considered airline’s fault.

Step 5 - Make a decision

Weight all the options and make a decision.

See what exactly is your airline offering and make a choice. Choose what suites you the best.

Read more: What to do if your flight is cancelled?

Submit your claim for flight cancellation compensation now.

Other Things to Take Into Account

What else you should know:

  1. Do you have a next flight that you can’t miss? If it’s a connecting flight, and because of this cancellation you are going to miss the next flight, don’t worry, because the airline will take care of that and most probably will put you on another flight for free. If, however, you have a very strict schedule, look for an alternative flight or flights to your destination. And if you decide so, book a new flight. Note that two or more separately booked flights isn’t a connecting flight, but a self-transfer flight.
  2. After 3 hours. If you have to wait for more than 3 hours the airline must provide you with free meal and drink plus two free phone calls, two e-mails or faxes. In Europe that's called the right to care. All passengers have a right to care.
  3. An overnight delay. In case of an overnight delay, when you choose a flight offered by your airline that’s going to leave only on the next day, the airline must provide you with free hotel accomodation and transport to and from it. That's a part of the above mentioned right to care.

How to get a free meal and drink? What about free hotel if it’s going to be an overnight delay? Wait for the announcement from your airline or head over to their information booth at the airport and they will help you. They should help you.

Passengers on the plane

Have you ever had your flight delayed?

Learn more about UK/EU flight delay compensation.

In short - mostly you have a right both to be taken to your destination and flight compensation from airline. That’s if in the end you reach your final destination 3 or more hours later than initially planned, and if it's due to airline's fault.

Has something like this happened to you?

Submit your claim for airline compensation now.

To learn more about the topic, read the regulation we're referring to, here. But be prepared that the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 (EC 261) is a long read. Click here to see our summary of the same European flight compensation law. See our summary of the Regulation UK261 here.

By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.