When is a flight cancelled?

A cancelled flight is when your original flight:

  • is cancelled and you are moved to another scheduled flight,
  • or your flight took off but had to return to departure airport and you are moved to another scheduled flight,
  • or your flight is not arriving at the indicated final destination on your ticket, unless you agreed on re-routing to the original arrival airport or any airport serving the same town, city or region. In this case it is considered as a delay and not a cancellation.

You won't receive compensation if:

  • the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances for example due to bad weather, or
  • you were informed 2 weeks before the scheduled flight date, or
  • you were offered an alternative for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one. 

In the event of flight cancellation the passengers have the right to:

  • reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
  • care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);

compensation totalling:

  • EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
  • EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometers, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres.
  • EUR 600 for all other flights.

If the carrier offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.

For cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, the carrier must still offer you either:

  • a ticket refund (in full or just the part you have not used)
  • alternative transport to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or
  • rebooking at a later date of your choice (subject to seat availability).

Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for alternative transport.

This Regulation is applicable to all worldwide airlines when departure takes place within the EU and, in the case of flights from outside the EU to a destination within the EU, only to airlines licensed in a Member State of the EU.

How to complain

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

Your rights - A summary

You might be entitled to receive compensation for problems with air travel. If the flight is overbooked or cancelled, the passenger is entitled to financial compensation.

Responsive web design. Works on all platforms and devices.