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How to Claim Hotel Compensation for Cancelled Flights

How to Claim Hotel Compensation for Cancelled Flights

Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
Last Updated: May 13, 2024

Have you been stranded at the airport because of a flight cancellation? Are you wondering if airlines will pay for a hotel room if they cancel your flight? Keep reading, because you may be eligible for hotel accommodation provided by the airline if your flight has been delayed or cancelled.

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Understanding Your Rights

Having a flight cancelled is bad enough, but it’s even worse if your alternate flight doesn’t leave until the next day. Thankfully, regulations in the EU, UK, and Canada require airlines to provide you with care and compensation when your flight is severely delayed or cancelled - even if you’re flying with a US carrier.

Cancelled Flight Hotel Compensation

When You Can Expect Hotel Accommodation

If the airline cancels your flight, they will pay for hotel accommodation as long as your journey involves a region where the law requires carriers to provide this kind of compensation.

EU

EU 261 is a law that requires airlines to provide free hotel accommodation for passengers when their flight is cancelled and rebooked for the following day. Your flight is protected by this law if any of the following apply:

  • Your flight was with an EU airline
  • You’re departing from an EU airport even on an airline from another region

UK

UK 261 is nearly identical to the EU law. So if you are a passenger whose flight has been cancelled, you can expect to be compensated with hotel accommodation as long as:

  • Your flight was with a UK airline
  • Your flight is departing from a UK airport even if your airline is from another country
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Canada

In Canada, you are also eligible to receive free hotel accommodation if your cancelled flight results in an alternate flight that doesn’t leave until the next day. This applies to you if:

  • Your flight is with a Canadian Airline
  • Your flight is arriving in Canada or departing from Canada even if your carrier is from another country

US

In the United States, airlines are not required to provide any assistance to their passengers when a flight is cancelled or delayed, even when the disruption is the airline’s fault. However, they are required to rebook passengers or provide a full ticket refund.

However, as a passenger on a US airline like United, Delta, and JetBlue, you are still eligible for free hotel accommodation if:

  • Your flight was arriving in Canada
  • You were departing from a UK, EU, or Canadian airport

Conditions for Hotel Compensation

Conditions for Hotel Compensation

In the EU, UK, and Canada: If your flight has been cancelled at the last minute (or severely delayed), and you’ve been rebooked on a flight that leaves the following day, then the airline must provide you with hotel accommodation in addition to food and refreshment.

The airline might not have to pay you cash compensation if your flight was cancelled because of extraordinary circumstances like dangerous weather or an airport strike, but they are still required to give you an alternate flight, care, and a hotel stay, no matter what caused your flight to be cancelled.

Hotel Transportation

Sometimes airport shuttles will take passengers to and from local airports free of charge, but if this option is unavailable, then the airline must also pay for the cost of a taxi or other transportation that takes you to your hotel and back to the airport the next day.

Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

If you have to initially pay for your hotel or transportation to the hotel or any other expenses associated with care, be sure to keep record of your receipts. You can submit these to the airline for reimbursement later on especially if you’re eligible for cash compensation as a result of a delayed or cancelled flight.

Hotel room with table and bed

How to Get Hotel Accommodation

To claim hotel accommodation, all you have to do is ask the airline to provide you with it as soon as you find out your rebooked flight will be leaving the following day. Remember, EU and UK regulations require airlines to give you information about your rights when your flight has been cancelled or delayed.

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What To Do When Your Flight is Cancelled

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled, remember to take these steps:

  1. Keep track of all important documents related to your flight like your boarding pass
  2. When you learn your flight has been disrupted, ask the airline agents what caused it
  3. Ask for meals and refreshments as well as a hotel stay if you can’t depart until the following day
  4. Ask for a refund if you choose not to continue your trip.
  5. Collect all your receipts for any essential purchases you had to make as a result of your flight disruption
  6. Don’t accept vouchers or sign waivers unless you’ve carefully read and understand the details. Accepting and signing these can sometimes cause you to forfeit cash compensation later.

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AirAdvisor’s team of legal professionals has been fighting for air passenger rights since 2017. We assist people around the world and operate on a no win, no fee basis. So far, we’ve helped more than 250,000 passengers claim compensation from airlines for delayed, cancelled, and overbooked flights. If you’re not sure about your rights as a passenger, or if you’re unsure of how to navigate the claims process, let us help! We can take care of the entire claims process for you, totally risk free.

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