Cancelled Flight Compensation

Compensation for cancelled flights was established by European Regulation EC 261/04, which has set an industry-accepted compensation fee structure, guaranteeing up to £540* per passenger for flights which have been cancelled by the airline. Flight cancellations can occur for a number of reasons, most commonly from the availability of crew members or equally aircraft problems.


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In cases of flight cancellations, airlines are obligated to provide an alternative flight. This disruption to a passenger’s initial plans can mean they are entitled to claim compensation for their inconvenience.

There are certain conditions which apply, such as the amount of time a passenger is informed of the cancellation prior to their flight, or how long after a passenger arrives at their destination compared to their original arrival time.

Should a passenger be informed of a cancellation 14 or more days in advance, the airline is not obligated to pay compensation. Also, factors such as strikes and bad weather can mean the airline is exempt from paying a refund.

To claim your right to compensation for a cancelled flight with Flight Reclaim, simply enter your flight details here. Our flight claim specialists will let you know right away if you’re entitled to compensation, and also exactly how much.

If the airline refuses to pay, we’ll even take your case to court with no additional cost. Our Passenger Rights lawyers have an excellent track record in obtaining compensation from airlines for our clients.

It is important to note that the airline is exempt from paying this compensation if it can show there were extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all necessary precautions were taken. In many cases (but not all), these can include strikes and severe weather. What is considered an extraordinary circumstance can vary, but rest assured that we will contact the relevant parties to gather the necessary information to fight your claim.

Extraordinary circumstances aside, the legal ruling also covers delayed flights, missed connections and over bookings, meaning you may be entitled to up to £540* if the delay on arrival was three hours or more.

Although passenger rights are clearly regulated in the EU Regulation 261/2004, it has been seen that airlines show little cooperation and usually counter by listing numerous arguments as to why compensation is not possible.

With Flight Reclaim you have a strong partner by your side to enforce your right to compensation where the airlines have caused disruption to your travel.

*Estimate based on fluctuating value of €600

Absolutely brilliant!

I'd wasted lots of time unsuccessfully chasing my own claim when I heard from Flight Reclaim. They took all of the pain away, did all the leg work and paid my compensation directly into my account. All I had to do was sign some forms and wait. I'm still pinching myself at how easy they made it seem. Don't bother doing it on your own, the airlines know how to drive you crazy - they don't get away with that with flight reclaim!

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Cancelled Flight FAQ

How much you can claim from the airline depends on the distance you were supposed to travel on your cancelled flight. Depending on when you were informed of your cancelled flight, if your replacement flight departed one hour or more ahead of schedule or arrived three hours or more after schedule, then you may be entitled to the following refunds:
Distance Claim Value Based On
Up to 1500 km £220 €250
1500 km to 3500 km £360 €400
More than 3500 km £540 €600

Any cancelled flight which was scheduled to depart from an EU airport is covered by EU 261, regardless of airline or destination. The airline must offer you a replacement flight if it cancels your original flight.

Depending on when you were informed of the cancellation, different criteria apply. If you were informed:

  • 14 days or more ahead of time: No compensation is due, but you may choose to be reimbursed for the full value of the airfare.
  • 7-14 days ahead of time: If the replacement flight offered departs 2 hours or more early, or lands 4 hours or more after schedule, you are entitled to the compensations described in FAQ 1 depending on the distance of the itinerary.
  • 0-7 days ahead of time: If the replacement flight offered departs 1 hour or more early, or lands 2 hours or more after schedule, you are entitled to the compensations described in FAQ 1 depending on the distance of the itinerary.

Additionally, the compensation can be reduced by 50% if rerouting involves a delay on arrival of not more than 2, 3 or 4 hours based on the respective distances as described in FAQ 1.

The following hypothetical itineraries would entitle the passenger to up to £540 if, barring extraordinary circumstances, the cancelled flight met the above criteria:

London - Hong Kong operated by British Airways
Berlin – New York operated by Delta
Miami – Berlin operated by Lufthansa

The following, however, would not be covered by EU 261:

Miami – Berlin operated by Delta

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, you can claim back as far as 6 years for a flight cancellation.
No. Passengers from any nationality can claim if their flight is covered by EU 261/2004 as described in FAQ 2.
For flight cancellation claims, we currently operate with an average case resolution time of about 100 days. However, this may vary based on the airline and the route. Cases resolved in court can take a few months.

Once the airline agrees to settle your compensation for your cancelled flight, or a court rules that the airline must pay you the compensation, will receive the entire sum. We will then deduct our commission of 25% (plus a £25 administration fee) plus VAT and transfer you the balance via a cheque or bank transfer.

Once we’ve received the payment we’ll ask you for your details and preferred method of payment, and 48 hours after the payment is made we’ll delete this data to ensure your data is protected.

On occasion the airline will pay the passenger directly. At this point we will only invoice for our services once we know the compensation has been paid to you by the airline.

Find out more about what we do for our fees

It is generally understood that the standard compensation payment should cover additional expenses incurred by the passenger. To streamline and accelerate the claiming process, we will only make a claim for additional expenses if accompanying a flight disruption claim and if all receipts are provided.

Our Simple 3 Step Process


Fill in our online claim form. It only takes 2 minutes


Our aviation experts and lawyers enforce your rights to compensation


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