Cancelled Flight Compensation
Compensation for flight cancellations
Under the flight compensation regulation, wherever a flight is cancelled passengers are entitled to be re-routed to their final destination under comparable conditions. However, passengers have the option of taking a refund of the unused portion of the ticket instead if this is their preference.
Where a passenger chooses to take a refund, the airline must also give him a return flight to his original point of departure as soon as possible.
Changes and transfers
In some cases a passenger will have bought a ticket on a multi leg-journey which involves changes and transfers. If he gets part way through this journey and then one of the flights is cancelled, the journey he has already made serves no purpose. In this case the passenger is entitled to a full refund not only of the unused portion of this ticket, but also in relation to the parts of the journey which he has already made (in other words, a full refund of the ticket price).
If the passenger is left stranded for any length of time waiting for the flight which will take him on to his destination or which will return him home to his original point of departure, then the airline must provide accommodation, refreshments and access to communications fee of charge.
Payment of compensation
In addition to all of the above, wherever a flight is cancelled the airline must pay each of the passengers compensation. Passengers are entitled to this compensation as of right and do not need to show that they have suffered any particular loss or inconvenience. The amount of compensation which the passenger is entitled to depends on the distance of the flight and how long the passenger is delayed in reaching his final destination as a result of the re-routing:
- For short-haul flights (that is to say, anything under 1500km) the compensation is €150 if the delay in reaching the final destination is less than or equal to 2 hours, and is €250 where the passenger arrives at his final destination more than 2 hours late.
- For medium haul flights (that is to say, all flights within the EU over 1500km and for all other flights between 1500km and 3500km) the compensation is €200 if the delay caused by the cancellation is less than or equal to 3 hours, or in cases where there is a delay of more than 3 hours this increases to €400.
- For long-haul flights (that is to say all flights over 3500km) the passenger is entitled to €300 compensation where the delay is less than or equal to 4 hours, or €600 compensation where the passenger reaches his final destination more than 4 hours late.
Whilst these compensation amounts may appear small, it is important to note that they are per-passenger and not per-booking. A family of 2 adults and two children which is travelling to America and is delayed for over 4 hours because of flight cancellations and rescheduling would be entitled to €2400.
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