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    September 15, 2023

    Legal Remedies: How to Claim Flight Cancellation Compensation

    While the cancellation rate had its moments when it became lower, one cannot miss the fact that airlines are still late. In 2022, more than half of the flights in Europe saw delays, and it’s safe to assume this did not magically change in the following years. In fact, with the increased air traffic and strikes, we can expect even more of these delays to happen.

    airplane in air during flight

    airplane in air during flight

    Many of us have learned to accept these delays like they are something normal. However, many people fail to consider that you have consumer rights as an air passenger. If the airline doesn’t keep its end of the bargain, you have the right to claim flight cancellation and delay compensation. This article will tell you exactly how to do that.

    What Are My Rights?

    As an air passenger, you are protected by various regulations, depending on where you travel. For instance, if you are flying in the EU, you are protected under the EC261/2004 and can be given compensation for potential air travel disruption. 

    Depending on the distance, you have the right to the following amounts, on average: 

    • Less than 1500 km: 250 EUR

    • 1500-3500 km: 400 EUR

    • More than 3500 km: 600 EUR

    Still, not all airlines are covered. However, most are subject to the regulations should delays or cancellations occur on EU grounds. Here are the airline types that you can make a claim against: 

    Airline Type



    Flights occurring from one EU destination to another


    Flights going from an EU destination to a non-EU one


    Flights coming from non-EU to EU destinations

    While circumstances may vary, every flight delayed for more than 3 hours or canceled with short notice can be subject to a flight delay claim.

    Passenger inside of Plane

    Passenger inside of Plane

    Steps to Claim Flight Cancellation Compensation

    For the most part, when you file a flight delay claim, there are two ways to go around this. First, you can file the claim yourself directly to the airline. This might require some negotiation skills because most airlines are not happy with handing out money. They will always try to find a loophole around it. 

    The second option is to enlist the help of a company that deals with this matter. They already have the skills to ensure that an airline will pay, which means you can get the most out of what you are due. It also cuts the hassle of having to talk to the airline yourself with only a small fee. 

    Regardless of the option you go for, these are the steps that you should follow: 

    Determine Compensation Eligibility

    EC261/2004 determines whether or not you are eligible for a claim if the delay occurred under certain circumstances. If you aren’t sure which category you fall in or if you qualify, you can check with flight claim companies, as they generally have a calculator you can use.

    Sunset at airport

    Sunset at airport

    Gather the Documents

    You’ll have to gather as much proof as possible to get compensation. This includes your flight ticket, expense receipts, confirmation from the airline, boarding passes, and everything connected to the flight. The more data you can get, the stronger your case will be.

    Approach the Airline with the Claim

    Once everything is in order, you need to fill out the standard EC 261/2004 form, adding every detail of importance. Submit it to the designated department for claims and keep a record of everything you discussed with them. They will usually respond within 6-8 weeks, the next course of action depending on whether or not you won the claim. 

    If the relevant regulations support your right to a claim, but the airline refuses to get behind it, you have all the right to pursue legal action. This is fairly common, as 25% of claims are wrongfully rejected. If you do this alone, you might need to hire a lawyer or legal clerk to represent you. That said, if you make the claim through a compensation company, there’s a good chance they can take care of this matter for you.

    woman at airport

    woman at airport

    Claim Your Rights!

    Flight delays and cancellations can happen, but it doesn’t mean you have to let them go. Claim your flight cancellation and delay compensation! StopDelay can help you with this process.


    Can I Claim Compensation for a Flight that Took Place Years Ago?

    What Do I Do If They Reject My Claim Anyway?

    Do I Get Compensation If the Cancellation Is Caused by Bad Weather?

    Do I Still Get Compensation If I Use my Frequent Flyer Miles?

    Do I Need to Be from the EU to Receive Compensation?