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Flight cancelled at the airport? Here is how to act

You’re at the Airport When Your Flight is Cancelled, Now What?

Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
4 minutes read
Last Updated: April 30, 2024

The airport can be a portal for exciting and fruitful journeys . . . that is until you have a last minute flight cancellation. Then, you’re faced with the grim possibility that you might not make it to your final destination afterall. Can you relate?

In truth, there’s no need to panic. As long as you take a few important steps, you’ll be on another flight before you know it. Not only that, but if you’re travelling in the EU, UK, or Canada, you could be eligible for up to €600 in compensation! So, let’s get into what you need to do if you’re already at the airport when your flight is cancelled.

Curious about whether you can claim cancelled flight compensation? Just enter your flight details below to see if you’re eligible.

Essential First Steps After a Cancellation

Find Another Flight

Whether you just checked your bags or you’re waiting at the gate, the first thing you need to do when your flight is cancelled is figure out how to get rebooked. Sometimes, you don’t have to wait very long before the airline sends you a notification that you’ve been booked on another flight.


The important thing to know is that you do not have to accept this flight. You have the choice of finding another one that suits you. Or maybe you want to call the whole thing off, in which case, you can get a full ticket refund. The choice is yours.

Ask What Caused the Cancellation

Don’t skip this step! Learning what caused the cancellation will help you later when filing a compensation claim. Airlines are liable if the cancellation was caused by something within their control. So, ask questions and keep track of the response you get.

Your Checked Bags

If you checked your baggage, no worries. The airline will send your luggage to your final destination and you can pick it up there as you normally would. If your rebooked flight doesn’t leave until the next day, you can collect it in the baggage reclaim area. You can also ask an airline agent to help you.

If You Have to Wait

If you have to wait 2 hours or more for your rebooked flight, ask the airline for food and refreshment vouchers. If your flight doesn’t leave until the following day, ask them for hotel accommodation. Remember, you’re entitled to this if you’re in Canada, the EU, or UK, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Flight cancelled at the airport

What to Do at the Airport

Larger airports can provide plenty of entertainment for passengers while they wait. So, if you’re looking for some diversions, you can find some helpful ideas in our article about how to pass time at the airport.

Otherwise, you can also use the time to see if you have any travel protections. Contact your credit card company or travel insurance to see what benefits you might be able to receive.

If you don’t fly very often, it's easy to forget that some credit cards and even homeowners insurance can provide you with options if you have a cancelled flight.

Learn About Your Rights

You can also spend the time learning about your air passenger rights. We already mentioned how you can get compensation for flight cancellations, but you can also be compensated for delays, missed connections, overbooked flights, and involuntary downgrades.

This might not seem relevant to your immediate situation, but your alternate flight could be delayed or overbooked. If it’s overbooked, you could be denied boarding, also known as being bumped, from your flight. If your flight is delayed, you could miss a connection. If your flight is on time, your seat might be downgraded to a lower seating class.

Each of these situations are grounds for airline compensation if the right conditions are met. So, while you’re stuck at the airport, you might as well find out what you’re entitled to by law.

Find out if you are owed compensation for a disrupted flight.

Start a Compensation Claim

While you’re waiting for your next flight, you can also take a minute to check to see if your cancelled flight is eligible for compensation. As we said above, if you’re travelling in the EU, UK, or Canada, you could be eligible for compensation. This is determined by different criteria depending on your airline and where you’re travelling, but generally, compensation is determined by the distance you’re flying and the length of the delay. The compensation claim process can be hairy with a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump through. But there is an easier way.

Let AirAdvisor Handle Your Claim

Why go through the stress and hassle of filing compensation claims and fighting with airlines when you can have legal professionals take care of the entire process for you?

That’s where we enter the picture. Our team of legal professionals have been fighting for passengers rights around the world since 2017. So far, we’ve helped more than 250,000 people file claims, and the entire process is risk free. In short, if you don’t get paid we don’t either. And did we mention we have a 98% success rate?

Here are a few other reasons to trust AirAdvisor with your compensation claim:

  • Our process is quick and easy
  • We operate on a no win, no fee basis
  • People love and trust our service - we have a 4.6/5 rating
  • We make the claims process stress free
  • We help people around the world
  • Our liability is insured up to $1 million USD
  • Your claim is handled by seasoned legal professionals
Ready to get started? Just enter your information by following the link below.
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