Regulation EC 261/2004 – Guidance Note on Flight Cancellations: Refunds and Vouchers

Airlines are offering passengers a mixture of the following options:

  • the right to a refund payable after 7 days from the cancellation date or some later date; and
  • instead of a refund upon cancellation, a voucher for later use with that airline.

In accordance with Regulation EC 261/2004, passengers have the right to choose a refund of the ticket price paid when their flight is cancelled. Airlines are entitled to offer vouchers to passengers.  Passengers can choose to accept a voucher but are under no obligation to do so.

The Regulation requires an airline to pay a refund within 7 days when this option is chosen.  We acknowledge the unprecedented disruption that COVID 19 has caused to the aviation sector and those working in it, the high volume of calls that airlines are dealing with and the absolute need to safeguard the welfare of staff. We appreciate that this timeline can be challenging in the current environment.

If you have opted for but do not receive a refund, you can submit a complaint to the airline.  If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the airline, or no response within 6 weeks of making your complaint, you can escalate the matter to us on for flights that were meant to depart out of Ireland.[1]

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

[1] 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.