Flight cancellation compensation

Flight cancellations do happen. And one day it may happen to you as well. Sometimes they happen because of technical problems, other times natural disasters may be the reason why not just one but a whole lot of flights are cancelled in a particular region. What’s important, though, is that whenever that happens and it’s the airline’s fault, you may be entitled to flight cancellation com-pensation of up to €600 per passenger.

Here is all you need to know about flight cancellation compensation.

Am I entitled to compensation for a cancelled flight?

First things first. In most situations everyone should be able to get some sort of compensation when his or her flight gets cancelled because of the airline’s fault. Here we are going to talk about EU flight cancellation compensation, which you can get even when the airline has already given you a full refund for your cancelled flight or you’ve been taken to your destination.

The rules are as following.

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

  • 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 not more 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 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 not more 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.

What else:

  • You must be flying to or from Europe*.
  • If you are flying from a country outside the European Union your flight must be with a European airline.
  • You don’t have to be a citizen of the European Union to be entitled to European flight cancellation compensation.

It does include only situations when flight cancellation is the airline’s fault. 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.

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 may be entitled to compensation.

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.

Don’t worry, if we find out that you aren’t eligible for compensation, it will cost you nothing.

If you want to learn more about flight cancellation compensation (and not only), you can read EU flight compensation regulation 261/2004 (EC 261). But be prepared that it’s gonna be a long read. And not an easy one.

* In this case, Europe means all EU Member States and Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

EU flight cancellation compensation: Basics

But how much can I claim? The exact amount of flight compensation varies and is based on the distance of your flight.

However, it’s not affected by the price of the flight or airline you are flying with. Yes, you can, for example, get a €250 compensation even if your flight cost only €25. And your Ryanair flight can-cellation compensation is going to be the same as your friend’s BA flight cancellation compensa-tion.

That’s assuming that you both flew about the same distance, your flights got cancelled for the same or similar reasons that are outside of the airline’s control and you weren’t notified about the flight cancellation at least 2 weeks before the scheduled date of departure. All thanks to Europe's Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 (EC 261).

How much compensation am I entitled to for a cancelled flight?

So how much exactly is your claim worth? Mostly the answer will be one of these: €250, €400 or €600. Here is how you can calculate it.

When your destination is within the European Union:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres (usually 1-2 hour long flights);
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the European Union:

  • €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.

Exception. When the distance of your flight is 3500 kilometres or more and you reach your destination with a delay between 3 - 4 hours, you are entitled to compensation of €300. That’s in case you agree to alternative flight offered by the airline.

How to claim compensation for a cancelled flight?

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. Unfourtunately mostly it's way more difficult. Because airlines don’t want to pay. They most probably will offer you compensation in the form of vouchers or discount codes. And you also never know how long is it going to take.

Another option - to seek legal represenation. To put it simply, ask someone more experienced (e.g. Refundor) to claim flight compensation on your behalf.

When working with us all you have to do is fill in our claim form and upload your boarding pass or ticket. And that’s it. We’ll take it from there. Later when we are done we’ll ask you to provide your bank account details, so we can send you your funds by bank transfer. As easy as that.

Why work with Refundor

Because it makes things just so much easier. Here is how:

  1. It will save your time. In most of the situations all you have to do is to submit your information once and… wait for the money. That’s it.
  2. It will save your money. Would you sooner or later decide to search for legal advice or help to make a claim against the airline, you’ll have to cover all the related expanses yourself. How much that’s gonna cost you? It depends on a variety of things. But with us you pay only 25% of the amount of the compensation. No administration fees or tax expenses. No upfront fees.
  3. Zero risk. It will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some rea-son. No win, no fees.

Let’s work together! Click here, 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 have to tell us your bank account details and we’ll make the money transfer. Deal?

Claiming compensation for a cancelled flight: Frequently asked questions

How long does it take?

It may take a while, in some cases even 2-3 months. But 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.

Why does it take so long? A short answer would be - because no one has told airlines how quickly they should respond to such a claim. So, yes, it may take a while. Depending on what time of year it is, which airline you're claiming compensation from and, of course, the number of other people doing the same at the same time.

Speaking of the factors we can control, to achieve the best and fastest results at Refundor we use computer system that allows us to automate one big part of the process. Meaning that your claim can be sent to the airline much faster than if the whole process would be done by a human.

How much does it cost?

We pursue your compensation for a 25% fee.

No hidden administration fees or tax expenses. No upfront fees.

For example, if we will win a 400 EUR compensation for you, we will transfer you 300 EUR and keep 100 EUR for our services. Sounds fair?

At the same time it will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. No win, no fees.

What if you can’t get my compensation?

It’s a possibility.

As already mentioned, it will cost you nothing. No matter the reason.

How far back can I claim flight cancellation compensation?

There is no one answer to the question how far back can you claim for flight cancellations. It varies from country to country. Mostly it’s at least 2-3 years.

Step by step: 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 that often it’s still likely that sooner or later you are going to experience it yourself. What happens if flight is cancelled? And what should you do next? Follow these steps.

  1. Don’t stress over it. Flight cancellations happen. It’s just how it is.
  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.
  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.
  4. Know your rights. As long as the cancellation is the airline’s fault (including technical problems) you must be offered a choice between a new flight at the earliest opportunity, a new flight at a later date and a full refund for the part of the journey not made. As well as you can also claim for compensation.
  5. Make a decision. If it’s not the airline’s fault and there are no any options offered, look for the possible solutions yourself. If it’s the airlines fault - see what exactly is your airline offering and make a choice between a new flight and a refund.

What else you should know:

  1. Do you have a next flight that you can’t miss? If it’s a connecting flight (note that two or more separately booked flights doesn’t mean “connecting flight” here) 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.
  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.
  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. Ask for it!

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.

Submit your claim for flight cancellation compensation now.


Have you ever had your flight delayed? Click here to learn more about flight delays & what are your rights in this case.

In short - often you can get both a new flight (if necessary), which can be another flight operated by your airline or you may be offered to fly with another airline at no extra cost to you, and you can also claim for compensation. If in the end you reach your final destination 3 or more hours later than initially planned.

Has something like this happened to you recently or during the last 3 years? Submit your claim for airline compensation now.