Flight Cancellation: Are you entitled to a refund or compensation?
Who has experienced the nasty surprise of a flight cancellation? We know, it is never a good gift: we feel unfortunate victims of the systems and decisions of the airlines, we feel that we can do nothing to recover our right to travel and the idea of replanning everything can discourage us.
Often, if an airline cancels a flight, it does so for our own safety, facing serious economic losses itself. For example, a company can cancel a flight if there is a health, geopolitical or terrorist risk at the destination airport or in anticipation of natural disasters.
But every airline, because of a European regulation called “EC261” which protects air passengers, has an information and financial burden on passengers in the event of cancellation of flights, so we travelers are not alone in the face of an inscrutable system.
Today you will find out when you are entitled to compensation and when you are entitled to reimbursement for flight cancellations. And we’ll also tell you which are the easiest ways to get them.
Flight Cancellation Refund: when and how to get your ticket back
If your flight is cancelled for any reason more than 14 days before your departure date and you are notified through the company’s official channels (e.g. via the email address we provided at the time of booking, by phone or text message if we chose the messaging options for important communications), you are entitled to a full refund of your flight.
This refund can also be made by immediate bank transfer or check.
But beware! If you cancel your flight within 14 days you may also be entitled to a refund in addition to a refund. This, always according to the European regulations and as you can also read in the page dedicated to the differences between compensation and flight cancellation refund that AirHelp illustrates on its portal.
Because of this burden of compensation, the company may offer you an alternative flight: if you accept it, however, you will no longer be entitled to compensation.
Even if you only find out at the airport that your flight has been cancelled, so if the cancellation occurred suddenly, you are entitled to a refund at the same time directly from the company’s desk.
But be careful, because in case of last minute flight cancellation, your rights are extended.
What are you entitled to if you learn about flight cancellations at the airport?
Finding out at the airport that your flight is no longer on its way means waiting in the terminal to ask for information about what happened, to understand what you want to do and how to act.
For a start, we would like to suggest you download the App from AirHelp, the world’s leading company in the field of assistance to air passengers.
With this free App you can find out in a few minutes, entering your flight data and a few other details, what are your rights and how to proceed to claim them without stress.
A real panacea for the peace of mind of travelers!
However, it is good to know that during your stay at the airport for reasons related to misunderstandings by the airlines, we have the right to assistance. That is, we can consume drinks and food and get a refund from the company.
In addition, if we are at the airport and it is here that we have learned of the cancellation, we also have the possibility to have compensation, which starts from a minimum of 200 euros for the shortest routes and can reach up to 600 euros for intercontinental routes and longer flights.
Flight cancellation compensation: this is how much you can get and in which cases
Regardless of the policies implemented by individual airlines, European Regulation EC 261 protects us from sudden cancellations for flights within the European Union including the outermost regions of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Martin, the Azores and Madeira, and the Canary Islands.
Know that you are entitled to compensation in the event of:
- Cancellation without notice through official channels of the company that we have described in the previous paragraphs;
- Cancellation due to staff strikes or staff shortages;
- Operating circumstances, i.e. due to the management of aircraft and airport personnel;
- Aircraft maintenance.
In short, it is possible to have compensation in proportion to the number of kilometres we would have had to cover for all cancellations for which the company is responsible.
On the other hand, we are not entitled to compensation (but only reimbursement) in the event of cancellation for exceptional circumstances, i.e. those that are independent of the company’s responsibility and linked to the safety of passengers, such as disasters and health or terrorist risks.
Have you ever learned that your flight has been cancelled? How did you react?