Under EU law an airline is not allowed to leave you high and dry if they cancel a short-haul
flight that you are booked on.
Any flight that covers under 1,500km is short-haul. However, these rules only apply to certain
flights to, from or within the EU.
Check if the law covers your flight
If your cancelled short-haul flight is covered by EU law, your airline must let you choose
between two options:
You can get your money back for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used. For instance, if you
have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the
return ticket back from your airline.
If you are a transfer passenger and you have already
completed part of your journey, you are also entitled to a flight back to your
original departure point when your connecting flight is cancelled and you
decide not to continue your journey.
If you still want to travel, your airline must find you an alternative flight. It’s up to you
whether to fly as soon as possible after the cancelled flight, or at a later date that suits you.
Airlines often refer to this as being ‘rerouted’.
Although most airlines will book you onto another of their flights to the same destination, if
an alternative airline is flying there significantly sooner then you may have the right to be
booked onto that flight instead. You can discuss this with your airline.
If you choose an alternative flight you are also entitled to care and assistance. This usually
means food, drink, access to communications (this could be by refunding the reasonable cost of
phone calls) and accommodation (if necessary).
If you received less than 14 days’ notice of the cancellation, you may be
able to claim compensation too.
This depends on what caused the cancellation – if it wasn’t the airline’s fault, don’t expect to
receive any compensation.
Delays caused by things like extreme weather, airport or air traffic control employee strikes or
other ‘extraordinary circumstances’ are not eligible for compensation.
Learn more about extraordinary circumstances
If you received seven to 14 days’ notice of the cancellation, you may be able to claim compensation based
on the timings of the alternative flight:
If you received less than seven days’ notice of the cancellation, you can claim compensation
based on the timings of the alternative flight:
If your new flight departs no more than one hour before the scheduled time of your original flight AND your new flight arrives less than two hours after the scheduled time of your original flight, you are not entitled to financial compensation
, If your new flight arrives more than two hours after the scheduled time of your original flight, you can claim €250 – no matter what time it departs
, if your new flight arrives earlier than two hours after the scheduled time of your original flight, you can claim €125.
You can only claim compensation if your cancelled flight matches one of the situations described
above. All compensation figures are per person.
Learn more about how to claim compensation for a cancelled flight.
Claiming after a cancellation
Passengers must be informed of cancellations prior to their flight directly by the airline
In the event of a cancelled flight passengers can receive a full refund or choose an alternative flight. If you choose an alternative flight you are also entitled to care and assistance. This usually means food, drink, access to communication and accommodation (if necessary).
If you received less than 14 days' notice of the cancellation, you may also be able to claim compensation.
For more information please go to:
Short haul: https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Cancellations/Short-haul-cancellations/
Medium haul: https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Delays/Medium-haul-delays/
Long haul: https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Delays/Long-haul-delays/
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