Cancelled flight: What to do?

We all have been there when our flight got delayed. You keep on checking the flight status, get some refreshments and stay entertained with a book or your mobile phone. But what to do when your flight gets cancelled?


There can be a lot of reasons why the flight is cancelled. One of the main reason for cancelled flights is a mechanical problem with the aircraft, extreme weather or the flight crew working over legal work hours due to previous delays. Here are some tips on what to do and who to talk to when this happens to you.

Talk to the airline right away

Call the airline right away. Your issue will get solved faster than waiting at the airport desk. The queue will start to form fast so if you are not among the first people to wait in the queue a phone call will solve your issue faster. Waiting in the queue will also lower your chances of getting you booked for the immediately available flight.

Have all your documents ready, including your boarding pass with a flight code, that will be needed for communication with the airline.

Request an alternative flight or a refund

The EU flights are covered by a legislation EU 261/2004. In the case of denied boarding, a cancelled flight, overbooked flight, or a delay of five hours or greater, you can receive up to 600 EUR and the carrier still has to transport you to your destination. In order to qualify for compensation, delays or cancellations can’t be caused by weather conditions and you must be notified of changes within two weeks of the original departure date.
The US Department of Transportation enacted an airline passenger bill of rights in 2012 which covers a few scenarios in which you should be entitled to compensation from the airline. These situations include lost/delayed luggage, involuntary tarmac delays of three hours or more. Make sure you read and understand all of the rules and requirements before requesting compensation.

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There is an app called AirHelp that provides legal services to airline passengers who need help with their flight compensations. You can search your flight and find out whether you are entitled to a compensation or not and how to demand it.


Ask for a food and refreshments

The airline is supposed to provide you with drinks and food to keep you comfortable and in a good health.

Demand an accommodation

If the airline is not able to book you another flight the same day, demand a free accommodation (at a reasonable price range) and request a transportation from the airport to the hotel. Keep all the recipes for unexpected costs.

Be persistent

Don’t let the airline ‘buy’ you with free vouchers and discount codes. Be persistent and demand your compensation if you qualified for one.

Tips for avoiding flight cancellation

Are there any other tips on how to avoid a cancelled flight? You can not prevent a flight cancellation for a weather or technical issues but you can prevent it by booking a morning flight. The airline usually has a spare plane to use and the flight crew had their rest. Also, the company can book you another flight with another carrier the same day. Before leaving for the airport also check routes on time performance on Flightstats.

Hope this will help you with dealing with cancelled flights and airline companies. Let me know your cancelled flight stories. You can read mine here.


Cancelled Flight? What to Do


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