Flight Cancellation Compensation Guide: How to Claim £520 (€600)

This article has been reviewed by a licensed lawyer Anton Radchenko for general accuracy. This is for informational purposes only.
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Have you experienced a flight cancellation recently? Are you aware of the fact that you might be eligible to claim compensation of up to £520 (€600) as well as other rights?

Keep reading to see how you can claim flight cancellation compensation right now.

If you want to increase your chances of a successful claim, click on the "Check Compensation" button below to get help from our team of legal experts. We've won over 130.000 cases of flight cancellation or delay.

We work on a no win - no pay arrangement, which means you don't have to pay us anything if we don't win your case.

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Flight is Cancelled - What Are Your Rights

In this section, we will explain the rights of air passengers covered by the European Union & UK law, as these are most rewarding compared to the Montreal Convention, for example.

EU law cancelled flights list the criteria to be eligible for EU flight compensation

These rights apply only if your case meets the following conditions: 

  • the airline cancelled your flight less than 14 days before departure
  • your cancelled flight is operated by an EU airline, or it was supposed to depart from EU airport
  • your flight was cancelled due to the airline’s fault
  • you made a booking reservation and can prove it

If you do not meet these conditions, you cannot make a compensation claim or receive any of the following rights.

Ticket Refund or Alternative Flight

In case of a cancelled flight, the airline must first provide you with a ticket refund or an alternative flight, at the earliest opportunity, to your final destination under comparable transport conditions.

Besides the options on refund and immediate rerouting, you also have a third option, to choose rerouting at a later date, but only if seats are available on the new flight.


According to the EU & UK law the refund doesn't include only the ticket price of your cancelled flight but also tickets that could not be used because of the cancellation, like a connecting flight, or tickets that have already been used but the cancellation made those flights no purpose. 

For example, you are traveling from Italy to New York to attend a convention, and your booking includes two separate flights: Milan to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to New York. When you land in Amsterdam, the airline informed you that your other flight was cancelled. The alternative flight offered by the airline flies in 2 days and by that time the convention is over. In such a situation, the airline must refund all your tickets, including your Milan to Amsterdam flight.

Alternative Flight

The law doesn't mention if, by "earliest opportunity," the carrier is forced to book you a ticket with an alternative airline.

Moreover, if the departure alternative flight lands at a different airport than the original flight, the airline must also pay for the transportation to the original airport or to another location agreed together with the passenger. For example, if you had an Easyjet flight that was supposed to land at Heathrow London and instead you are rerouted to London Stansted, Easyjet must also provide alternative transport to Heathrow. 

If your new alternative flight was upgraded to a higher class, the airline cannot request additional payment. If it was downgraded to a lower class, you are entitled to a refund between 30-70% of the original ticket price.

Right to Compensation

You have different flight cancellation rights according to EU law cancelled flight

In case your flight was cancelled you are also probably owed compensation. The amount is the same for delayed or cancelled flights and is calculated based on flight distance and duration of the delay (only in case of flight delays and not cancellation). 

We will cover this further in the sections below. 

Airline's obligation

Besides these, you are entitled to other benefits in case the airline cancels your flight. These are:

  • inform you in written form why the flight has been cancelled - make sure that the document has all the flight details
  • offer you 2 free telephone calls, emails or faxes
  • complimentary meals and refreshments in light of waiting in the airport
  • hotel accommodation (overnight accommodation) if your replacement flight is the next day 

The complementary meals and free phone calls are only offered if, due to your flight cancellation, you have to wait in the airport for several hours, as shown in the table below.

Travel Distance of Your Flight

all flights, less than 1,500km

all internal EU flights, more than 1,500km

all non-internal EU flights, 1,500-3,500km

all non-internal EU flights, more than 3,500km

Your Waiting Time in the Airport

2 or more hours

3 or more hours

3 or more hours

4 or more hours

In less than 3 minutes, you can find out if your flight qualifies with the AirAdvisor free online compensation calculator.

Usual Reasons for Cancelled Flights

You might be wondering why flight cancellations occur and if you might find yourself in the same situation with future flights.

Here are some of the most common reasons why a flight is cancelled:

  1. Crew out of time - the plane that was supposed to pick you up lands with a delay, and now the crew doesn't have the necessary time to make the return flight 
  2. To few passengers - sometimes an airline might decide to go with a flight cancellation because they haven't sold enough tickets and it would be cheaper to pay compensation rather than take the passengers to their final destination
  3. No available aircraft - sometimes, the plane the airline was supposed to use is unavailable and thus they have to proceed with a flight cancellation
  4. Mechanical issues - if the plane breaks down before takeoff and they can't find a replacement aircraft, than the airline cancels the flight 
  5. Pilot unfit to fly - this is another situation that can lead to a sudden flight cancellation; the pilot starts feeling unwell before takeoff and the airline can't find a replacement in time

These are just some examples of common flight cancellation reasons that also force the airline to pay compensation. However, there are also circumstances outside the airline's control, called extraordinary circumstances, when no compensation is owed.

Disrupted flight? You might have a right to compensation - up to £520 (€600).Check Your Flight

Flight Cancellation Extraordinary Circumstances

Now we'll cover some of the most popular extraordinary circumstances that can determine an airline to announce that a flight is cancelled:

  1. Bad weather that will risk the safety of the flight
  2. Security reasons - like civil unrest at the destination or threat of terrorism
  3. Air traffic control restrictions - like the closing of a runway or destination airport
  4. Bird strikes - that cause damage to the airplane
  5. Air traffic control strikes

All of these situations, and many more, are considered extraordinary circumstances which are outside the airline's control. Thus, the air carrier isn't obligated to pay compensation claims.

Covered Cancelled Flights and Airlines

As you can imagine, not all cancelled flights are covered by the EU 261 Regulation or UK261 air passengers rights laws. In this section we will explain for which flight you can submit a claim for compensation. In short, to be eligible for compensation, one of the 2 following criteria must be met:

  • flight operated by an EU airline or UK airline in the case of UK 261, or
  • flight departed from an EU airport (EEA zone)

The following table should better explain in which cases flight cancellation compensation is owed.

Flight Journey

EU Airline

non-EU Airline

within EU



EU airport - non-EU airport



non-EU airport - EU airport



outside EU 



What to Do if Your Flight is Cancelled

If you've suffered a cancelled flight, don't expect the representatives of the air carrier to simply walk up to you and give your flight cancellation compensation.

You'll have to submit the claim yourself, but not before you've gathered enough evidence to support your cause.

Here are all the steps you need to do to ensure you get your cancelled flight compensation:

  1. Ask crew members for the flight cancellations reason (get some written proof of cancellation)
  2. Keep all your travel and flight details documents (boarding pass, booking reservation, etc.)
  3. Gather proof of airline cancellations (ex., take a photo of the departure timetable) 
  4. Ask for: ticket refund, or alternative flight (note down the actual arrival time to the destination, ask for complimentary meals and refreshments if delayed more than 2 hours, ask for the hotel room and transportation if delayed till the next day)
  5. Keep all receipts if you incur additional expenses due to the cancelled flight: for meals and water and, in some cases, for hotel, taxi, etc. 
  6. Be careful when accepting travel vouchers - you may give up your right to cash EU travel compensation (keep in mind that the most vouchers include a waiver to compensation).

Disrupted flight? You might have a right to compensation - up to £520 (€600).Check Your Flight

How Much Can You Claim for Cancelled Flight

You can get between €125 and €600 (£100 - 510) of flight cancellation compensation

The amount of cancelled flight compensation you can claim depends on several factors. Nonetheless, the air carrier is required by law to offer compensation between €125 and €600 (£100 - 510).

The exact amount of compensation depends on the following:

  • timing of the notice provided by the airline
  • flight travel distance
  • if your flight is within or outside the EU 
  • if you were offered another scheduled flight and if you accepted to use it 

The following tables will present all the cases that you can encounter when claiming compensation for a cancelled flight:

Compensation for cancelled short flights

 under 1,500km, ex. Paris - Amsterdam

Alternative flight offered?
YESNO, or you refused the offer
Compensation7 - 13 days' notice< 7 days' notice£210 (€250)
£100 (€125)new flight arrives earlier than 2 hours after the initial flight
£210 (€250)new flight arrives more than 2 hours after the initial flight
Nonenew flight departs less than 2 hours before the initial flight and arrives less than 4 hours after the initial flightnew flight departs less or 1 hour before the initial flight and arrives less than 2 hours after the initial fligh


Compensation for cancelled medium flights 

1,500km - 3,500km, ex. Tallinn - Madrid

Alternative flight offered?
YESNO, or you refused the offer
Compensation7 - 13 days’ notice< 7 days’ notice

£340 (€400)

£170 (€200)new flight departs more than 2 hours before the initial flight and arrives less than 3 hours after the initial flightnew flight departs more than 1 hour before the initial flight and arrives less than 3 hours after the initial flight
£340 (€400)new flight departs more than 2 hours before the initial flight and arrives 3 to 4 hours after the initial flightN/A
£340 (€400)new flight arrives more than 4 hours after the initial flightnew flight arrives more than 3 hours after the initial flight


Compensation for cancelled long flights 

more than 3,500km

Alternative flight offered?
YESNO, or you refused the offer
Compensation7 - 13 days’ notice< 7 days’ noticefor flights between EU & non-EU cities for flights between two EU cities 
£250 (€300)

new flight departs more than 2 hours before the initial flight and arrives less than 4 hours after the initial flight

new flight departs more than 1 hour before the initial flight and arrives less than 4 hours after the initial flight

£520 (€600)

ex., Milan - New York 

£340 (€400)

ex., Valencia - Reykjavik 

£520 (€600)new flight arrives more than 4 hours after the initial flight

Situations When Your Flight is Cancelled and You Can't Claim Compensation

As mentioned earlier, there are some situations when you can't claim compensation if the flight has been cancelled. These are:

  • flight was cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances
  • airline notified about airline cancellations 14 days before departure
  • flight ticket was booked at a discount rate (unavailable to the general public) or was given to the passenger gratis (ex., pilots and hostesses travel free of charge)

All of the above, and a few more, are considered circumstances unavoidable by all reasonable measures, thus ineligible for compensation.

Deadline to Claim Compensation for a Cancelled Flight

After you've suffered a cancellation, and you know you are entitled to compensation you have up to 3 years to make a claim, according to EU and UK law. Other countries have their own deadlines.

Even if you have all this time available to claim compensation you should start the process right away, as it will take the airline some time to respond. This will also leave you enough time to take further steps in case your claim is denied. We will discuss these further below.

Claim with AirAdvisor and get up to £520 (€600) compensation. Find out how much you’re owed today.Check Your Flight

How to Claim Compensation for Cancelled Flight

man is checking his flight cancellation rights on the laptop

When claiming compensation for flights cancelled you must first go through the steps covered in the earlier section entitled "What to Do if Your Flight is Cancelled". 

Next, you will want to send your claim to the airline. You can do this either by sending an email or filling out a form on their website. 

From this moment on you will have to wait anywhere between a few days and a month to get a reply. Flight cancellation compensation law doesn't have a time limit for when the air carrier must respond.

From our experience, airlines will take as much time as possible to solve the case. In many instances, they will deny the claim even though, according to the law, you are entitled to compensation. That is because they rely on the fact that many air passengers don't know their rights and woun't take further action.

How AirAdvisor Can Help

in case of flight cancellations, you can claim compensation for cancelled flight EU on the AirAdvisor website

If you find yourself in such a situation, contact us right away. Our legal team of experts has years of experience in dealing with such cases of delayed or cancelled flights. 

In fact, if you want to increase your chance of a successful compensation claims, you should let us handle your case from the beginning. 

Here are the top reasons why you should consider working with us as soon as you're announced that your flight is cancelled:

  • we know European Law flight cancellation inside out
  • we’ve helped more than 110,000 air passengers from 68 countries
  • we can help with any flight disruption you might be facing: denied boarding, cancellation cancellation or flight delay compensation
  • we’ll handle all the process for you, so you don’t have to stress out yourself
  • we’ll update you along the process
  • we’ll not ask for your money; it’s entirely risk-free for you

Claim Cancelled Flight Compensation with AirAdvisor

Our team of legal professionals is ready to take your case at any time during day or night. All you have to do is click on the "Check Compensation" button and fill out all the requested information.

From there, we'll take care of everything, even if it means going to court against the airline on your behalf. 

All our services are free of charge in case we lose. If we win your case, we'll only retain a 30% commission of the sum the airline pays you back. 

Contact us now and let's get you the flight cancellation compensation you deserve!

Claim with AirAdvisor and get up to £520 (€600) compensation. Find out how much you’re owed today.Check Your Flight

Other Common Flight Disruptions

Besides flight delays there are other cases when an airline must pay you compensation.

Delayed flight

If you've experienced a flight delay by more than three hours you may be entitled to compensation between £100 and £520 (€125 - €600). This also applies to replacement flight delays in case of cancellation.

Denied Boarding

Another common case is that of denied boarding due to overbooking. In such a case you are also entitled to compensation of up to 600 euros as well as a refund or a replacement flight. Read more in our denied boarding guide

Lost or Damaged Baggage

Another common situation where you might find yourself in need of our services is if your luggage was damaged or lost. 


FAQ - Common Flight Cancellation Compensation Questions


How many flights cancelled in a year?

The number is bigger than you might think. For example, US carriers alone had to cancel over 103.000 flights in 2021.


Where can I find recent flight cancellations?

You can always check the website of your departure airport to see if a flight is cancelled.


Can I get compensation for a cancelled flight?

Yes, you can but only under certain conditions: flight has been cancelled 14 days prior to departure, and extraordinary circumstances didn't cause it.


What are you entitled to if your flight is Cancelled?

You are entitled to compensation of up to 600 euros, a refund or rescheduled flight, complementary meals, and overnight accommodation if necessary.


How to claim compensation for cancelled flights?

To claim compensation for flight cancellations you need to submit your case to the airline. An easier way is to contact AirAdvisor and we'll take care of the entire case for you.


When am I entitled to EU flight cancellation compensation?

You can claim cancelled flight compensation if you meet all the requirements specified above: original flight cancelled less than 14 days before departure, not cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances (like technical fault) and ticket not purchase at discount rate.


What are my flight cancellation rights UK?

Your rights under UK law are the ones mentioned above: refund or replacement flight, compensation, complementary meals, and overnight accommodation if necessary.


Can you get compensation for a cancelled flight due to technical problems or bad weather?

Yes, you may claim compensation for cancelled flights due to technical issues or bad weather. Most technical problems are considered to be within the airline’s control. So, the airline is responsible for flight cancellations in this case. The only exception is the hidden manufacturing defect.


How much does it cost to claim for cancelled flight with AirAdvisor?

It is entirely free to get your airline passenger compensation with AirAdvisor. We only take a commission that is deducted from the obtained compensation. 


I have connecting flights - can I get compensation for my entire trip?

Yes. First of all, your trip shall satisfy the following criteria: all flights purchased under one booking and you are covered by either UK or EU law.


What is the deadline to file a EU law cancelled flight claim?

There is a specific time limit when you can claim compensation your original flight was cancelled. It depends on the country of the main office of the airline which operates the disrupted flight. Each country has its own deadline, but usually, it is 3 years.