Are You Entitled to Compensation for Flight Cancellations?
According to EU regulation 261/2004, you could be entitled to claim for flight cancellations if the flight on which you were booked to travel is cancelled less than fourteen days before you are due to fly, and no suitable re-routing alternative is offered to you.
Even if you choose to fly on a re-routing alternative, you may still be entitled to claim compensation for flight cancellations if the flight onto which you are re-booked arrives at its destination more than two hours later than your original scheduled arrival time.
There are, of course, conditions that have to be met before you are eligible to claim compensation for a cancelled flight from an airline. This article explains what those conditions are and how to make a claim for a cancelled flight to an airline.
Eligibility to Claim for Flight Cancellations
If you intend to claim for flight cancellations under EU regulation 261/2004, your original flight must have been scheduled to depart from an airport in the European Union or be returning to an airport in the European Union on an airline registered in the EU. Thereafter, your eligibility to claim for flight cancellations will depend on the reason for the flights being cancelled.
If the flights were cancelled due to “exceptional circumstances” beyond the airline´s control, you are only entitled to a refund of the cost of your ticket(s) or having your flight rescheduled. You will not be entitled to compensation for a cancelled flight from an airline. “Exceptional circumstances” beyond an airline´s control include (but are not limited to):
- Unavoidable security or safety issues
- Extreme weather conditions (either at the point of departure or arrival)
- Industrial action (for example a strike by air traffic controllers)
- Political problems (either at the point of departure or arrival)
- Air traffic management decisions (for example a cloud of volcanic ash)
When a flight has been cancelled because an avoidable technical problem has been identified, the airline has not got enough staff to fly the plane, or the flight has been cancelled because it was under-booked, you will be eligible to make a claim for a cancelled flight to an airline in addition to a refund of the cost of your ticket(s) – unless:
- You were told that your flight was going to be cancelled seven to fourteen days before your scheduled departure, and offered an alternative flight that departed no more than two hours before the scheduled time of your original flight or arrived no more than four hours after the scheduled arrival time of your original flight, or
- You were told that your flight was going to be cancelled less than seven days before your scheduled departure, and offered an alternative flight that departed no more than one hour before the scheduled time of your original flight or arrived no more than two hours after the scheduled arrival time of your original flight.
If you are not sure about your eligibility to claim for flight cancellations because you do not know whether you were scheduled to travel on a EU registered airline, or because you need further clarification about the circumstances under which you can make a claim for a cancelled flight to an airline, please do not hesitate to contact our financial claims advice department for further information.
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How to Make a Claim for a Cancelled Flight to an Airline
In theory, you should be able to make a claim for a cancelled flight to an airline simply by writing to the airline, explaining to them that you wish to claim compensation for flight cancellations under EU regulation 261/2004. You should include the names of all the passengers that were travelling in your party, the flight details – such as where you were travelling to and from, the flight number and your booking reference – and support your claim with documentation such as receipts and flight tickets.
There is no time limit for the airline to respond to a claim for flight cancellations and, if you have not heard anything within eight weeks, it is recommended that you complain to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) if your flight was departing from the UK, or the flight regulator in your country of departure if your flight was departing from anywhere else and landing at an EU destination.
Even though the CAA (or other regulatory authority) can pursue compensation for a cancelled flight from an airline on your behalf, it does not have the power to make the airline company pay up. Consequently it may be necessary to take your claim for flight cancellations to the courts. Unfortunately on some occasions it has been necessary to take these extreme measures to recover compensation for flight cancellations, but you should also receive any costs you have incurred in a successful settlement.
How Much Compensation for Flight Cancellations?
How much compensation for flight cancellations you will be entitled to will depend on the distance of your cancelled flight. For flights of up to 1,500 Km, the airline should compensate you €250 for each passenger scheduled to fly. The compensation for a cancelled flight from an airline increases to €400 per passenger for flights within the European Union of more than 1,500 Km and for all other flights to non-European Union destinations of between 1,500 Km and 3,500 Km.
The compensation for flight cancellations increases to €600 per passenger for all other flights over 3,500 Km – but airlines can reduce the settlement of a claim for flight cancellations be 50 percent if the alternative re-routed flight offered to you arrives at its destination within four hours of the original scheduled arrival time (within two hours for flights of up to 1,500 Km and within three hours for flights up to 3,500 Km).
The Easy Way to Claim Compensation for a Cancelled Flight from an Airline
With the majority of cancelled flights being to short-haul destinations, many passengers believe that the hassle that they may have to go through to recover compensation for cancelled flights is not worth the bother for a few hundred pounds – especially if they were re-routed on an alternative flight that delivered them to their destination just a few hours later than was expected.
In some respects they have a point. Airlines are becoming increasingly reluctant to pay compensation for flight cancellations, and some have even defied court orders to pay their passengers in a timely manner. However, there is an easy way to make a claim for a cancelled flight to an airline that eliminates all the hassle, and that is by using our injurycompensationlaw.co.uk service.
Our convenient service means that all you have to do is provide us with the information you would normally send to the airline, and we will claim compensation for flight cancellations on your behalf. If we have to pursue your claim for flight cancellations through the CAA or through the courts, we will; and, if our claim for compensation for a cancelled flight from an airline is unsuccessful, you will owe us nothing for using our service.
Call our claims advice department today for a chat without obligation to find out if you could benefit by up to €600 per person for using the injurycompensationlaw.co.uk service.