Flight cancelled — compensation and refund rules in the UK and the EU
Flight cancellation can completely shatter travel plans and lead to stress and waste of time.
But even if you took an alternative flight offered by the airline, you might still be able to claim up to £520 in cancelled flight compensation!
Plus, if you did not take any alternative flight by the airline, you might also claim a full monetary refund.
Check if you are eligible using our free, no-obligation Claim Calculator. It will take only a minute!
What you must know
Was your flight cancelled fewer than 14 days prior to the original departure date? You are likely eligible for up to £520 in flight compensation.
Did you not take any alternative flight offered by the airline? Then you can claim a full monetary refund — don’t accept vouchers!
You can also claim compensation for flights delayed by at least 3 hours.
You have up to 6 years to claim your compensation and refund.
At Flight-Delayed.co.uk, we have been helping passengers get their money back since 2010. We have legal teams in 9 countries and have won 98% of court cases against airlines. For your convenience, we operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis
Table of contents
In 2004, Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 was established by the European Parliament and European Commission. Later known as EU261 or Flight Compensation Regulation, the document guarantees passengers in the EU the right to compensation and a refund in the event of a cancelled or delayed flight.
After Brexit, the Regulation was adopted into British law as ‘The Air Passenger Rights and Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019’. While the name isn’t too catchy, what’s important is that this document guarantees British citizens the same air passenger rights as they have previously enjoyed while the United Kingdom had been part of the EU.
Check if you are eligible for cancelled flight compensation and refund.
With our free Claim Calculator, it takes just a minute!
The British and EU regulations apply to most flights travelling to or from the United Kingdom and the European Union. The only major exception would be when flying to the UK/EU with a non-UK/non-EU airline — for example, flying from the United States with a US-based airline like United or American Airlines.
See the table below for details.
The most important criterion is the time when the airline announced the flight cancellation. If the cancellation was announced fewer than 14 days prior to the original departure date, you are likely eligible for compensation.
The other two criteria are:
- The reason for the cancellation — in order for the passenger to be eligible for compensation, the cancellation must be the fault of the airline itself.
=> See the Extraordinary Circumstances part of this article to learn more about situations where the airline does not have to issue compensation.
- Details of the alternative flight offered by the airline — see table below.
For all flights of fewer than 1,500 km, the compensation is £220.
For all flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km, the compensation is £350.
For all flights of over 1,500 kilometres within the EU, the compensation is also £350.
For all flights of over 3,500 kilometres outside of the EU, the compensation is £520 — however, if your flight was delayed by fewer than 4 hours, the total amount might be reduced by 50%.
You can claim a refund if your flight was cancelled and you decided not to take any alternative flight offered by the airline. If you were not offered an alternative flight at all, you can, of course, also claim a refund.
We don’t recommend it. The main reasons for that are:
When you accept a voucher, you have to use the same airline in the future, even if you had a bad experience with it.
Your money gets frozen. Even if you don’t want to fly anytime soon, you have to do so if you don’t want to completely lose your money.
Airline voucher expiration dates can be problematic — you will need to plan your next trip fast.
If the airline goes bankrupt, you’ll likely lose your money — the law doesn’t guarantee an option to exchange the voucher for a refund.
Have you already accepted a travel voucher?
You might still be able to exchange it for a refund!
There are certain situations where the airline can rightfully deny compensation for a cancelled or delayed flight. Among these extraordinary circumstances are:
Bad weather, for example thick fog, heavy rain, or thunderstorms.
A strike, most often specifically within the aviation industry.
However, a strike of the airline's crew is not considered an extraordinary circumstance!
Political circumstances, such as a terrorist attack or general security risk due to political unrest.
Natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.
A collision between the aircraft and birds or other foreign objects.
An ill or unruly passenger.
Flight delays caused by the airport staff, such as extraordinarily long queues to security checks.
Be aware, though, that airlines sometimes claim that extraordinary circumstances occurred, even if that was not the case. Claim your compensation today via Flight-Delayed.co.uk and we’ll thoroughly review your case and make sure the airline is held accountable.
Claiming flight compensation and refund has never been easier.
Do it in just a few minutes with Flight-Delayed.co.uk
It sometimes happens that when a flight is suddenly cancelled, the passenger has to incur unexpected expenses. This includes hotel expenses, restaurant meals, spendings on transportation (taxis, car rentals), and more.
Thankfully, in many cases, we are able to help you get your money back from the airline. Claim with Flight-Delayed.co.uk today and simply upload all relevant receipts and invoices via our smart online system. We’ll take care of it from there.
=> Claim your money back
Are you flying to or from the UK? Then you have up to 6 years to submit your claim. Scotland is the exception — you have 5 years to claim there.
If your itinerary does not include the UK (for example, you are flying between EU countries), this depends on the laws in each country. Use our free Claim Calculator to find if you are still eligible for cancelled flight compensation and/or a refund.
Many of the passengers we help find money on their accounts within a few weeks or months after submitting their claim.
In some situations, however, such as when the airline is unresponsive and/or the claim has to go to court, this wait time might get extended. Rest assured, though, that if you claim with Flight-Delayed.co.uk, we’ll take the stress off your shoulders — we’ll keep you posted on any major updates regarding your claim, be there to answer any questions, and represent you in court when needed.
Put your trust in experts with over a decade of experience.
We have been helping passengers get their money back since 2010.
First, double-check your eligibility using our free, no-obligation Claim Calculator.
Afterwards, you can either try to claim compensation and refund by yourself or let us do the job for you. Thanks to over a decade of experience in helping air passengers, we know all the ins and outs of the legal process and have won 98% of court cases against the airlines. We take care of virtually everything for you, you just need to share with us all the necessary information via our smart online system — it will only take a couple of minutes!
Why claim with Flight-Delayed.co.uk?
Helping passengers since 2010
Legal teams in 9 countries
98% of court cases won
‘No win, no fee’ — always
If you wish to learn more about our fees, please visit our Price List page.
Otherwise, if you are ready to claim, start the process right away — you can do it straight from your phone or your computer!
- More details on delayed flight compensation
- More details on cancelled flight refund
- Post-Brexit flight compensation rules in the UK
- Rules regarding missed flight compensation
- Rules regarding flight compensation in the case of denied boarding
- Claim Calculator — check if you are eligible for compensation