What are your rights for cancelled or delayed flights?

Passengers may be impacted by recent flights delays and cancellations. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, then it is important you are aware of your rights and entitlements.


In the event that your flight is cancelled then your airline must offer you the choice between the following:
– re-routing as soon as possible:
– re-routing at a later date at your convenience: or
– a refund.

If you choose the first option (re-routing as soon as possible) then your airline must provide you with care and assistance whilst you wait for the alternative flight. Care and assistance comprises:
– meals & refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
– hotel accommodation where an overnight stay becomes necessary;
– transport between the hotel accommodation and the airport;
– 2 free telephone calls/ access to email.


If your flight is subject to a long delay (2 hours +), your airline must provide you with the care and assistance described above. In addition, if your flight is delayed by more than 5 hours, it must offer you the choice between:
– continuing with your journey: or
– a refund of the cost of your ticket.
Please note that it is not possible for passengers to travel and avail of the full refund.

If your airline does not provide the care and assistance described above, passengers should make their own reasonable arrangements and retain all receipts in the process. Passengers are advised to then submit copies of these receipts to their airline for reimbursement.


In both situations (i.e., flight cancellations and long delays) airlines should provide affected passengers with written notices setting out their rights and entitlements under EC Regulation 261/ 2004.

Passengers may be entitled to compensation under Regulation EC261/2004 if the airline could or should have been able to avoid or lessen the disruption and failed to do so.  However, this does not apply for cancellations made more than 14 days in advance or where the cancellation is due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

Please refer to the Your Europe website for examples of events defined as extraordinary circumstances Extraordinary circumstances – Cancellation – Your Europe (


Passengers who remain unclear about their entitlements as set out in EC Regulation 261/ 2004, or who have further queries in relation to same, should contact us