The airline may notify you directly of the cancellation of the flight in good time before the flight. For this reason, it is important that the airline company has your up-to-date contact information. However, sometimes cancellation takes place only a few hours before the flight or when you are already at the airport.
The instructions below apply to the situation in which the airline cancels the flight. Please note that as a rule, flights do not entail the right of withdrawal on the consumer’s side. If you cancel your flight on your own initiative, you will not usually get your money back unless otherwise stated in the ticket terms.
If the flight is cancelled, you can choose re-routing or a refund of the ticket price
If the airline cancels a flight, you can choose re-routing, which means new flights to the destination, or a refund of the ticket price. You may also be entitled to a standard compensation.
If you choose re-routing, the airline must arrange an alternative flight to the destination as soon as possible or later at a time suitable for you (for example, in a week), if seats are available.
If you wish to opt for cancellation of the flight, the airline must, within seven days, refund the ticket price, not only for each leg of the trip, but also for the legs already travelled, if the flight no longer serves a purpose in relation to the travel plan. You may also require a free return flight to the point of departure indicated on your ticket, if you have to cancel the journey during a stopover. Please note that if you cancel your flight, you will also give up your right to care during the waiting period.
Use the table below to calculate the standard compensation amount.
The airline must provide care while you are waiting for re-routing
If you choose re-routing, the airline must provide care that varies depending on the flight length and waiting time. Care refers to meals and refreshments in a reasonable proportion to the waiting time and two free calls or e-mails. In addition, it means hotel accommodation, if extra overnight stays are necessary, and transport between the airport and the hotel.
Compensation for damage caused by a delay
If the delay caused by the re-routing causes financial damage, you can claim compensation from the airline. Compensation can only be received for verifiable expenses, such as an unused train ticket that the passenger could not use because of the delay. Airlines have no liability for compensation if they have taken all reasonable steps to avoid delay. You will usually not have the right to compensation for delays caused by weather conditions, security risks or an air controllers’ strike, for instance.