Your rights if your flight is cancelled
Know your rights and compensation options etc. if an airline cancels your flight. Get assistance lodging a complaint if your claim is rejected.
Your rights if your flight is cancelled
The airline must notify you if your flight is cancelled. The airline has to be able to document that you received this information, and when you received it.
If the flight is cancelled, the airline must offer you these options:
- A refund of the full ticket purchase price
- Rebooking on the next available flight, possibly with another airline, or
- Rebooking on a later flight of your choice.
Some airlines offer a voucher, credit or the like instead of a refund. You have the right to choose whether you want this solution, or your money back. It is a good idea to look into what conditions apply to the voucher, including what security you have if the airline goes bankrupt.
If you are rebooked on another flight, and you have to stay overnight because of this, the airline has to pay for your hotel and transport to and from the hotel. You may also be entitled to meals at the airline’s expense.
You may be entitled to compensation if your flight is cancelled
In addition to a refund of the ticket price, you may be entitled to compensation for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation. The compensation depends on the flight distance:
- Flights up to 1,500 km: EUR 250
- Flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km: EUR 400
- Flights over 3,500 km within the EU: EUR 400
- Flights over 3,500 km outside the EU: EUR 600
The compensation must be paid in cash or by transfer to a bank account or credit card. The airline may offer to pay the compensation amount as vouchers or other services. You may choose whether you want to accept such solutions.
In some cases, the airline may reduce your compensation by 50 per cent, depending on how long your flight is and how fast you will arrive on an alternative flight.
You are not entitled to compensation if:
- You were notified of the cancellation more than 14 days before departure
- The cancellation or delay is due to exceptional circumstances, such as:
- War or terror
- Weather conditions that prevent air traffic
- Certain types of strikes
- Technical faults (these may in very rare cases constitute exceptional circumstances).
Reimbursement for expenses associated with cancellation
If you have incurred expenses due to the flight cancellation, such as purchasing new tickets, lost hotel accommodation at the destination or meals, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you have chosen to have your flight rebooked following a cancellation, and the airline does not offer reasonable meals while you wait for the new flight, you can buy food and drink yourself and have the purchases (not alcohol) refunded by the airline.
You can also be reimbursed for reasonable hotel expenses and transport to/from the hotel if the hotel stay was necessary due to the cancelled flight.
Compensation for lost hotel accommodation at the destination does not follow from the regulation. However, you may attempt to present this claim to the airline.
You can contact the airline directly with your claim. It is your responsibility to document the expenses you have incurred as a result of the cancellation – through receipts, booking confirmations, account statements etc.
Tips when claiming compensation or lodging a complaint with an airline
If you have not been offered a refund or compensation following a cancelled flight, contact the party from whom you purchased the ticket. It is a good idea to submit your complaint as quickly as possible. The airline generally has two months to respond to your enquiry.
- If you submit your complaint via a form on the airline’s website, take a screenshot before submitting it. How to document your complaint
- Find out if your insurance covers your losses, or if you can request a ‘charge back’ from your bank. Note that there are normally very short deadlines for charge backs
- Get assistance lodging a complaint if the airline etc. rejects your claim.
Get assistance with your complaint
The terms of the agreement should always indicate who you can lodge a complaint with if problems arise in connection with a cancelled flight.
- If you are unsure about who the seller is, you can lodge a complaint with all parties, e.g. the airline, travel agency and booking portal.
- If you have to use a complaint form on the seller’s website, take a screenshot before submitting it, so you can document your complaint.
If it is not possible to find a solution with the airline or any other party regarding your cancelled flight, or if you are dissatisfied with the company’s decision, you can get free guidance and help to lodge a complaint from European Consumer Centre Denmark.
In certain cases, you can lodge a complaint via the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority.
Find out more at flypassager.dk/en