If you have ever had to deal with a flight cancellation, you should know how frustrating it gets. You have your trip planned and your bags packed but for some reason, your flight is suddenly cancelled! This is never any traveler’s fantasy. However, as much as we might detest this, it doesn’t change the fact that flights often get cancelled. If you travel very often, you would likely have had to deal with this at least once. The question now is, what do you do when your flight gets cancelled?
1. Expect Flight Notifications
If your flight has been cancelled, you should get a notification from the airline. This notification should inform you of the reason behind the cancellation. If you did not get a notification before the departure date, you can contact the airline to request the reason why it was cancelled. The notification or the lack of it and the reason behind the cancellation can further help you when exercising your rights for compensation.
The EU Regulation Nr. 261/2004 requires airlines to inform customers about cancellations at least 14 days before departure. If the airline informed you on short notice, you may be entitled to compensation.
2. Know and Understand Your Passenger Rights on Flights
Knowing your rights as a passenger is the first step to getting compensated for a cancelled flight. You need to know if you’re eligible and what you’re entitled to.
Are You Eligible?
Following the EU Regulation 261, you must check the following eligibility criteria:
- The airline was responsible for the cancellation
- You checked in for your flight on time
- Your flight was due to depart within the EU or land in the EU, for the latter the airline needs to have its headquarters in the EU
- You encountered these problems on a flight operated in the last six years
What Are You Entitled to?
What you are entitled to is largely dependent on the flight distance, which is further broken down below.
- Short distances up to 1500km, e.g. London – Edinburgh: €250 compensation
- Medium distances up to 3500km, e.g. London – Athens: €400 compensation
- Long distances more than 3500km, e.g. London – Tokyo: €600 compensation
3. Act Quickly
As soon as you learn of your flight cancellation, you must act quickly. Start by getting all your documents together, including receipts from any extra expenses you might have accrued as a result of the flight disruption. You can also contact your travel agent to know the next best steps you can take and consider rescheduling the flight.
When a flight gets cancelled, it usually gets rescheduled. However, if you choose not to reschedule your flight with the same airline, you can request a full refund. Flight cancellations happen all the time but when you know what to do, you won’t always be at the losing end. This article highlights the major things you should know and do after a cancelled flight and you can seek help from professionals to make the best of it.