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Air France Compensation for Flight Delays, Cancellations & Refunds

Air France has bridged gaps between people and destinations around the globe since 1933. While a reputable airline, flight disruptions like delays, cancellations and overbooking can still occur. OAG ranked Air France #16 in their Largest Airlines on-time performance report for 2023, and Skytrax ranked the carrier #7 in their 2023 World Airline Awards. So, let’s explore your Air France EU261 rights so you’ll know exactly what you’re entitled to when you encounter a flight disruption.

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AirAdvisor is trusted by more than 250,000 passengers from 58 countries. In this article, we discuss Air France's stipulations regarding compensation for various common flight disruptions. We also illustrate how our expert team can aid in claiming your rightful compensation.

Air France Compensation for Flight Delays, Cancellations & Refunds
Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
Last Updated: June 19, 2024

Your Rights for Air France Flight Disruptions

If the unforeseen occurs, and your Air France flight experiences a disruption, it's essential to be aware of the entitlements you have as a passenger.

Air France EU261 Air Passenger Rights

Air passenger rights in Europe are governed by EU Regulation 261, crafted to assure fair treatment and adequate compensation for flight disruptions. These disruptions encompass delays, cancellations, and instances of overbooking. It also applies to all flights originating from within the EU, and flights arriving in the EU from abroad, provided the airline operating the flight is based in the EU.

The amount of compensation you receive hinges on both the length of the delay caused by the disruption and the flight distance.

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Passenger Rights in the UK

In the aftermath of Brexit, the United Kingdom established its own set of regulations pertaining to air passenger rights known as the UK261 passenger rights law. This legislation mirrors its EU counterpart, EU261, and offers comparable protections to passengers travelling with a UK-based airline or from an airport within the UK. These regulations also address various forms of flight disruptions, including cancellations, delays, denied boarding incidents, and missed connections.

In line with the EU regulation, the compensation provided under UK261 varies depending on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight, but it generally caps at £520 per passenger.

Air France EU261 Compensation in EU & UK

Flight Delays

Flight Cancellations

Denied Boarding

Up to €600 (£520) in monetary compensation

Care & Assistance

Up to €600 (£520) in monetary compensation

Rebooked flight OR Refund

Care & Assistance

Up to €600 (£520) in monetary compensation

Rebooked flight OR Refund

Care & Assistance

an Air France plane landing

Air France Flight Delay Compensation

Between February 25-March 25, Air France operated 43,300 flights, 22% of which were delayed by 26 minutes on average according to Airportia.

In order to be eligible for flight delay compensation from Air France, your delay must be at least 3 hours long and caused by circumstances within Air France’s control. At the same time, you will be able to get care compensation from the airline that includes food, refreshments, access to communication, and even hotel accommodation if your flight is significantly delayed until the following day, plus free transportation to and from the hotel. Care and assistance compensation will be required of the airline whether or not they are to blame for the delay.

Air France Flight Cancellation Compensation

During the same time period listed above, the carrier had a cancellation rate of 0.86%.

You have a right to cancelled flight compensation from Air France if they cancel your flight unexpectedly without a 14-day prior notification. Again, if the cancellation is caused by events outside the airline's control, then you won’t be eligible for monetary compensation, but you will still be entitled to care and assistance as we mentioned above.

Similarly, if your flight is cancelled, you will be offered the option of a replacement flight or a refund, regardless of the circumstances that disrupted your booking. It’s important to remember that if the airline is to blame for the flight cancellation, you could get the rebooking or refund as well as financial compensation.

In 2022, Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM spoke with GH-Aviation about delays and cancellations. His comments can shed light on what airlines are up against with on-time performance and what can contribute to flight disruptions.

He said, “We had staff shortages . . ., both at KLM and also with Schiphol. On top of that there was a big demand for increased salaries because of inflation. So, it all came to a head and the airport got overwhelmed and we had to make some difficult cancellations”. He went on to explain that, “Certain positions and certain support functions such as security, frontier police or any of the other support functions, there is a lack of employees who are interested in this work, and if we do finally locate or find people, there is a training delay”.

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Air France Refunds

As we said above, you have the option of a full ticket refund when your Air France flight is cancelled, delayed by more than 5 hours, or you're refused boarding due to overbooking or operational reasons by fault of the airline. Sometimes airlines, including Air France, will try to offer you a voucher for future travel in lieu of cash compensation, but be careful! These vouchers are often laced with restrictions and blackout dates. Remember that as a passenger, you have every right to refuse these offers and demand a refund.

Air France Denied Boarding Compensation

Generally, you're entitled to denied boarding compensation under EU261 if your Air France flight was oversold. Denial of boarding usually happens when an airline overbooks a flight and then lacks sufficient seats for all passengers. Unless you willingly surrender your seat or your denied boarding is a consequence of your own actions, you can seek compensation from the airline. Once again, be wary of last minute offers and vouchers. If you do want to accept one, be sure you read the fine print and understand all the nuances associated with these vouchers.

Air France Missed Connection Compensation Rights

Under EU261, you're entitled to compensation if you miss your connecting flight due to a delay or cancellation of your initial Air France flight, as long as all your flights were booked under a single reservation. The essential factor here is the effect of the initial disruption of your flight upon your final arrival time at your destination. If the disruption causes you to arrive at your final destination 3 hours or more behind schedule, you're eligible to claim compensation.

Extraordinary Circumstances

We’ve mentioned how financial compensation is affected by the airline’s ability to prevent the delay or cancellation. If Air France is unable to control the flight disruption, it is then attributed to extraordinary circumstances which could be extreme weather events like severe blizzards, air traffic control restrictions, urgent security threats, or episodes of political unrest. In these exceptional situations, airlines are usually exempt from providing financial compensation to impacted passengers, but you will still be offered care and assistance.

Air France plane in the doc

What to Do in Case of Flight Disruption

If you encounter a flight disruption with Air France, it's important to follow certain procedures to protect your passenger rights and streamline your claim process. Here are a few steps to guide you:

  • Speak to the Air France representatives present at the airport or through their customer service centre. Your aim should be to determine the cause of the disruption and obtain a record of their explanation.
  • Be sure to safeguard all your travel paperwork, encompassing boarding passes, tickets, and all other pertinent receipts. Moreover, retain any written or electronic communication from Air France concerning the flight disruption, as these documents act as crucial proof to bolster your compensation claim.

To confirm your eligibility for Air France compensation and familiarise yourself with the claim process, you can use our easy-to-use compensation calculator.

Air France EU261 Compensation - How Much Can You Claim?

A lot of people wonder about “How much EU261 compensation can I receive?” Here’s a quick breakdown of the possible amounts you might be able to claim for.

Air France Compensation

Delay Time

Flight Distance

 

Flights under 1,500km

Flights between 1,500-3,500km

Flights over 3,500km

Over 3 hours

€250

€400

€600*

Under 3 hours

€0

€0

€0

* Air France might try to reduce this amount by as much as 50%, but AirAdvisor always works to get the full amount.

As you can see, long flights usually result in more hardship and problems for travellers, so the amount of compensation is higher for those flights. If you’re not sure of the total distance of your flight, you can always use our flight delay checker to see if your flight delay was long enough to meet the criteria of EC261.

Woman sitting at the airport when Air France flight delayed

How to Complete an Air France EU261 Claim Form

You might be eligible for compensation after an Air France flight, but be advised that Air France won’t usually offer compensation payments unless you complete the necessary forms and let them know that you’ve done so. You can do this on the official Air France website where you’ll find a section with the necessary forms.

If the Air France EU261 Form isn’t Working?

If the EU form on the Air France website isn’t working or won’t load for you, don’t worry. Just visit the AirAdvisor click here and complete it on our website instead. It’s the same form and it’s 100% valid for your compensation claim.

What You Should Avoid

When facing a delayed or cancelled flight with Air France or any other carrier, there are common missteps that you should be aware of to avoid jeopardising your chances of securing the full compensation you're due. Here's what to watch out for:

Initial Offers

Occasionally, airlines might attempt to limit their financial liability by presenting passengers with an initial low-value compensation proposal. It's crucial not to immediately agree to this initial offer. Instead, evaluate the airline's proposition against the compensation sum you're due. If the preliminary offer is less than the regulated compensation sum, you're within your rights to insist on the complete compensation you're entitled to.

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Travel Vouchers

As we touched on earlier, airlines may propose travel vouchers as a seemingly easy remedy, but there are several reasons why it's preferable to reject this option. One of these reasons is that such vouchers are typically only valid for redemption with the same airline and may come with several restrictions, like blackout periods or restricted flight eligibility.

Another reason why we advise against accepting a voucher in lieu of flight disruption compensation is that research has shown that many passengers simply fail to use them. Lastly and most importantly, accepting a flight voucher from the airline may surrender your right to seek additional compensation.

Signing Waivers or Documents

During a flight disruption, some airlines might request that you sign certain papers or waivers. These could be crafted to curtail the airline's accountability or relinquish your right to compensation. It's imperative not to sign any document that you don't completely understand.

If you're handed such documents for a disrupted Air France flight, make sure to read through them carefully and seek legal counsel if required. Remember, you have passenger rights under regulations EU261 and UK261, and should not be coerced into forfeiting them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here, you can find answers to some frequently posed questions regarding Air France flight disruptions:

What is the time limit for Air France compensation claims?

Under EU261, you can lodge a compensation claim up to 6 years from the date of the flight disruption with Air France. Nonetheless, it's generally recommended to begin your claim process promptly after the disruption for the most accurate submission and seamless claim process. You can read more about filing deadlines here.

What happens if you miss your Air France flight?

If you happen to miss your Air France flight due to circumstances beyond your control, rest assured that there are protocols in place to uphold your passenger rights. You might be eligible for a complete refund of your flight ticket if the disruption fulfils certain conditions or be rebooked onto a different flight.

Has anyone received EU261 Air France compensation?

Yes, there are thousands of travellers who have received Air France compensation from this airline.

Should Air France compensate under EU261 for strikes?

If the strike was an Air France strike then you could be eligible for compensation, but if it was an airport strike, you won’t be able to claim compensation.

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What happened with Air France clients

Recent Comments

Earl Anthony (Air France AF 0631 Denied boarding)
May 8, 2024, 9:22 pm

We booked Premium seats months ago. We arrived at airport, checked-in our bags then were told we were being downgraded to economy because our booked seats were broken. I have a new knee and cannot fly in economy. Upgrade us (2) or reimburse our fare.


Mark from United States (USA) (Air France AF 1367 Denied boarding)
May 7, 2024, 5:47 pm

The flight prior to ours was cancelled so they re-booked those passengers on to our flight, and bumped us from our seats. We then got put on the next flight.


Chen from Israel (Air France AF 159 Flight delay)
May 7, 2024, 6:40 am

In the CDG airport at the gate L42 they said that there is not enough crew members and therefore the flight was delay twice. also mentioned technical issues. We arrived to Tel Aviv at 5:47 pm i missed the transportation home and had to take a taxi.


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