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Flight Cancellations and Delays from the Netherlands: This Is What To Do

Flight Cancellations and Delays from the Netherlands: This Is What To Do

Amy Lancelotte
Written By Amy Lancelotte
Last Updated: May 13, 2024

In 2023 alone, passenger flights to and from the Netherlands totalled 492,211, according to Statistics Netherlands. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport was the country’s busiest and accounted for 434,359 of those flights.

Netherlands flights were up 7% in 2023 compared to 2022, and unfortunately, that increase coupled with the already busy skies means that the opportunities for flight delay compensation and claims for other disruptions are likely to go up as well.

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You’re in the right place to find out all there is to know about delayed flight compensation in the Netherlands and the EU as a whole. As airline compensation experts, we have a ton of knowledge about the EU flight delay compensation rules and how to go about claiming the maximum amount. We’ve done this for over 250,000 people and collected more than €49 million on their behalf since 2017.

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Key Data Points

  • Netherlands-based airlines must follow the requirements of regulation EU261.
  • Air delay compensation is triggered after arriving at least 3 hours late at your destination. 
  • Passengers can expect up to €600 from the airline for flight delays, denied boarding, or cancellations, depending on flight distance.
  • Extraordinary circumstances limit the airline’s liability.
  • AirAdvisor is the absolute best partner to maximize your payout.

Flight Delay Frequency - the Netherlands

To determine how often flights are delayed in the Netherlands, let’s look at data from Eurocontrol regarding the country’s main airline, KLM, and the country’s main airport, Amsterdam Schiphol.

Departure Punctuality Averages - European Network

To get a baseline, here are the network averages for the on-time departures from 20 European Airports and 20 European airlines, according to Eurocontrol:

 

2023

2022

2019

European Airlines

78%

77%

82%

European Airports

65%

66%

73%

Departure Punctuality Comparison Table

 

2023

2022

2019

KLM Group

79% (+1%)

78% (+1%)

82% (0%)

Schiphol

63% (-2%)

61% (-5%)

70% (-3%)

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From this info, we can see that 37% of flights from Amsterdam Airport didn’t leave on time in 2023, down significantly from 2019. Additionally, KLM flights fared better and departed late only 21% of the time. 

But how does this compare to the European average? KLM is pretty much right in line with the average or slightly better, but Amsterdam Airport is consistently below average. So. it’s natural that there will be cause for complaints related to flight delay compensation in the Netherlands.

EU Flight Delay Reimbursement - The Rules

EU law states that passengers who experience a significant flight delay, a cancellation without acceptable notice, or are denied boarding are entitled to compensation. The guidelines are all set out in the EU regulation for delayed flight compensation - EC 261/2004, also called EU261. 

The Important Conditions

To qualify for compensation in the Netherlands (and Europe), these are the main factors:

  1. Your delayed flight was late by at least 3 hours, based on arrival time at your destination.
  2. Compensation amounts are based on the flight distance and range from €250 to €600.
  3. All flights are eligible if they meet condition 1 when they are operated by an airline based in the Netherlands and either take off or land at an EU airport. If your carrier is not EU-based, only flights that depart from the EU would qualify.
  4. To receive flight cancellation compensation in the Netherlands, your flight is subject to condition 3 and the notice of cancellation must be received in fewer than 14 days from the scheduled flight departure.

Flights departing to Amsterdam

Travel Delay Compensation Amounts - The Netherlands

As mentioned, your flight distance will impact the maximum compensation you can expect from the airline. So as long as you meet the general conditions of a 3-hour delay and your route/airline involves the EU, here are the expected payouts:



Delay Time at Destination

Flight Distance

EU flights under 1,500km

EU flights over 1,500km

Non-internal EU flights between 1,500km & 3,500km

Non-internal EU flights over 3,500km

Under 3 hours

€0

3 hours or more

€250

€400

€400

€600*

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* It’s possible that an airline will attempt to reduce this reimbursement by 50% for short delays, but AirAdvisor always goes for the max amount.

What Flights Are Covered?

One of the main conditions of EU 261 is the flight route and airline. This can all get a little confusing, so when you’re unsure, you can always use our flight checker without obligation to see what options you have.

To try and clarify things, here are some common flights and the typical compensation passengers can claim:

Amsterdam to Barcelona

By passenger numbers, the route from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Barcelona-El Prat Airport is one of the busiest in the Netherlands. Since this route is entirely in the EU, it doesn’t matter which airline you use, EC261 will kick in for applicable flight disruptions. The route distance here is approximately 1,200km, so for a flight delay that is 3 hours or more, passengers should start an EU flight delay compensation claim for €250.

Amsterdam to Los Angeles

Let’s say your flight from Amsterdam Schiphol to LAX was delayed by 6 hours upon arrival and you flew with Delta Airlines. Since your flight left an EU airport, met the minimum delay, and was over 3,500km, you can contact Delta to claim €600. But, your return trip, also with Delta, would not qualify. Switch that to KLM and the same €600 in compensation is possible.

London to Amsterdam

For this example, let’s assume your flight route was from London Heathrow to Amsterdam with British Airways. It’s a short flight of around 350km, so if you encounter a 4-hour delay, your payout would be in the €250 tier. The issue is that you’re flying a non-EU airline and taking off from a non-EU airport. Luckily, the UK has a very similar regulation (UK261), which means you should still be able to file a claim with BA.

Amsterdam to Lisbon

For our last example, we’ll depart from Amsterdam and arrive at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport 3.5 hours late flying with TAP Air Portugal. This is another option within the EU so technically, the carrier and route don’t factor in. The flight distance here is roughly 1,800km, so your late flight compensation would be up to €400.

This chart will help summarize all our examples and a few others:

Departure

Arrival

Distance

Airline

Delay Time

Compensation

Amsterdam

Barcelona

1,200km

ANY

3 hours +

€250

Amsterdam

Lisbon

1,800km

ANY

3 hours +

€400

London

Amsterdam

350km

Must be EU-based for EU261 to apply

3 hours +

€250

Amsterdam

London

350km

ANY

2 hours

€0

Amsterdam

Los Angeles

8,900km

ANY

6 hours

€600

Los Angeles

Amsterdam

8,900km

Must be EU-based

6 hours

€600

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Does Netherlands flight delay compensation apply to your journey? We can help - just click here.

Extraordinary Circumstances - Why Do They Matter?

Extraordinary circumstances are kind of like a get-out-of-jail-free card for airline delay compensation (and cancellations). Basically, if a flight is disrupted due to something that’s outside the carrier’s purview, no compensation is required. 

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It’s important to get the reason for a delay or cancellation from the airline as soon as you either land late or find out the flight isn’t going ahead as scheduled. Get it in writing if possible, and always note the name of the person you spoke to. 

These are some of the most common types of extraordinary circumstances that will negate payout requirements:

  • Security risks, including terrorism.
  • Civil or political disruptions
  • Plane defects.
  • Extreme weather, such as hurricanes, snow storms, and thick fog.
  • Strikes or issues with non-airline personnel, like Air Traffic Control or baggage handlers.

On the other hand, these are situations that DO NOT qualify as extraordinary circumstances:

  • Issues with airline employees, including strikes and insufficient staffing.
  • Technical problems with your aircraft, especially those related to regular maintenance.
  • A delayed plane due to bad weather on one of its previous routes.

KLM plane landing at Amsterdam Airport

Netherlands Delayed Flight Compensation - Major Carriers

KLM

We have established that KLM flights generally depart on time 79% of the time, which is slightly above average. But do KLM flights also land on time at the same rate? Unfortunately, no. Here’s how KLM flights compare to the average when we review arrivals instead:

KLM Group Arrival Punctuality

Period

KLM Group

Network Average

2023

75%

71%

2022

75%

71%

2019

79%

78%

As you can see, KLM does well with an average of about 76% for the years reviewed, and in 2023, an additional 4% of the airline’s flights didn’t land on schedule.

When it comes to flight cancellation compensation, in 2022, based on data from OAG, KLM’s cancellation rate was 0.54%. That year they offered 213,614 total flights, so over 1,100 flights didn’t take off at all.

To make a complaint for KLM late flight compensation or a cancelled flight, you can contact the airline directly and fill out a claim form online.

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Were you on one of the 25% of flights that landed late with KLM? Check your eligibility for compensation now!

Transavia flight delay compensation

Transavia

As a low-cost carrier, Transavia is actually a subsidiary of KLM but operates separately. 

Transavia's main bases are Amsterdam Schiphol, Rotterdam The Hague, and Eindhoven airports, and the airline regularly transports around 9 million passengers annually.

In 2022, Transavia’s on-time percentage was significantly lower than KLM’s at 65.97%, so on average, 1 out of every 3 flights incur a delay of some sort. Some of those will meet the 3-hour threshold entitling passengers to claim plane delay compensation.

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Also in 2022, Transavia had one of the best cancellation rates out of all the low-cost airlines at 0.02%, a lot less than KLM.

To log a Transavia flight disruption complaint, we have provided all the details you need here.

Flight Interruptions in the Netherlands - A Recap

No one wants to waste time, so before you attempt a flight delay compensation or other type of claim, check that your incident meets the following:

  • A delay of 3 hours minimum.
  • A flight within the EU, departing or arriving in the EU with an EU carrier, or departing from the EU with a non-EU-based carrier.
  • Notice of a cancellation occurred in fewer than 14 days from scheduled departure.
  • The interruption was not the result of extraordinary circumstances.
  • You have documentation to validate your claim, like correspondence, booking numbers, and receipts.

Airline delay compensation from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Flight Claims For The Netherlands - Simple Steps

Claiming flight delay compensation in Europe can be a complicated matter - one that’s often best left to the experts. This is especially true if you don’t have time to follow up or the confidence to hold airlines accountable. Luckily, we do. 

Here’s what to do to claim compensation for delayed flight instances through AirAdvisor:

  1. Head to our homepage.
  2. Enter some basic details regarding your specific flight/situation.
  3. Attach whatever supporting documents you have that help substantiate the claim.
  4. Let us follow up from here and we’ll advise you as soon as the cancellation or plane delay compensation has been collected.

To save time and improve your odds of a successful claim, AirAdvisor only takes a small amount (as a percentage) from airline payouts. But, on the rare occasion when we are unable to collect, there is no charge to you. 

Click here to start your easy 4-step claim now!

FAQs

What are the amounts for flight delay compensation in the Netherlands?

Flights delayed by at least 3 hours generally qualify for €250 for flights under 1,500km, €400 for flights between 1,500km and 3,500km, and €600 for flights over 3,500km.

What Netherlands flights qualify for travel delay compensation?

Any flight with an EU-based airline, such as KLM or Transavia, is covered by EU261 for delay reimbursement as long as the flight departs or lands at an EU airport. Alternatively, if your carrier is based outside the EU, your flight must exclusively depart from an EU airport to qualify.

What does extraordinary circumstances mean?

In the Netherlands, and the whole of Europe, extraordinary circumstances are considered events that are outside the airline’s control. These include things like severe weather, non-airline strikes, political unrest, and issues with Air Traffic Control. If a flight disruption results from extraordinary circumstances, the airline doesn’t have to issue cancellation or flight delay compensation.

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