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Finnair Delayed & Cancelled Flight Compensation: Understanding the Rules

Because Finnair is part of the European Union, you as a passenger can count on some compensation for delays, cancellations, and missed connections which is exactly what we’re going to unpack for you in this article. At the same time, dealing with the compensation claim process can be daunting which is why we’re here.

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Finnair Delayed & Cancelled Flight Compensation: Understanding the Rules
Nicolle Harwood-Nash
Last Updated: June 24, 2024

As the flag-carrier for Finland, Finnair operated 17,622 flights in the past month according to Airportia, with 8,811 arrivals and the same number of departures. They averaged about 587 flights in the month, 16% of which were delayed by more than 15 minutes, with an average delay of 19 minutes. Meanwhile, Finnair’s cancellation rate was just 0.24%.

In this guide, we'll explore Finnair flight compensation policies for standard flight disturbances, from delayed departures to entirely cancelled flights, and underscore the support and proficiency our experts can extend to you.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Flight delays with Finnair exceeding 3 hours might entitle you to claim compensation, potentially up to €600.
  • In cases where Finnair cancels your flight, you're guaranteed a full ticket reimbursement at a minimum.
  • If Finnair cancels your flight within a fortnight of your departure, you may be entitled to additional monetary compensation.
  • You have a 6-year window to claim compensation for a flight disruption, although it's not advisable to procrastinate that long.
  • The 'Check Compensation' tool by AirAdvisor is an efficient way to ascertain your compensation eligibility.
  • If the need arises to submit a claim, AirAdvisor can undertake the task, ensuring you secure your deserved compensation with minimal hassle.
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Your Rights in Case of Finnair Flight Disruptions

When faced with flight disruptions while flying with Finnair, understanding your rights based on your departure location becomes crucial:

What is Finnair EU261 Compensation?

EU261 is an essential regulation stipulating European air travel rights that look after air passengers across Europe. It warrants equitable treatment and just compensation during occurrences of flight disruptions.

Finnair, and all airlines based in an EU country, are subject to the rules found in EU regulation EC 261/2004 (EU261 and also UK261). Under the provisions of the EU261 law, you’re entitled to compensation for a variety of flight disruptions as long as your flight is delayed by at least 3 hours at your final destination. The EU261 compensation amount is typically determined by the length of the delay and the distance of your flight. In specific circumstances, you could be entitled to as much as €600.

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Note: you do not have to be a citizen or resident of the EU to be protected by EU261 because the regulations cover all passengers who fly Finnair.

Finnair Flight Delay Compensation

For commercial airlines, a delay is defined as being a flight that arrives 15 minutes or more late. If you have a flight delay with Finnair that is at least 3 hours long, then you’re in entitlement territory, as long as the delay was caused by something within the carrier’s control.

So, if Finnair has a strike that causes flight disruptions or an issue with their scheduled maintenance, then they are required to give you care compensation like meals and refreshments, access to communication, and written notification of your air passenger rights, in addition to financial compensation.

Understandably, there may be times when a delay can completely ruin your travel plans. If you have plans for an evening event, for example, and your flight is delayed, then you might miss the event. In a situation like this, you might not want to travel to your final destination in which case you can request a refund.

On the other hand, if you had a late-night delay causing your flight to be pushed to the following morning, then Finnair is required to pay for your hotel stay as well as the transportation to and from your accommodation.

Finnair may also be required to pay you as much as €600 (£520) in monetary compensation. You would be eligible for this in addition to the above entitlements, provided the delay wasn’t caused by extraordinary circumstances like dangerous weather or restrictions with air traffic control.

Lastly, if you have a very long delay that lasts more than 5 hours, then Finnair is obligated to pay you compensation (as long as the delay was the airline’s fault) as well as a partial or even full refund of your ticket or a flight back to your original point of departure.

If you’ve had a Finnair delay anytime in the last 3 years, you can still pursue a compensation claim.You can see how much you could receive by entering your flight  information in our free compensation checker.

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Helsinki airport is one of the best functioning, if not the best airport in Europe. In the chaotic summer of 2022, the longest queuing time we ever had was 45 minutes, which made headlines in Finland, but was nothing compared to other European hubs, and our on-time performance was the best in Europe together with Norwegian. - Topi Manner, acting CEO of Finnair in an interview with Business Traveler.

Read more about delayed flight compensation in the EU.

Finnair Compensation Claims

Cancelled Finnair Flights and Compensation

Finnair’s recent cancellation rate is very low, but when they do cancel flights, you should be offered the same kind of compensation that you’d get for flight delays: complementary communication, meals, refreshments, and accommodation. In addition to this, you also have the choice of accepting a re-booked flight, choosing one that better suits you, or requesting a full ticket refund.

Two Finnair flights that see a lot of cancellations and delays are AY 801 and AY 815 - both from Helsinki to Stockholm.

If you opt for an alternate flight offered by Finnair but your seat is in a lower class than you originally chose, then you will be compensated 30%-75% of your original ticket price. But, if you happen to get rebooked into a higher seating class, you don’t have to repay the airline for the price difference.

In addition to these options, you may also be eligible for monetary compensation from Finnair for your flight cancellation. The amount you receive depends on the travel distance and the delay time, but you could beowed between €250-€600. Finally, if Finnair notified you of the cancelled flight 14 days or more prior to departure, then you will  not be eligible for financial compensation.

Read more about EU cancelled flight compensation.

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When Finnair Denies Boarding

If you're wondering how to claim compensation for denied boarding, it's worth noting that you're likely entitled to compensation from Finnair under the current regulations. Denied boarding typically transpires when flights are overbooked and insufficient seats are available, despite passengers holding valid tickets.

If you didn't voluntarily surrender your seat or cause the denied boarding through your actions, you might be eligible to claim financial compensation.

The potential values for your Finnair denied boarding compensation are as follows:

  • For flights journeying less than 1,500km: €250
  • For flights journeying between 1,500km and 3,500km: €400
  • For flights journeying beyond 3,500km: a maximum of €600

Missed Connections on Finnair Flights

The EU261 regulation entitles you to Finnair missed connection compensation if a delay or cancellation of your first flight (within the same booking) results in you missing your connecting flight. If the disruption causes a delay of three hours or more to your final destination, you’re eligible to claim compensation for the missed connection.

To qualify for EU missed connection compensation, the missed flight must be a direct result of a Finnair delay or cancellation.

Finnair passengers waiting for boarding

Calculating How Much You Can Claim

As we mentioned above, your financial compensation is determined by how far you’re travelling and the length of your delay at the final destination. If the flight disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances, then the airline is not liable for paying cash compensation. We’ll cover this more in the next section.

The following table will help you figure out how much cash compensation you could get from Finnair for a flight disruption.

Finnair 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

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

When Finnair Isn’t Responsible

Certain exceptional events or conditions exist, known as "extraordinary circumstances", which may absolve airlines such as Finnair from paying compensation in the event of flight disruptions. These situations are typically out of the airline's control and fall outside their normal operations. Understanding some of these extraordinary circumstances is key, as they can impact your compensation rights:

  • Extreme weather conditions: Harsh weather phenomena like hurricanes, heavy snowstorms, or volcanic activities can pose serious threats to flight operations and passenger safety.
  • Restrictions by air traffic control: Constraints put forth by air traffic control authorities due to security issues, strikes, or natural disasters can result in airspace closures or heavy traffic, leading to disruptions.
  • Political or civil unrest: Events involving political instability, civil conflicts, or acts of terrorism can endanger the secure operation of flights.
  • Security threats: Legitimate security risks or breaches causing the cancellation or diversion of flights for passenger safety.

It's noteworthy that Finnair, or any other airline, is generally tasked with demonstrating proof that the occurrence was of extraordinary circumstances. They must substantiate that the disruption was because of factors beyond their control and that they employed all reasonable measures to alleviate the impact on passengers.

Should you have doubts about whether the circumstances are truly extraordinary or if you think the airline is inaccurately citing this exemption, we recommend you seek additional advice or consult legal experts. This will help you comprehend and uphold the rights and options available to you.

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Finnair’s Refund Policy

A common question asked by passengers around the world is 'If my flight is cancelled, do I get a refund?'. Well, EU261 entitles you to a full refund of your airline ticket in certain scenarios as laid out in the legislation. These encompass instances where Finnair cancels your planned flight without providing at least a fortnight's notice, or if your flight is delayed for over 5 hours.

Furthermore, if you’re denied boarding due to overbooking or for operational reasons within the airline's purview, you might qualify for a refund. In such cases, you might also have the chance to claim financial compensation, determined by the flight's distance and the delay's duration.

What to Avoid

While navigating the sometimes murky waters of compensation claims for flight disruptions with Finnair, taking the correct steps can steer you towards maximum compensation. Equally important is steering clear of actions that might obstruct your claim. Here are a few pitfalls to sidestep when dealing with flight disruptions:

Accepting Travel Vouchers

Though airlines, including Finnair, might propose travel vouchers as a form of compensation, it's wise to resist this option. These vouchers typically come tethered with constraints, such as usage restrictions, potential depreciation over time, and an absence of cash refund options. The acceptance of vouchers might limit your ability to use them within the given timeframe, thereby putting your compensation at risk.

Turning down the offer of a travel voucher as compensation for a flight disruption not only protects your consumer rights but also retains your ability to pursue a claim for monetary compensation or instigate legal proceedings down the line if necessary.

Hastily Signing Agreements

Signing agreements without a thorough examination might unintentionally relinquish your rights or commit you to unsatisfactory compensation. It's of utmost importance to devote adequate time to dissect proposals, ensure you understand relevant regulations, and seek guidance from experts. A well-informed approach strengthens your claim for a just compensation settlement.

Accepting the First Proposal

As with any negotiation, hastily accepting the first offer presented to you could result in settling for a less-than-optimal resolution. For instance, the airline might make you an initial offer as a means of making amends for a flight disruption, but the offer could be considerably less than what you're actually entitled to.

Maintain vigilance, stay informed about your rights, and keep your options open to ensure that you receive the compensation you truly deserve.

a delayed Finnair airplane taking off

How to Complete Finnair EU261 Compensation Claim Form 

In order to make a claim for Finnair EU 261 compensation, you'll need to fill in the relevant form. This can be done on the official Finnair website, and it involves filling in various pages and providing information and evidence to support your claim.

This can be quite a complicated process, and it's easy to make a mistake. That's why we recommend using the AirAdvisor site to make your claim instead, as our experts can help to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve without any hassle.

However, we recommend you to submit a claim form directly with Finnair first, as this is what UK law now requires, and only after that to submit a claim with AirAdvisor. We require evidence of prior direct submission (screenshot and airline reference number sent by Finnair to your email).

Also note that you should allow Finnair 30 days to respond to your complaint first before we AirAdvisor can step in. This protocol is important as this is what the law requires now before a legal claim can be litigated. This passenger unfriendly rule is a result of a Finnair court precedent in English court, aiming to discourage passengers seeking justice with professional service providers.

The good thing is that it’s really simple to fill out our Finnair EC261 compensation claim form. All you have to do is click on our Check Compensation tool and then tell us a little bit about your flight. You'll be asked for simple info, like the departure airport, destination, and the type of disruption you experienced.

Once you've provided the relevant details, our experts will start work on your case and help you make a claim for compensation with the airline. We can do the hard work for you and give you the best chance of a proper payout. 

What to Do if Finnair EU261 Form Isn’t Working

Sometimes, due to technical issues or other reasons, the EU261 form on Finnair's site might not work. If this happens, don't despair. You can simply fill out the EC261 form via the AirAdvisor site instead, and our team will start the claims process for you.

Why Trust Us

Airlines are huge companies that can be intimidating, especially when it comes to submitting compensation claims, but this is where we shine. If you’ve already filed your claim with Finnair, then let us do the rest of the work for you! Our team of legal professionals has loads of experience dealing with airlines around the world, but here are a few more reasons why you can trust us to get you the compensation you’re owed:

  • Over 250,000 claims handled successfully from 58 countries
  • More than 7 years of experience
  • Rated 4.6 / 5 based on 15,453 reviews
  • Lowest & fair price - we are on average 5% cheaper than competitors.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you can review some answers to frequently asked questions about Finnair compensation in the event of flight disruptions:

What if I Cancel My Finnair Flight? Can I Get a Refund?

When it comes to cancelling your Finnair flight, whether you can get a refund depends on the type of ticket you purchased. If you have a refundable ticket, you can generally receive a full or partial refund upon cancellation, but it's important to review the fare conditions and any applicable fees. Non-refundable tickets, on the other hand, usually don’t qualify for a refund. However, it's still worth reaching out to Finnair to explore any available options or alternatives.

It's recommended to review your booking confirmation or contact Finnair's customer service directly for precise information regarding refund possibilities based on your fare type and associated conditions. It's also worth checking if your travel insurance policy covers cancellations, even for non-refundable tickets. Remember to keep all relevant documentation and communication with Finnair for future reference.

What to do When Your Finnair Flight is Cancelled?

If your Finnair flight is cancelled, there are several steps you can take to navigate the situation:

  1. Stay calm and gather information: Check for updates and notifications provided by Finnair through their official channels, such as their website or mobile app. Stay informed about the cancellation and any available alternative options.
  2. Contact Finnair: Reach out to Finnair's customer service as soon as possible. They’ll be able to provide you with assistance and guidance regarding rebooking, compensation, or alternative flights. Be prepared to provide them with your booking details and any relevant information they may require.
  3. Explore rebooking options: Finnair will typically offer rebooking on an alternative flight if your original flight has been cancelled. Enquire about the available options and select the one that best suits your needs. It's important to note that during peak travel periods or in cases of widespread disruptions, availability may be limited, so it's advisable to contact Finnair promptly.
  4. Compensation and alternative solutions: Depending on the circumstances of the cancellation and applicable regulations, you may be entitled to Finnair claim compensation under EU261. Finnair should provide you with information regarding your rights and the compensation options available to you. Additionally, they may offer alternative solutions, such as vouchers, hotel accommodations, or transportation, depending on the situation.
  5. Keep records and receipts: Throughout the process, it's important to keep copies of all communication with Finnair, including emails, receipts, and any relevant documentation. These records will be useful for future reference or in case you need to escalate your concerns.

How Long Does it Take to Get Finnair Flight Delay Compensation?

Once you submit your claim for flight delay compensation to Finnair, they typically conduct an investigation to verify the eligibility and validity of the claim. This process may involve gathering information such as flight records, documentation of the delay, and any supporting evidence you provide. Once Finnair has completed its assessment and determined that compensation is due, it'll initiate the payment process.

How Much Time Do I Have to Make a Claim Against Finnair?

The exact time limit can depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the claim and the applicable laws governing air passenger rights. However, in most situations, EU261 states you have up to 6 years to make your claim against Finnair.

It's advisable to submit your claim as soon as possible after experiencing the flight disruption. Promptly filing your claim helps ensure that you meet any potential deadlines and allows Finnair to investigate the matter in a timely manner.

Has anyone received EU261 Finnair compensation?

Yes, many travellers who have suffered delays, cancellations, and other issues have received compensation from this airline.

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Recent Comments

Natalia from Spain (Finnair AY 1654 Flight cancellation)
November 30, 2022, 4:00 am

Our flight left at 10:50 from Barcelona to Helsinki and then to a 50-minute stopover in Helsinki and from there to Bangkok, due to technical problems of which we were informed just as the flight left, our flight was delayed and finally canceled Several hours later, they gave us an alternative flight, which was the option we accepted, this being a flight that left Barcelona for London at 5:00 in the afternoon, we arrived in London and made a three-hour stopover and finally to Bangkok, so we our flight arrived more than 8 hours late


Joseph from Kenya (Finnair AY 809 Flight delay)
November 4, 2022, 4:53 am

Aircraft rotation led to the flight delay leading me to spend the night at the airport


Marianne from United States (USA) (Finnair AY 5660 Flight cancellation)
September 30, 2022, 1:29 am

Our flight was cancelled and we are notified on the same day. We made our own arrangements and wants a refund for the flight we weren't able to take.


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