Guidance Note on Airline Flight Cancellations – Regulation EU 261/2004

Applies to all flights departing from EU airports or arriving into EU airports from non-EU countries on EU carriers.

Flight cancelled by an airline

Under the regulation, if an airline has advised a passenger that their flight has been cancelled, then that passenger is eligible to claim a refund or to change their flight to travel at a later date.

Please take note of the following:

  1. Passengers who prefer to be refunded do not need to urgently contact the airline in order to convey that preference.  Airlines are required to refund passengers within 7 days of the flight cancellation.  If you do not receive a refund within 7 days of the cancellation, please submit a complaint to the airline and escalate it to the Commission for Aviation Regulation[1] if no satisfactory response is received to that complaint after 6 weeks.
  2. Passengers who wish to change their flights to a later date should do so using the link provided by the airline and should note that flight availability may be limited.

Flight has not been cancelled by an airline

If the airline has not cancelled the flight, there is no entitlement to re-routing or a refund under the regulation although some airlines may be offering alternative accommodations such as a voucher.

For more information on your rights as an air passenger please refer to our website

For our most recent advice regarding Covid-19 please see

For more general consumer rights information outside the scope of Regulation EU 261/2004 please refer to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website at

[1] Contact the Commission for Aviation Regulation for flights out of Ireland that have been cancelled.  If the cancelled flight started in another EU country, you need to contact the enforcement body for that country.  Click here for contact details of national enforcement bodies.