For many people, traveling to Europe is the dream of a lifetime. Whether you’re going to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Vatican in Rome, Europe is full of exciting sights and experiences!
But when your airline cancels your flight, you can be left in a rather dire situation. After all, you’ve been planning this trip for months, if not years. Scrambling to reorganize your plans can prove extremely stressful, if not impossible. This naturally leads many people to wonder what kind of cancelled flight rights they have. What kind of compensation (if any) can they receive after their cancellation?
Thankfully, passengers have the right to receive compensation when they are informed of travel-related issues less than 14 days before their originally scheduled departure. Here’s a closer look at your cancelled flight rights when traveling to or from Europe.
Individuals who are denied boarding on their flight due to overbooking are eligible for compensation regardless of whether they are delayed by less than two hours or never arrive at their destination. When denied boarding to your flight to or from Europe, the main factor affecting the level of compensation you may qualify for is the distance you were going to travel.
If your total travel distance was going to be less than 1500 km, you can qualify for compensation of 250 €. For flights between 1500 and 3500 km, travelers may receive compensation of 400 €. For travels greater than 3500 km, that amount rises to 600 €.
When an airline denies boarding due to overbooking, travelers are also entitled to food, accommodations, and transportation to their accommodation (if necessary). Airlines often offer a travel voucher or other refund when passengers are denied boarding. However, in many cases, passengers traveling to or from Europe can still qualify for additional compensation after receiving a refund.
At first glance, a travel delay may not seem like a big deal — but when you need to catch a connecting flight, even a relatively short delay on your flight to Europe can result in a major travel disruption.
For flights within the European Union, compensation for travel delays is based on how much you were delayed in arriving at your final destination. For example, a flight from Spain to France might be delayed by only an hour and a half. However, that delay causes you to miss your connecting flight, and as a result, you are over four hours late in reaching your final destination.
For flights to or from the European Union, any delays greater than three hours qualify for compensation. Keep in mind that this is in reference to your scheduled arrival time at your final destination — if you experience a lengthy delay on your first flight but still arrive relatively on time because you had a lengthy layover built into your schedule, you won’t qualify for additional compensation.
As with overbookings, the amount of compensation you can receive for a delayed flight is based on total travel distance: 250 € for distances less than 1500 km, 400 € for travels between 1500 and 3500 km, and 600 € for travels greater than 3500 km.
Flight cancellations can be extremely inconvenient, and if the airline cancelled your flight less than 14 days before your departure, you can receive compensation even when you receive a refund. After all, trying to reorganize your travel plans is hardly easy.
When your flight is cancelled, you can receive additional compensation even if your actual arrival time is less than two hours later than your originally scheduled arrival. Compensation ranges from 125 € to 300 € for delays of less than three hours, and from 250 € to 600 € on delays of greater than four hours or flights that never arrive. As always, compensation is based on travel distance.
Keep in mind that you may have cancelled flight rights for additional compensation even if the airline provides cash or a travel voucher after your cancellation. If you did not receive the full amount of compensation from the airline, you are still entitled to receive whatever remaining amount you may qualify for.