Knowing What You Can Do When Your Flight Is Cancelled

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Canceled flights due to weather are displayed on a departure monitor at San Francisco International Airport on February 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Thousands of flights to the East Coast were canceled as a potentially historic blizzard is set to dump up to three feet of snow in the Northeast from New York City to Boston. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There are many reasons for flights to be grounded including air traffic, bad weather, mechanical failures, volcanic eruptions and air traffic control strikes. Unluckily, this can lead to passengers getting stuck abroad. In case you experience this kind of situation, you can consider the following tips and guidance so you reach your destination as soon as possible.

Information Sources

Check for any possible disruptions before flying with an airline. Any problems are detailed on the website or social media fees of the website. Any disruption is likely to be reportedly related agencies.

Legal Rights

If you travel from an airport in the European Union or to an EU airport from a country outside it, you have the passenger right to either get a ticket refund or alternative transport to your destination if you fly when an EU airline in case the flight is cancelled. Such is a requirement under the Denied Boarding Regulations of the European Union. This rule does not apply if you travel with an EU airline and your flight leaves from a non-EU country.

Replacement Flight

If you choose to continue your travel, the airline must look for an alternative transport for you. Depending on your location, you can make an arrangement in the airport, call the customer service or visit the website of the airline. A situation like this requires your patience especially in case disruption is serious and has resulted in flight cancelations. However, it is the responsibility of the airline to let you reach your destination. If you prefer this option, you will be provided with drinks and food as you wait for the replacement flight. If such flight is not due on the same day, you will be provided transfers and accommodation.


You can also prefer to get a flight delay refund form your carrier. This is a better option if, for instance, you can get to your final destination through another mode of transportation. But, know that if you prefer this option, the airline will not be obliged to cover any extra food, accommodation and drink costs.


In case your flight is cancelled or delayed and the airline is at fault, you may get air flight delay compensation. But, the airline does not have to offer compensation if the cancelation or delay is caused by unusual circumstances like weather conditions.

Making a Claim

In a number of cases, you may have to initially pay for expenses and then make a later claim. Because of this, it makes sense to ensure that you have enough emergency credit or cash before you leave your country of origin so you can deal with things like these. As you reach your target destination, you can directly call your insurance provider or the airline to make a claim.

The majority of airlines and insurance companies have a claims form that you can fill out and submit. Often, you have to find this on their site or contact their customer service team to know where to find it.