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What Should I Do If My Flight Has Been Cancelled Or Delayed?

Cancelled Flight

It can be challenging and stressful if you find yourself in a situation where your flight has been cancelled or delayed. Getting upset or angry won’t help the situation and could potentially make things worse. Instead, try to remain patient and focus on finding a solution. You can also apply for free airport lounge access. Here are some steps you can take to minimise the disruption and get to your destination as smoothly as possible.

Contact the airline

The first step is to contact the airline. They will be able to provide you with information about the reason for the delay or cancellation and any available options for rebooking your flight. The airline may offer you a full refund or the option to rebook on a later flight.

If you choose to rebook, make sure to ask about any fees or charges that may be associated with the change. If your flight is delayed, the airline may offer you the option of waiting or rebooking on a later flight. In either case, ask about any compensation that may be available, such as meals, hotel accommodations, or travel vouchers.

Check for alternative flights.

If your flight has been cancelled and the airline doesn’t have any available options for rebooking, you may need to look for alternative flights. This can be done through the airline’s website or by contacting their customer service department.

If you have a flexible travel schedule, consider looking for flights with other airlines or departing from different airports. You may also want to consider alternative modes of transportation, such as trains or buses, if they are available and make sense for your travel plans.

Stay comfortable

If you are stuck at the airport due to a flight delay or cancellation, try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Bring snacks and drinks, and consider bringing a book or other entertainment to pass the time. If you can leave the airport, you may be able to find a nearby hotel or Airbnb to stay in until your flight is rebooked, or you can make alternative travel arrangements.

Check for compensation

Depending on the circumstances of your flight delay or cancellation, you may be able to receive compensation from the airline. For example, If your flight was delayed or cancelled and the airline was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation under EU regulations.

Consider your options

You have a few options if your flight is cancelled. You can either rebook on another flight with the same airline or request a refund if you no longer wish to travel. If you are unable to travel, you may be able to transfer your boarding pass to another person. If your flight has been delayed, you may have the option to change your flight to an earlier or later time, or you may be able to cancel your flight and receive a refund.

Look into travel insurance.

If you have travel insurance, it may cover flight delays and cancellations. Check your policy to see what is covered and how to file a claim. Travel insurance can be a good investment, especially if you are traveling internationally or booking expensive flights.

Stay informed

Keep an eye on your email and phone for updates from the airline about your flight status. You may also want to consider downloading the airline’s app, which can provide real-time updates and allow you to make changes to your booking. If your flight has been delayed or cancelled, you may need to rebook or make other travel arrangements, so it’s important to stay informed about what is happening.

Make alternative travel arrangements.

If your flight has been canceled and you cannot rebook on another flight, you may need to make alternative travel arrangements. This could include booking a flight with a different airline, taking a train or bus, or renting a car. Remember that you may need to pay extra for these alternative options, so it’s a good idea to compare prices and consider your budget before making a decision.

Manage your expectations

While it’s natural to feel frustrated or upset when your flight is delayed or canceled, it’s important to remember that these things can happen for a variety of reasons beyond the airline’s control. Try to stay calm and focus on finding a solution rather than getting angry or upset.

Keep track of your documents.

When your flight is cancelled or delayed, it is important to keep track of your travel documents, including your ticket, boarding pass, passport, and other identification or documentation required for your trip. This can be especially challenging if you travel with a large group or have multiple bags. One way to stay organised is to keep your important documents in a dedicated travel document wallet or folder, which you can easily access and grab when needed.

You should also consider making copies of your documents, either physically or digitally, in case the originals are lost or stolen. It is also a good idea to keep contact information for your airline and any other travel providers and your travel insurance policy handy in case you need to make changes or file a claim. By staying organised and keeping track of your documents, you can minimise the stress and hassle of a cancelled or delayed flight and focus on getting to your destination safely.

Know your rights

If your flight has been canceled or delayed, you may be entitled to certain rights and compensation under the European Union’s Denied Boarding Regulation (EC261/2004). This regulation applies to flights departing from an EU member state or arriving in an EU member state on an EU-based airline.

Under EC 261/2004, passengers are entitled to compensation if their flight is delayed by more than three hours or if it is cancelled. The amount of compensation is determined by the time of the delay and the flight distance.

For example, passengers on flights of 1,500 kilometres or less are entitled to compensation of €250, while passengers on flights of more than 3,500 kilometres are entitled to compensation of €600.

Consider seeking legal assistance:

If you are having trouble getting a refund or compensation from the airline or your travel insurance, you may want to consider seeking legal assistance. An attorney who specialises in travel law may be able to assist you in navigating the process and obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.

It’s important to keep in mind that the specifics of what you are entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances of your flight, as well as the terms of your ticket and any travel insurance you may have.


Stay informed about the situation by keeping an eye on the airline’s website and social media channels, and consider signing up for flight status alerts. By following these steps and staying calm, you can minimise the impact of a flight delay or cancellation and get back on track as soon as possible. It is important to take action and not let the situation stress you out, as this will only make the situation worse. Remember to stay informed and stay calm, and you’ll be able to navigate the situation with ease.

It is important to note that not all cancelled flights are eligible for compensation, and the specific rules and regulations surrounding compensation can vary widely. If you believe you have a claim for compensation for a cancelled flight, you should contact the airline and discuss your options.

Frequently Asked Question

How long can a flight be delayed before it is Cancelled?

Flights are frequently delayed, but there is no set deadline for how long a plane can be delayed before it is officially cancelled. The decision to cancel a flight is typically made by the airline and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including weather, technical issues, and staffing issues.

In some cases, a flight may be delayed for several hours or even a day before it is ultimately cancelled. However, if a flight is cancelled, the airline is generally required to inform passengers as soon as possible and provide options for rebooking or obtaining a refund.

It is important to stay informed about the status of your flight, especially if it is delayed, as the situation can change quickly. Airlines often provide updates through their websites, social media channels, and via email or SMS alerts, so it is a good idea to stay in touch with the airline and check for updates if you are concerned about the status of your flight.

Do airlines have to compensate for cancelled flights?

Under certain circumstances, airlines may be required to compensate passengers for cancelled flights. The specific rules and regulations surrounding compensation for cancelled flights vary depending on the location of the airline and the location of the passenger, as well as the specific circumstances of the cancellation.

In the United States, for example, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that domestic airlines provide compensation to passengers whose flights are cancelled or significantly delayed. The specific amount of compensation depends on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight and may include a refund for the unused portion of the ticket or a voucher for future travel on the same airline.

Similarly, the European Union has regulations requiring airlines to compensate passengers for cancelled flights in certain circumstances. Under these regulations, passengers may be entitled to compensation if their flight is cancelled within 14 days of the scheduled departure date unless the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided (such as bad weather or a strike).

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