Flight Cancellation Refund – How to get your money back
Financial compensation or the reimbursement of your original ticket, these are the options the airline has when your flight is delayed, cancelled or when you are denied boarding. This includes all flights cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Regulation 261/2004 determines in which cases the airline should offer you one of these options and, sometimes, even both.
Most flight refunds are only awarded by airlines when they have failed to operate a flight according to schedule or cease to operate a route. They are allowed to change your schedule, cancel flights or operate them with a delay. However, if some criteria are met they will have to refund your ticket.
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Was your flight cancelled because of the coronavirus? Then you are entitled to the refund of your ticket or booking!
The aviation sector has been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. This obviously has consequences for air traffic and airlines, but it is precisely now that the rights of air passengers are of importance. The European Commission has confirmed that in the event of a flight being cancelled, airlines must give passengers a choice between receiving travel vouchers or the reimbursement of the ticket costs.
Coronavirus: What are my rights when a flight is cancelled?
If your flight is cancelled because of the coronavirus, you are entitled to a complete refund of your ticket. European Regulation EC 261/2004 obliges the airline to refund the full price of the ticket within 7 days in case of a cancelled flight. Currently, many airlines and travel agencies only offer vouchers that can be used to book a new flight in the future. However, this voucher policy is not in compliance with European legislation. In addition, vouchers often do not provide any guarantee. If an airline goes into administration, passengers holding a travel voucher will lose their money.
What am I entitled to if my flight is cancelled due the ongoing COVID-19 crisis?
If your flight is cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak, you are not entitled to compensation. However, you are in fact entitled to the full refund of your ticket. The coronavirus crisis is considered an extraordinary circumstance, which exempts the airline from the obligation to compensate passengers for the cancellation of their flight.
Important: supplementary compensation is not the same as the right to the reimbursement of the ticket! Even when affected by the coronavirus outbreak, airlines are legally obliged to refund the full amount within 7 days after the flight cancellation.
I have already received a voucher, can I still opt for the refund of my flight?
Even if the airline has already offered you a voucher, you can make a claim for the full refund of your booking's price. If you have purchased your booking with other amenities (package travel) you are still entitled to the refund of the whole package.
Flight-Delayed.co.uk will be happy to help you claim the refund of your cancelled flight or booking
Unfortunately, we see too often that airlines still fail to comply with the legal obligations. Passengers are forced to accept vouchers when they are actually entitled to a refund of their fare.
Flight-Delayed.co.uk will be happy to help you claim the full refund. From submitting the claim to taking the airline to the courts in the event of non-payment. Since 2010, we have been committed to upholding the rights of affected air passengers throughout Europe. Fill in your flight details and find out immediately whether you are entitled to the refund of your ticket. In just 3 minutes you can submit your claim on a 'no win, no fee' basis. Should the airline obstruct the process, we will take them to court if necessary.
Flight refund if you don’t want to travel anymore
In most cases, if you are the one cancelling your trip, you will only be entitled to a full refund if you’ve bought a fully-refundable ticket. Most fares will not be covered, especially when flying with low-cost airlines. Even though the refund policies vary from airline to airline, there are certain occasions in which you may be allowed to receive the refund of your ticket. Take for example Ryanair, they will probably award you a refund if an immediate family member passes away or falls seriously ill and you have to cancel your trip.
Claim a government or airport tax refund if you are not travelling anymore
If you’ve cancelled your flight or if you’ve missed it, you are always entitled to claim any government and airport taxes that you might have paid along with your airfare. You can request the refund of this taxes directly with your airline and they are obliged to give them back. Most airlines will require you to submit the request no later than 28 days after the date of the flight in question. Some airlines may have an administrative cost and will not process your request if the amount being refunded does not surpass their administrative cost. So, contact your airline as soon as possible regarding the refund of the government or airport taxes.
If your flight is cancelled and you were not notified 14 prior to your departure, you are entitled to a new flight(s) to your final destination or, if you cannot find a flight that suits you when rebooking, you can contact your airline and ask for the full refund of your fare. Furthermore, if this happens, you may also be entitled to monetary compensation. Head on to our in-depth guide on when you’re entitled to claim compensation from an airline to learn more about the process and your rights.
You will not be entitled to a refund of your cancelled flight if:
- You were informed about the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure and you were provided with a reasonable alternative flight: as long as it's announced at least two weeks in advance, airlines are free to change their flight schedules as they please;
- The cancellation was announced between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and you have been offered a new flight departing no more than two hours before the scheduled time and your new time of arrival at your final destination is no more than four hours later than the scheduled time of arrival;
- If the airline informed you fewer than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and you have been offered a new flight departing no more than one hour before scheduled and arriving no more than two hours later than the scheduled time of arrival.
If the airline has provided you with an alternative flight that meets these requirements and you do not wish to travel anymore, you might be entitled to a refund but not to compensation. If they have provided you with a flight that does not comply with the above-mentioned criteria, then you will be entitled to compensation (regardless if you fly or not) and a refund if you do not travel anymore.
If they have drastically changed your flight schedule and you no longer wish to travel, contact the airline and request a refund for your flight since some airlines will accept and reimburse you for what you have paid even if they have notified you well in advance.
If your flight has been delayed for more than 5 hours and you do not wish to travel, you’ll be entitled to a refund. Please note that if you do not travel, you won’t be eligible for compensation. Below we will explain more about the compensation you may be entitled to if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
There’s an important distinction between flight refunds and flight compensation. Most passengers aren’t aware of it but, when travelling from, within Europe or with a European airline, you are entitled to claim compensation when your flight has been delayed or cancelled. This is different from getting a refund and, in some cases, you are awarded both. Your passenger rights in Europe are protected by Regulation EC 261/2004. As long as your flights fall under the jurisdiction of the regulation, you’ll be covered.
When it comes to compensation for a flight delay or cancellation, you could receive:
- Up to £220 for all flights covering a distance of up to 1,500 kilometres
- up to £350 for all flights covering a distance between 1,500 kilometres and 3,500 kilometres
- Up to £530 for flights covering a distance greater than 3,500 kilometres
Please note, connecting flights are included in the total distance and delay if they are part of the same booking and if your reservation originates in Europe or if you fly with a European airline. If your flight travelled a distance of more than 3,500 kilometres and was delayed by more than 3 hours but less than 4, then the total compensation is reduced by 50%. The regulation defines the total amounts in euros and they are €250, €400 and €600.
When an airline cancels/delays your flight or denies you boarding, it must provide you with adequate care if you must wait more than two hours for either an alternate flight or for your flight to take off. This includes meals and refreshments, communication with the outside world, hotel accommodation when necessary and, of course, transportation from the airport to the hotel and back.
If the airline has not provided this care and you have therefore incurred additional expenses, keep a copy of your receipts as the airline will be required to reimburse you for these expenses. The request for reimbursement of your additional expenses may be attached to your claim for compensation.
There are differences between claiming for a cancelled flight and a delayed flight. When your flight has been delayed, and in accordance with the above-mentioned legislation, you may claim compensation if:
- You arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours late
- Your departure airport was within an EU member state or if you were flying with an EU airline
- The delay of your flight was not caused by an extraordinary circumstance
The total amount you can receive in compensation varies depending on the distance travelled by your flight and sometimes also on the total amount of time you are delayed at your final destination. If you would like to know with certainty the total amount that you may receive in compensation, you can always check your flight for free with our claim calculator and immediately find out.
There are certain conditions that must be met in order to be entitled to compensation. In the case of cancellations, this is a little more complicated, as the moment you are informed of the cancellation also comes into play. At this point, we will try to keep it simple and understandable, but you can always use our claim calculator and check your flight. As far as flight cancellations are concerned, the moment you were informed of the interruption is very important:
- If you were informed more than 14 days before your departure, you are not entitled to compensation
- If the airline informed you of the cancellation of your flight between 7 and 14 days in advance and they have managed to book you on an alternative or replacement flight that 1. does not depart 2 hours earlier than scheduled or 2. arrives later than 4 hours after your original scheduled time, then they are not obliged to pay you compensation. In other words, to claim compensation, you would have to arrive +4 hours late or leave 2+ hours earlier than planned in your itinerary.
- If you were informed of the cancellation no earlier than 7 days before the departure date, you are entitled to compensation if you arrived at least 2 hours later than planned. (This is the most common case)
All of the cases mentioned above will only grant you the right to be compensated if your cancellation was not due to an extraordinary circumstance.
A question that frequently comes up when discussing these topics is when can I get both compensation and a refund? You’ll be able to claim both if your cancelled flight grants you the right to be compensated and the airline did not offer you a replacement flight or you chose not to take it.
This can be a bit confusing but one more important thing to consider is that if the airline has offered you a suitable replacement flight (see the criteria for being awarded compensation due to flight cancellations) you won’t be awarded a refund if you choose not to fly. In other words, if they can get you to your final destination with a delay lesser than 2 hours, they won’t have to pay.
If you ended up taking a flight from the airline (any replacement flight) you won’t be entitled to a refund and your right to compensation will depend on the delay with which you arrived at your final destination.
If your flight is cancelled the airline has the obligation to take you, eventually, to your final destination or to refund your ticket if you do not wish to travel anymore because you haven’t been offered a suitable alternative flight. With Flight-Delayed, you can request a refund and claim your compensation easily and hassle-free. Submit your claim under our no win, no fee principle and we'll get to work straight away!
Flight refund from Ryanair
Being the biggest airline in Europe in terms of passengers means that they surely have to process a lot of refund requests. We have a detailed blog post dealing with when and how you can ask for a refund when flying with the Irish airline. Furthermore, head on over to our page regarding how to claim compensation from Ryanair if your flight has been delayed or cancelled.
Flight refund EasyJet
EasyJet’s policy regarding refunds varies from Ryanair. They tend to be a tad stricter. However, if your flight was cancelled or delayed, you are entitled to claim compensation and, if your case allows it, you can ask for the refund of your flight.
Claim your compensation and refund easily and hassle-free!
Very often, airlines make the process of claiming as complicated as possible in order to simply avoid compensating their passengers. They also overuse the argument that the disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance. Therefore, and more often than not, one sees passengers lose hope and accept the airline’s rejection as the truth.
Fortunately, we have the adequate tools and databases to ensure that your rights are enforced and to fact-check the airlines. We will even take them to court when necessary. If you wish so, we can take care of everything and help you enforce your rights! Claim your refund here.
If you want to maximise the probability of being compensated for your flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, you can let a specialised service, like Flight-Delayed, take care of the whole ordeal. We will gladly help you get what is yours, all under our no win, no fee agreement.
Claim rejected? You can still submit a claim with Flight-Delayed
If you’re uncertain if your flight delay or cancellation qualifies for compensation, a refund or both, once you’ve submitted your claim our team of experts will analyse the circumstances and assess your case. If your claim has already been rejected by the airline, you can still submit your claim and our team will verify and fact-check their arguments. Very often, they assess the situation wrongly and reject perfectly valid claims; so don’t give up that easily and don’t worry, we’re here to help you!
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