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Cancelled Flight Compensation

Cancelled flights are a big problem in Europe, causing travel interruptions and missed connecting flights. The ability to file a flight claim under EU 261 is meant to hold airlines accountable and provide compensation for passengers’ inconvenience. However, airlines don’t always cooperate. That’s why it’s important to have a professional like TravelRefund on your side.

Compensation for Cancelled Flights

The European Union signed legislation in 2004 that provides cancelled flight compensation under certain circumstances. Under Regulation 261 (most often known as EU 261), passengers are entitled to compensation for cancelled flights or flights that are delayed more than 3 hours. Cancelled flight compensation can include a reimbursement for the cost of your ticket, plus additional payment up to €600.

If your flight is cancelled and you choose to take the next available flight, you may also be entitled to additional benefits while you wait. This can include meals and beverages within the airport, as well as overnight accommodation and transportation to and from the airport.

Not all passengers are entitled to cancelled flight compensation. In order to file a claim for a cancelled flight, you must be:

  • flying to or from the EU and
  • on an airline that is headquartered in the EU.

It’s important to note that in the event of a cancellation, the airline must be responsible for the cancellation, for example, due to mechanical issues or staffing problems
– cancellations due to weather and certain other circumstances are not eligible.

Flight claim eligibility also depends on when the next available flight lands at the destination. If you arrive no more than 2 hours later despite your cancelled flight, you may not be eligible for compensation. And if you are notified more than 14 days in advance, you’re also not eligible. Take a look at the table below to see various scenarios in which you could be eligible.

You Are Notified…
And Your Alternative Flight Lands…
Are You Eligible?
Less than 14 days prior
No alternative flight is proposed
7 – 14 days prior
Less than 4 hours later
7 – 14 days prior
More than 4 hours later
0 – 7 days prior
Less than 2 hours later
0 – 7 days prior
More than 2 hours later

You can read more about whether you’re eligible to file a flight claim on our flight cancellation rights page.

Compensation by Flight Distance

Once you’ve determined whether you’re eligible, you probably want to know, “How much cancelled flight compensation can I claim?” The answer is that it depends on the distance of your flight. The logic is that the longer you flight, the more inconvenienced you will be by a cancellation, and therefore, the more compensation you’re entitled to. Here’s what you could receive when you file a claim for a cancelled flight:

  • Flight distance: 1,500km or less. Compensation: €250.
  • Flight distance: Between 1,500km and 3,500km. Compensation: €400.
  • Flight distance: More than 3,500km. Compensation: €600.

Your compensation doesn’t depend on how much you paid for your ticket, or whether you are travelling for work or for personal reasons. If you meet the requirements, you’re entitled to a set