Flight Cancellation Rights
What is flight cancellation?
Flight cancellation is when a scheduled flight does not occur for which at least one seat was reserved. A cancellation of the flight by the passenger is not cancellation in this sense.
The legal basis is Art. 1 lit. I of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.
What rights do I have if I am affected by a flight cancellation?
In cases of flight cancellation, the passenger has a choice between:
- refund of the ticket price
- alternative transport to the final destination under comparable conditions
- return flight to the initial place of departure at the earliest point in time.
The legal basis is Art. 8, Section 1, of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.
Additional care and support services like meals, free phone calls, hotel lodgings and travel between airport and hotel are determined by the specifics of the particular case.
The legal basis is Art. 9 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.
In addition, the airlines are basically obligated to pay comprehensive damage compensation, the so-called compensation payment, if the passenger was not informed at least two weeks prior to the date of departure about the flight cancellation or offered a re-routing (alternative transport) within certain frame times of departure and arrival. The amount of the compensation payment is governed by the distance of the flight booked and is
- euro 250 if the flight distance is up to 1,500 km
- euro 400 in case of an intra-Community flight with a distance of more than 1,500 km and for all other flights with a distance between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
- euro 600 in all other cases
If the airline offers an alternative flight, the compensation payments may be reduced by 50 percent if the alternative flight is not later than
- two hours behind the scheduled time of arrival (applies to flight distances of 1,500 km or less)
- three hours behind the scheduled time of arrival (applies to intra-Community flights above a distance of more than 1,500 km and to all other flights above a distance of between 1,500 and 3,500 km)
- four hours behind the scheduled time of arrival (applies to all flights above a distance of 3,500 km).
If the flight cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken by the airline, then the airline’s obligation to make the compensation payment lapses.
The legal basis is Art. 5 and 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.