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Japan Airlines Compensation for Delayed and Cancelled Flights

You’ve booked tickets, and suddenly your dream vacation or business trip is ruined by a Japan Airlines flight delay, cancellation, or denied boarding. Now what? You may be entitled to Japan Airlines compensation up to €600. 4.6/5 based on 15,078 reviews

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Japan Airlines Compensation for Delayed and Cancelled Flights
Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
Last Updated: May 14, 2024

Cirium, world famous for its on-time performance rankings, gave Japan Airlines the #2 position for best punctuality in the Asian Pacific Region in 2023. The airline’s flights arrived in-time 82.58% of the time placing the carrier behind All Nippon Airways who landed the #1 position.

Japan Airlines was also re-certified by Skytrax as a 5-Star airline for the 7th year in a row. Even with these recognitions, the airline still has its troubles. Business Insider reported that a recent flight to Tokyo had to be cancelled because the pilot was intoxicated from the night before, and another pilot couldn’t be found to replace him. In this guide, we’ll show you what recourse you have if you have flight disruptions with Japan Airlines and what you’ll need to do to get it.

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Japan Airlines Flight Delays

Whenever you encounter a flight delay, your rights will be protected by the region from which you’re scheduled to depart. So if you have a Japan Airlines flight leaving from an EU or UK airport, you can expect to be compensated by EU Regulations EU261 and UK Regulations UK 261. Based on these laws, you can receive different forms of compensation based on how long your delay lasts.

Delays of 2 or more hours

If you’re left waiting for your flight for this length of time, then you qualify for care and assistance. Japan Airlines must offer you vouchers or coupons for food and refreshments as well as free access to communication. Always keep your receipts. If you incur any out-of-pocket expenses you can submit them for reimbursement from the airline.

Delays of 3 or more hours 

If you’re delayed at your final stop by at least 3 hours, could be compensated financially if the airline is at fault. As an example, if your delay was caused by an airline strike, you will be owed cash compensation because an airline strike is something within the airlines’ control.

Delays of 5 hours or more

If you’re delayed by at least 5 hours, Japan Airlines is required to give you the option of a ticket refund or an alternate flight. You may also get cash compensation if extraordinary circumstances didn’t cause the delay.

Length of Delay

Compensation & Entitlements

2+ hour delays

Meals, refreshments, and access to communication

3+ hour delays

Cash compensation if the airline is at fault

5+ hour delays

Option of rebooking or refund + potential cash compensation

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Japan Air Flight Cancellations

Cancelled flights are the source of so much grief for passengers. Because of this, EU and UK laws state that whenever you’re departing from an airport in these regions, the airline has to compensate you accordingly.

Japan Air flights cancelled with under14-days notice: If you’re given a lot of notice like 2-weeks worth for your cancelled flight, then the airline doesn’t have to compensate you. On the other hand, for short notice cancellations, you are entitled to an alternate flight or a full refund.

If you opt for an alternate flight, but have to wait for at least 2 hours for your departure, then you’re also entitled to care and assistance. Additionally, you should be provided with free overnight accommodation and transport if your new flight departs the following day.

Flight Delays

Flight Cancellations

Denied Boarding

Up to £520/€600 in compensation

Care & Assistance

Up to £520/€600 in compensation

Rebooked flight OR Refund

Care & Assistance

Up to £520/€600 in compensation

Rebooked flight OR Refund

Care & Assistance

Japan Airlines boarding

Involuntary Denied Boarding Situations

As most airlines do, Japan AIrlines will overbook their flights periodically so as to avoid operating only partially full aircraft. This is how they maximise profits, but when everyone shows up for the flight, there are more passengers than seats available. If no volunteers offer to relinquish their seat, then the airline will resort to bumping some passengers. Hopefully, you are not one of these travellers.

If you’re denied boarding because of an oversold flight, then you must be given:

  • A replacement flight or
  • A refund and
  • Cash compensation
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Missed Connections

EU and UK law also protect passengers for missed connections. If an earlier Japan Airlines delay or cancellation causes you to miss your connection then, the airline is compelled to assist you in getting to your final stop. You could also be able to get compensation as well if the problem wasn’t caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Cash Compensation Amounts

Thanks to the passenger rights protections in the UK and EU, you could get between €250 to €600 in financial compensation for flight disruptions based on:

  • The length of your delay
  • The total distance of your flight

Delay Time

Flight Distance


Flights under 1,500km

Flights between 1,500-3,500km

Flights over 3,500km

Over 3 hours




Under 3 hours



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

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All you have to do is submit the application and wait for the compensation to be received.

Japan Airlines Flight Refund policy

A flight compensation and a refund are two different things. Regulations allow you to receive both: a cancellation refund and compensation.

In case of a cancellation, an airline will try to re-book you on the similar flight, but if that becomes impossible, a cancellation refund will be a full cash refund. Generally, your claim would succeed, providing there were no extraordinary circumstances beyond airline control.

If Japan Airlines cancels your flight to extraordinary circumstances (such as Covid travel restrictions or a serious illness) and you were offered no replacement flight, you can obtain a ticket refund in full, since your flights booked were not available.

Types of ticket refunds: A full refund must be in cash or credit. Vouchers are allowed only if you specifically agree to it. We do not recommend accepting vouchers due to short expiry dates and potential restrictions on redemption.


Note: If Japan Airlines offers a replacement flight with approximately the same arrival time and you decide not to take it, there is a possibility of you losing the right to get both compensation and a ticket refund.


Rule of thumb: you can generally reject alternative flights and receive a refund in full, if a new replacement flight arrives 3+ hours later from your initial scheduled arrival time.

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Extraordinary Circumstances

Flight disruptions caused by extraordinary circumstances are not eligible for monetary compensation. This is because the airline was unable to control the events that led to the delay or cancellation.

Here are a few examples of situations that exempt the airline from cash payouts:

  • Air traffic control restrictions
  • Civil unrest
  • Airport strikes 
  • Severe weather
  • Security threats
  • Natural disasters

It’s very important that you ask the airline staff for written clarification about the cause of your flight interruption. Collect all the relevant airline documents as well as any receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. All these will help support your claim for compensation.

If you’ve had a Korean Air flight disruption in the last 3 years, you can still submit a compensation claim, and AirAdvisor is here to help! Let us take care of your compensation claim for you. Our team of legal experts can find out what caused your flight disruption, file your claim, and follow up with the airline so you get the full amount that you’re owed. Better yet, you’ll avoid the hassle and you only pay us when the airline pays you! 

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People Also Ask

Can you get reimbursed if Japan Airlines loses your baggage?

You can get compensated for lost, delayed, and damaged baggage! Always remember to make a report of baggage mishandling with the airline as soon as possible to ensure you get the highest amount of compensation.

Are Japan Airline vouchers as good as a refund?

Not really. Cash is always better, but if you’re offered a voucher, be sure you read all the details and understand it fully before accepting it. You have legal rights to a cash refund vouchers can be full of restrictions and blackout dates. Bottom line - make sure you know what you’re getting, and if you’re not sure, ask for the refund. 

How long does it take to get your payout for compensation?

Compensation payouts can take a month or more depending on your unique circumstances. The more documentation you can provide to back up your case the better. This can also shorten the amount of time you have to wait, but the time frame can vary.

Can I Get a Japan Airlines Refund?

If you decide to forgo your Japan Airlines flight, unless it was booked under an adaptable and refundable fare plan, chances are that you won't receive a reimbursement. However, if airlines cancel the route due to circumstances beyond your control then a full or partial refund should be granted without any problems.

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What happened with Japan Airlines clients

Recent Comments

Luis Alberto from Spain (Japan Airlines JL 043 Flight cancellation)
December 21, 2022, 9:08 am

We were 2 passengers, Luis and Paulina. We arrive to our destinatiosn 24 hours later. There was no information about travel options by British Airways in London. They didn't care of us. We went to Spain by train. We loosed one day of work. We expend around 1000 euros to go back home for the 2 passengers. We were in bussiness class and we both have Iberia fidelity cards, Platinum/Emeraud and Silver ones.

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