How Can You Know if You’re Entitled to Compensation After a Cancelled Flight?


If you have ever had to deal with a flight cancellation, you already know how frustrating it can be. No one ever wants to deal with that but what happens when you find yourself in such a situation? Not everyone knows that they can get compensated for a cancelled flight. Under the EU 261/2004 regulation, you can be entitled to compensation of up to €600 if your flight ever gets disrupted. In this article, we will explain how to know if you are entitled to compensation after a cancelled flight.

What is the EU 261/2004 Regulation?

The EU 261/2004 regulation, also known as the flight compensation regulation, is an EU law that protects the rights of air passengers in the event of a flight disruption. This may include flight cancellation, flight delays, denied boarding, or overbooking.

What Are Your Rights Under the EC 261 Law?

If your flight is cancelled, you may be entitled to monetary compensation between €250 and €600. In addition, you have the right to claim a ticket refund or a replacement flight, without any additional cost to you. If it’s a connecting flight and you don’t want a replacement flight, you can request a flight back to your original departure point. If you have been delayed for more than two hours, you have access to the right to care. This includes complimentary food and drinks and free hotel accommodation if the disrupted flight causes you to stay overnight at the airport.

The exact monetary compensation you get is calculated by the flight distance, which is categorized into the short distance, medium distance, and long distance, as expanded below.

  • For short distances – up to 1500km – you are entitled to €250 Compensation
  • Medium distances – Between 1500km and 3500km – you are entitled to €400 Compensation
  • Long distances – More than 3500km – you are entitled to €600 Compensation

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for this compensation, there are eligibility criteria you must meet. Use the checklist below to know if you qualify for compensation under the EC 261 law.

  • Your flight was departing from an airport in the UK or an EU member state or landing in one provided that the airline is headquartered in the EU or UK.
  • The reason for the cancellation was within the airline’s control.
  • The airline informed you of the cancellation 14 days or less before the originally scheduled departure date.
  • You checked in for your flight on time, provided you weren’t notified of the disruption beforehand.
  • This flight disruption happened on a flight operated in the last six years.

What Can You Do If Your Flight Gets Cancelled?

If your flight ever gets cancelled, you must learn to take advantage of the laws in place to protect your rights. Start by approaching the airline to find out the cause of the cancellation. Request to get it in writing, so it can serve as a supporting document for when you claim compensation. If you are at the airport already, make use of the complimentary food and drinks.

Gather all relevant documents that will help you during this process, which include receipts of expenses, vouchers, and alternative tickets, among others. You can also get an attorney or go through agencies like Flightright for a seamless process.