Travelers lose money every year when their flights get cancelled, and many of these people never get their money back. You may not know that airlines are required to pay compensation for certain types of cancellations, but you need to know how to file a claim properly. There are a few common mistakes listed below that you should avoid. Be patient when filing your claim, collect all the information you can, and use these steps to get your money back.

Do You Have Your Tickets And Receipt?

Flight cancellations are documented by the airline and the FAA, but that does not mean that they stored your ticket. Airlines are not going to send you a check for your missed flight, and they will not offer a copy of your ticket or receipt. You must keep your ticket and receipt so that you can prove you paid for the flight. This is the most critical piece of evidence in your claim.

You should save the email confirmation when you bought the ticket, and you could ask your travel agent to save their receipts if they bought the tickets for you. If you downloaded an electric boarding pass, you need to take a screenshot of that pass so that you can submit it as part of your claim.

If you do not know the exact amount you paid for each seat, the airline may try to compensate you at a reduced rate. Plus, you may be forced to take a reduced rate if you do not have a receipt.

Do You Know The Law?

You must know the law in the place you flew to and flew from. Every country and continent has its own rules for flight cancellations. If a problem at the final destination caused the cancellation, the rules in that location apply. If a problem in the place you departed caused the cancellation, you must use the rules in that location. Your claim will be denied if you are quoting laws from the wrong municipality.

People who are traveling to Europe have many more rights than other passengers around the world. Because European traveler laws are so generous, it is possible that the airline will avoid paying you because they know that they broke the rules. This is why you need to do your research.

Do You Know What Caused The Cancellation?

Airlines will often say that they needed to cancel a flight due to “extraordinary circumstances” they could not have predicted. If this is the case, the airline does not need to pay. The worst mistake you can make is accepting what the airline tells you. It is easy to call the airport to ask about the cancellation. The airport needs to document the cancellation, and they can tell you why the flight was cancelled.

If you find out that the airline did not have enough pilots, they did not service the plane properly, or the airline cancelled your flight so that another flight could take off, you can be compensated. A bit of research will help you file a successful claim.

Do Not Accept A Free Flight

The airline will often try to give you a free flight that has a lot of restrictions and blackout dates. The airline knows that these tickets would be very cheap, and they can stand to lose this money instead of paying you back for a much more expensive ticket. When you accept a free ticket from the airline, you have closed the case. You cannot go back to the airline and claim that you need to be paid back.

If you try to file a claim through a third party or take them to court, they will show evidence that you already settled the matter. If the airline sends you a letter letting you know that they would like to give you something as a token of their gratitude for being a customer, you cannot use it. Even if you get something as small as a free hotel stay with a partner, the airline will claim they already compensated you.

Do Not Complain Directly To The Airline

The airline records calls to the customer service line, and you do not want to talk on a line that could be used against you in your case. Plus, you will not be able to talk to anyone with the airline who can automatically pay you back. You must file your claim in writing or hire a third party to help you. You will be frustrated and annoyed when you try to complain to the airline.


You do not want to lose money when your flight is cancelled. However, you need evidence to use when requesting compensation. The airline is usually required to pay you back if they caused the cancellation. You can research the claim and get your money back when you avoid the mistakes above.