How to Get a Refund on Cancelled Flight – Air Passenger Guide

How to Get a Refund on Cancelled Flight – Air Passenger Guide


Make sure you buy a refundable ticket, if you want the airline to give you a refund on your cancelled flight. Justifiable?

Although refundable tickets are quite expensive in comparison to non-refundable tickets, but that also comes with a bonus. So, there is nothing to question. Moreover, you should know that this is no the only way to get refund on cancelled flight.

We will be discussing the whole of process of getting a refund – based on your Air Passenger Rights along with the different cancellation policies that most recognized Indian airlines offer.

What are your Rights when Your Flight is Cancelled?

EU Passenger Rights


As per the EU Regulation 261/2004, when your flight is cancelled, the airline allows you to choose between the 3 options:

  • Half or Full refund on your ticket, along with a return flight to your original point of departure OR

  • An alternate flight to your destination OR

  • A ticket to your destination on the date you choose

Let’s break it little more to understand it better.

1- Refund

Note: Airline must give you a refund within 7 days in both the cases mentioned below.

Case 1: You have not taken any portion of your flight.

In this case, airline will give you a full refund of your flight ticket.

Case 2: You have used a portion of your flight

This happens when you have connecting flight. Meaning you have taken your first flight while the second leg journey was cancelled.

In such case, you will get a refund of the portion you haven’t used. If the second leg ticket is not useful for you anymore, then you can also demand for the refund of the portion which you have already used.

For instance, you were travelling for a business meeting and because of the cancellation you could not reach there on time. Therefore, the entire ticket got wasted. In such cases, you can claim a refund for the full ticket.

Also note that the airline must also give a flight back to your departure point.

2. Rerouting

The airline is liable to offer you alternate flight to help you reach your final destination. If there will be no availability of flights, the airline has to look for other modes of transportation.

Under EU 261, the airline has to provide you transport under “comparable conditions”.

Meaning – if you booked a first-class ticket, the airline must also put you on first class in your alternate flight. If no availability of seats, they must refund you the price difference between the first class and the economy class.

3. Rerouting on a date you decide

If it is within your convenience, you can choose to rebook your flight on a different date. The airline must find your transport under the same conditions.

DGCA Regulation

Airlines must inform about the flight cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure and arrange alternate flight or give you refund.

Case 1: You are informed about the flight cancellation less than two weeks before but up to 24 hrs. of scheduled time.

Your Right: The airline must offer an alternate flight or refund of the ticket, whatever acceptable to you.

Case 2: You have not been informed or have missed the connecting flight.

Your Right – The airline either offer you an alternate flight or give you full refund. If you have already reported for the original flight and while waiting for the alternate flight, the airline must give you free meals and refreshments.

Besides, the airline has to bear the cost of transferring you to/from that alternate airport or terminal from/to the one for which you have booked. If you have been informed at least 6 hours in advance, you shall be responsible for making your own arrangements.

Note: It is important to provide correct contact information otherwise, no compensation shall be payable.

How much Cancellation Compensation will I get?

According to the EU regulation, you can get up to 600 euros whereas DGCA or India Regulation offers the compensation up to 20,000 INR for the cancellation flight.

It is suggested that you should check your eligibility before you raise a claim ticket. Check here the eligibility as well as the compensation that you are entitled to get in the event of flight cancellation.

How to get a Flight Cancellation Refund?

If your flight is cancelled, you can demand for full refund, even if you have booked a non-refundable ticket, rather than taking another flight.

Basically, the moment your flight gets cancelled, the airline automatically rebooks you a different flight. If the alternate flight matches your needs, you can board the flight and you won’t get any refund.

If it doesn’t suit you, you can contact the airline and ask for a refund.

Am I eligible to get a refund if a non-refundable flight is cancelled?

The answer is obvious ‘No’. The only possibility of getting a refund if the flight has major schedule change. It is important to note that to get the eligibility for refund, you need to have checked-in for the flight.

So, if you are carrying a non-refundable ticket for a flight you cannot board, you still have to check-in, just in case the flight is cancelled last moment or had some major schedule changes, then only you can apply for a refund.

Note: Check the refund policies of Top Indian Airlines

Final Words

We all know that the level of consumer protection varies from country to country and also depends on the airline you are travelling with.

But one thing we are sure of that all the systems offers either a partial claim or full refund in the case of flight cancellation. Passengers just have to make sure that if the airline cancelled the flight to or from Europe or India, you may be entitled to get compensation up to 600 euros (EU) 20,000 INR (India), if you are not eligible for a refund.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *