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What to Do if Your Flight is Cancelled – A Step-by-Step Guide

Has your flight just been cancelled or delayed for 3 or more hours?

Don’t panic. If your flight is to or from an EU airport, you are legally entitled to receive compensation.

Barcelona Airport - by Ben Holbrook
Barcelona Airport – by Ben Holbrook

Although it’s easy to feel powerless and disheartened in these infuriating moments, it’s important to remember that the law is on your side. And there are companies out there that exist purely to help you get the compensation you deserve. 

AirHelp is one such company, offering a fantastic service that helps travellers make claims when companies like Ryanair cancel their flight.

Steps to Follow When Your Flight Has Been Delayed or Cancelled

When making your compensation claim under the EC 261 regulation, be prepared for the airline to not play ball. They will of course be hoping that you forget all about it, but stay focussed and remember that the law is on your side.

Here’s what to do when your flight is delayed or cancelled:

  • Keep hold of your boarding passes and any other official travel documents (especially baggage tags if you have checked in luggage).
  • Ask an official member of staff why your flight has been canceled (make a note of this).
  • Ask if the airline can provide you with an alternate flight to your destination or a full refund.
  • Make a note of the arrival time at your destination (if you’re flight has been delayed).
  • Say “No!” if you are asked to sign anything that may waive your rights.
  • Keep all receipts for food, drinks, accommodation and anything else you have to buy as a result of your flight being cancelled. This should all be paid for by the airline.

Find out what you are legally entitled to and make your flight cancellation compensation claim at

This website is packed with useful information and will help you find answers to all of the questions you most likely have right now, as well as legal advice and general support.

Find out more about what you are legally entitled to and make your compensation claim at


Do you have any success/horror stories to share about a flight cancellation compensation claim? Please share your story in the comment section below!

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  1. Exploring Kim Exploring Kim

    My luggage got lost on a VUELING flight from Paris to Rome. And I am still trying to claim compensation for my belongings. They claim the case was closed despite barely communicating with me and not having paid me anything. The numbers on their website were premium rate numbers, and were wrong.

    • That’s so infuriating! They lost our luggage between Barcelona and the UK too – doubly annoying as we were flying back for my brother’s wedding, so we had to go out and spend a fortune on fancy new clothes. And they communication is absolutely diabolical.

      I’d love to hear the outcome of your story so please come back and let me and the community know if/when you get to some kind of resolution.

      Thanks Kim, and good luck!


  2. Thanks for the response Ben. To make matters worse, I flew back to look for my luggage, because I could just not get any sense out of the people on the phone after İ managed to fınd a valıd telephone number. I first flew back to Paris, where İ discovered that they had took down the descriptıon of my luggage wrong (apparently). They told me it was not in storage and that it would go back to the headquarters of the airlime. So I made my way to Barcelona. At the headquarters they told me they dıdn,t deal wıth customers dırectly and that I would need to go to the aırport. At the airport, they confirmed that my luggage had been lost and told me that it would go back to Madrd and stored in a warehouse there. At arrıval at Madrid airport they were extremely rude. Shoutıng at me, tellıng me that even if it were ın the warehouse, İ wouldn’t have access to it anyway and that it would have been auctioned off after 3 weeks anyway!!! They never told me thıs oveer the phone or ın Paris or Barcelona!! İ was so angry. But sınce then almost everyone İ have spoken to has had a serious problem wıth the airline. İm wonderıng why they have not been fined for the many, many violations that have committed. As an added note and without prejudıce, I have a lot of thıngs actually stolen from me (mostly my journals from my travels includıng my research) throughout my travels. In Athens, I had all of my money stolen from me…

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