UK/EU flight cancellation refund

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

Did your flight get cancelled? Don't worry – there may be a refund in store for you! According to the European Flight Compensation Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, airlines regulated by this law must provide refunds and/or compensation. Don't forget to seek reimbursement for your cancelled flight. The best part about it is that these funds can be deposited directly into your bank account rather than being credited back into your account. This regulation applies to all airlines registered in the EU, EEA and the UK.

In some situations, it applies to non-European airlines, too.

To gain a deeper understanding, read this article now.

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

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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

UK/EU flight cancellation refund

In which situations are you entitled to a flight cancellation refund?

According to European regulations (Regulation EC No 261/2004 and Regulation UK261), regardless of why or when your flight was cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund.

If it’s an airline registered in the EU, EEA or the UK, the rules are very simple — you can get a refund every time your flight is cancelled. If you are flying with a non-European airline, you can get a refund only if it was a flight departing from a European airport.

In some situations, in addition to a refund, you might be entitled to European flight cancellation compensation. Read the information below to find out more.

Flight cancellation compensation or refund?

In some situations, you might be entitled to compensation.

What are you entitled to? Refund or compensation, or both?

There are two possible scenarios in these situations. You should look at when was your flight cancelled, and what was the reason why it happened (was it airline’s fault or not).

Your flight is cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip

Is your flight is cancelled less than 2 weeks before departure?

You can get: a refund or new flight + compensation

If the airline cancels your flight, they have to offer you a new replacement flight to the same destination or give you all your money back. You can choose what works best for you! If it was their fault that your flight got cancelled, then they also owe you money for the inconvenience — but only when cancellations happen within 14 days of departure. There are some exceptions like bad weather or security issues at airports; these aren't cases where you can demand compensatory payments from them.

Keep in mind that airline refunds have to be paid to your bank account. Same like the compensation. You don’t have to accept airline vouchers.

Your flight is cancelled more than 2 weeks before the trip

What if your flight is cancelled more than 2 weeks before departure?

You can get: a refund or new flight to your destination

If your flight is cancelled more than 14 days before your trip, you are not entitled to any compensation. However, European airlines must still offer a refund if you no longer wish to travel — this right of yours is independent from your airline’s refund policy. The airline has to provide either a full reimbursement for your journey or supply alternative flights to take you to your destination. Keep in mind that refunds must be paid within 7 days (to your bank account).

You don’t have to accept any vouchers from the airline.

With non-European airlines it applies only to flights from Europe.

Which airlines do EU/UK policies apply to?

Are you confused by the regulations surrounding European flight refunds?

Which airlines do EU and UK policies apply to? It’s easy.

Check your compensation online!

We can help you with your compensation claim.

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EU flight cancellation refund: FAQ

1. If my flight is cancelled, do I get a refund?

If you are flying with a European airline, then yes.

The airline must offer you a choice between a refund and a new flight. You can choose either. If you no longer wish to travel, you can accept a full refund instead of a new flight to your destination, but you can’t get both. 

You can, however, get both a full refund or new flight, and flight cancellation compensation — if your flight is cancelled less than 14 days before the trip and it’s due to the fault of the airline (including technical problems and staff shortage).

What if you have a flight operated by an airline registered outside Europe? If it’s a flight from a European airport, you might ask for a refund. Because in this case you are protected under European regulations (EU and UK air passenger rights regulations).

2. Can I get money instead of a voucher?

What if your airline is offering you a voucher instead of compensation?

The airline may attempt to offer you vouchers instead of compensation, but don't worry - you have the right to refuse them! According to EU Regulation No. 261/2004 (and the Regulation UK261), airlines have to provide a payment via bank transfer, if that’s what you want to proceed with. So if your airline tries pushing a voucher in lieu of your rightful refund, feel confident that you can say no without consequence!

If you've already been offered a voucher, request to receive your refund directly back onto your bank card. There must be an option to receive money back to the same bank card.

3. Is the airline refusing refund for cancellation?

What if airline refuses to refund you?

The airline may be turning down your request for a ticket refund, but remind them of their responsibility under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 (or the Regulation UK261), Articles 5 and 8. If this fails to resolve the situation, contact the national enforcement body of a country from which your flight is taking off. We, as a flight compensation company, can also assist you with claiming any due compensations if necessary.

4. Can you get both compensation and refund?

There are situations when you can get both.

If your flight is cancelled with less than two weeks before departure and the fault lies on the airline, you can receive a refund as well as compensation. The great news? Both of these reimbursements will be transferred directly to your bank account — no vouchers required! If you're already holding one, contact your airline to ask for bank transfer instead; they are obligated to switch it up unless otherwise specified by yourself.

So don't settle for anything less than what you deserve: get that full refund and compensation now! Safe travels! And no flight cancellations!

Read more:

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.

Featured photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels