Flight Cancelled Due to Weather: How to Claim Compensation

Flight Cancelled Due to Weather: How to Claim Compensation

Amy Lancelotte
Written By Amy Lancelotte
Last Updated:

Regardless of why a flight gets cancelled, it’s bound to throw a wrench into your travel plans. One of the most common reasons for flight cancellations is the weather, and while knowing your rights won’t magically uncancel the flight, passengers may be entitled to some flight cancelled due to weather compensation to help alleviate the inconvenience.

The EU 261/2004 Regulation exists to guide passengers and airlines through compensation in the case of a cancelled flight, among other things. Airlines may use weather conditions to their advantage to avoid paying compensation, so it’s important to know what exactly the conditions are to get what you’re owed. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your flight cancelled due to weather refund or compensation.

Your Rights if Your Flight Is Cancelled Due to Bad Weather

In the event that your flight is cancelled due to weather, cancelled flight compensation can apply in certain circumstances. But there’s a catch. Your flight cancelled due to weather can’t fall into the category of what’s known as extraordinary circumstances. Regulation 261/2004 stipulates that if the cancellation is a result of extraordinary circumstances, which are broadly defined as something that’s unforeseen and completely out of the airline’s control, the airline is not required to issue compensation.

As you can imagine, airlines often use this as a catch-all excuse to avoid parting with their money. We help you hold the airline accountable by fact-checking their story, and it’s super easy to use our free checker to verify if your flight cancelled due to weather qualifies for any type of compensation.

In every case, when your flight is cancelled, due to weather or not, you’re entitled to either a new flight or a full refund. Another right for any cancelled flight is a passenger’s entitlement to care and assistance if you’re stranded. This can include everything from meals to accommodation to transportation.

Additionally, as long as you can prove that your flight was not cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances (more on this later), a cancelled flight due to weather may entitle you to extra compensation. This can range anywhere from €125 to €600, depending on your itinerary and the distance your flight was set to travel.

Figuring out how much you are owed for a disrupted flight can be complicated. We're here to help. Let us assess your compensation for you.Check Your Flight

How to Claim Your Money

When you need to know what to do if your flight is cancelled, the answer is easy: document everything. Dates, times, the airline’s stated reason for the cancellation, general conditions at theairport (are the other flights leaving as normal?), and anything else pertaining to the situation.

Here are the steps to take to claim your money:

  • Make sure the airline can’t play the extraordinary circumstances card. If the weather was not severe or unforeseen or so bad that it would affect the safe operation of the flight, it generally won’t trigger the extraordinary circumstances clause.
  • Now you’ve established that you think you’re entitled to receive additional compensation, claim your rights, and start by sending a flight cancellation compensation letter to the airline. To draft this, you’ll need all the information you gathered at the airport. If you want to avoid all this hassle, we can also assist you with the entire process. 
  • Wait for a response from the airline, and be prepared that claims are often denied after your first contact.

Cases when Compensation Can Be Denied

We’ve been talking intermittently about extraordinary circumstances and how they essentially offer a free pass to airlines so that they don’t have to pay compensation. What exactly is an extraordinary circumstance as it relates to Regulation EC261/2004 and your compensation if a flight is cancelled by the airline due to weather?

The easiest way to look at extraordinary circumstances is to think of them as something severe and unexpected and also entirely outside the airline’s control. As a result, since there’s no way the airline could have prevented the cancellation, they are not liable to provide compensation.

When it comes to a flight cancelled due to bad weather, extraordinary circumstances can be anything from thick fog to heavy snowfall and thunderstorms to severe winds. If it’s out of the ordinary and hinders the safety of the flight, it would fit into extraordinary circumstances. If the airline’s position of citing extraordinary circumstances is valid, your claim will be denied.

An instance of unacceptable weather that causes a cancellation must also affect your flight directly, not your plane somewhere else along the route. Also, when your departure airport continuously experiences an accepted level of bad weather, like a ski resort, regular snow is not enough to constitute an extraordinary circumstance.

AirAdvisor Increases Your Chances of Compensation

Navigating the ins and outs of weather delays is tricky. Sometimes it’s a valid reason, and sometimes it’s an easy way out for the airline. You can end up leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t make a claim, and even then, airlines will usually do everything they can to keep their money in their pockets.

That’s when you should consider a partnership with us. We have an extensive and thorough legal team full of experience in just these types of situations. We’ll take the guesswork out of your compensation eligibility and make sure you get the maximum reimbursement. We are well-versed in your rights, and the airlines know it. That’s why your chances of receiving a generous amount of compensation increase drastically when you use us instead of going it alone.

Claim with AirAdvisor and get up to €600 ($650) compensation. Find out how much you’re owed today.Check Your Flight


Do airlines cancel flights due to weather?

Yes, all the time. It’s actually one of the most common reasons flights are cancelled.

Do airlines compensate for cancelled flights due to weather?

If the weather is severe and unexpected and impacts the airline’s ability to operate the flight safely, no compensation is typically offered. On the other hand, if the cancellation is due to weather that’s common at the departure point or affects your plane in an entirely different location than your departure airport, additional compensation may be possible.

What happens if my flight is cancelled due to weather?

The airline is required to offer you an alternate flight or issue a full refund within 7 days. If the weather isn’t too severe, you may also be eligible to claim compensation for a flight cancelled due to weather.