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KLM Flight Cancellation Compensation

KLM flight cancellation compensation.

Are you eligible to it? How much can you claim? What are the rules?

Flights get cancelled every day, and the reasons vary a lot. However, the important thing is to remember that whenever that happens and it’s the airline’s fault, you may be entitled both to a full refund and EU flight cancellation compensation up to €600 per passenger. With KLM it applies to most of its flights to and from the European Union. 

You can claim it yourself, or you can hand it over to professionals.

1. KLM Flight Cancellation Compensation: EU Regulations

Will you receive a ticket for a new flight free of charge?

Can you get a full refund instead? Are you entitled to compensation?

Flight compensation rules in the European Union are very specific.

If you are notified of the cancellation 7 – 14 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 2 hours before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 4 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

If you are notified of the cancellation less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by your airline, which departs not more than 1 hour before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 2 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

Conditions for claiming compensation:

By Europe and EU here on this page we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

1.1 Extraordinary Circumstances

In some situations, however, you won’t be entitled to compensation. 

If your flight is cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, national strike or security issues at the airport, in these situations you can’t get EU flight cancellation compensation. At the same time you should remember that not all airport strikes are considered the same — in some situations you will be entitled to KLM flight compensation. 

Another thing to remember — double check what you’re told.

Because not always airlines are telling the truth. 

You can also hand over the case to a flight compensation company, for them to double check it on your behalf. Just to be sure you aren’t being lied to. For example, technical problems with the airplane mostly aren’t considered extraordinary circumstances. 

Just fill in our claim form, and our partners will do that for you.

1.2 Right to Care

If you have to wait at the airport, you have a right to care.

With KLM it applies to most of its flights to and from the European Union. For example, if it’s a last-minute cancellation, and you have to wait at the airport, you have a right to care. As long as the waiting time at the airport is at least 3 hours. What does it mean for you?

KLM must offer you free meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, two free phone calls, e-mails or faxes. If your new flight is leaving only on the next day, free hotel accommodation (including free transfer) must be offered.

It doesn’t affect your chances of getting compensation.

1.3 KLM Refund Policy

In the European Union the rules are very simple.

According to the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, if your flight is cancelled, the airline should offer you either a new flight or a full refund. Since KLM is a EU airline, it applies to most of its flights to and from the EU. The refund should be paid within 7 days to your bank account. In these situations it doesn’t even matter what is the reason of the cancellation. 

You don’t have to agree to KLM voucher refund.

Here’s an excerpt from the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004:

Article 5


In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall: (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between: (a) – reimbursement within seven days (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, Article 8

All of this is possible thanks to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. To put it simply, it’s a law in the European Union created to regulate air passenger rights when flight is cancelled, heavily delayed or overbooked (and as a result someone is denied boarding).

Entering hotel room
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

2. How to Claim KLM Flight Compensation?

There are two most popular ways to claim EU flight compensation.

One of the options is to contact KLM directly. Contact KLM customer support center via their website or social media channels, and request compensation for cancellation. Refer to above mentioned regulation. Be prepared that it may take months until you receive your money.

You can also take the easiest path — legal representation.

In this case everything is handled by a law office. All that you are mostly asked to do is to fill in a single form — compensation claim form. So you only register your KLM compensation claim once, and the rest is done by the company. Our partners offer such services.

When choosing this option, here is all you will have to do:

Go to
this page

Fill in a claim form

Upload documents*

Sign online

And that’s it — the rest is handled by professionals.

* Your boarding pass and passport or ID copy.

2.1 How Long Does It Take?

On average the process takes between 2 to 3 months.

It’s from the moment you file a compensation claim until your KLM flight cancellation compensation arrives in your bank account. Note that in some situations it might be necessary to take a case to national enforcement body or court. Mostly it adds at least a couple of months, sometimes 6+ months to the whole process.

Euro banknotes
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

3. How Much Can You Claim?

The compensation amount is fixed and range from €250 to €600.

Here is how you can calculate your KLM flight cancellation compensation:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1500 – 3500 km


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1500 – 3500 km


If the distance of your flight is more than 3500 km

There’s one exception. When the distance is 3500 kilometres or more and you reach your destination 3 to 4 hours later, you are entitled to compensation of €300, not €600. If the delay is longer than 4 hours, you will get full compensation of €600. That’s in case you agree on an alternative flight KLM is offering you. If you are taking a refund — you’ll be entitled to €600.

3.1 KLM Voucher Refund or Cash?

What if KLM is offering you a voucher instead of compensation?

Most airlines were offering coupons during COVID crisis, many do that regularly. Do you have to accept a KLM compensation voucher, or can you say no? You can say no — you don’t have to accept a voucher. Airline compensation and refunds have to be paid in cash or by bank transfer. Always.

Woman at the airport
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

4. What Happens If a Flight Is Cancelled?

What to do if your flight is cancelled?

First of all, if you are flying with KLM, you’ll be offered a solution.

It’s their responsibility to handle the situation, no matter the reason of the cancellation. In most of the situations you’ll be given a choice between a new flight and full refund. It’s up to you to choose what suits you the best. In case of the refund, take into account that you won’t receive it immediately. Normally the payment is made within 7 days.

Don’t forget that in many situations KLM is also obliged to pay the compensation when flight is cancelled less than 2 weeks before the date of departure, and it’s their fault.

Do you have another flight? If it’s a connecting flight booked from KLM or Air France, and because of this cancellation you are going to miss the next flight, don’t worry, because the airline will take care of that and will put you on another flight for free. If, however, it’s a flight booked separately, then it’s going to be your responsibility to book another flight.

KLM Flight Cancellation Compensation: FAQ

Can I get compensation if my flight ticket was very cheap?

The price of your ticket doesn’t matter. 

It also doesn’t affect the amount of the compensation you may receive.

Do I need to have an insurance in order to claim compensation successfully?

No, you don’t need an insurance for that.

It’s all possible thanks to Regulation EC 261/2004. 

Can my child get compensation?

Yes, rules are the same for all passengers.

People of any age can get compensation if they are eligible to it.

Can I claim compensation for other person?

Yes, and you don’t need to have taken the flight yourself. 

You can file a compensation for your relative or friend, as long as this person gives you his or her boarding pass and passport copy. The only thing the person in question will have to do is to sign any documents KLM may ask to sign. When working with flight compensation companies it’s usually only one document

How far back can I claim flight compensation?

It varies from country to country. 

You have to look at the local laws in the country the flight departed from. Mostly, however, you can claim compensation for flights that are up to 2-3 years old. 

What to do if KLM is refusing my claim?

Your KLM compensation claim is refused.

The easiest way to get compensation KLM owes you, is to file a claim against KLM with flight compensation company. Alternatively, if the airline is refusing your claim, you should try and find a solution by contacting respective national enforcement body. There are national enforcement bodies in all EU Member states.

KLM Refund

If my flight is cancelled, do I get a refund?

If you are flying with KLM, and it’s a flight from or to Europe, then yes.

In this case you can choose to have a refund instead of a new flight.

EU – Non-EU Flights, Tourists

I’m flying to the EU from Asia / Americas / Africa. Can I get compensation?

If you’re flying with KLM then yes, you can.

KLM is an airline registered in the EU, and in this case EU regulations apply to all its flights to and from Europe. If you’re flying with a non-EU airline, it applies only to flights departing from Europe.

I’m flying from the EU to Asia / Americas / Africa? Can I get compensation?

Yes, even if it’s a non-EU airline.

I am not a European. Can I apply for compensation?

Yes, you can. 

Any national can apply for KLM flight delay compensation. In the European Union these rules are the same for everyone — tourists from overseas and Europeans alike.

Other Situations

My flight was operated by Air France. Which airline is going to pay the compensation?

You booked a flight from KLM, and it was operated by Air France.

In this case Air France is the airline you’ll have to file a claim against.

But it’s only true regarding the compensation. If the first flight of your journey is delayed and because of that you have missed your connecting flight, the marketing airline is responsible for booking you into the next available flight for free. If that has happened, contact the airline  you booked your flight from (KLM in this example).

Airline gave me a free hotel room and took me to my destination. Can I still get compensated for delay?

Yes, you may still receive flight compensation. 

Because that’s your airline’s responsibility — to take care of you. In Europe you have a right to care no matter the circumstances. And if you’re eligible to compensation, it doesn’t affect your chances of receiving it. You should not forget to file a claim, though.

Airline did take me to destination. Can I still get compensated?

If you arrived 3 hours later than planned, then, yes. 

In many situations you may still get compensated. Depending on the distance of your flight, you may receive up to €600 per passenger.

Do you still have questions about KLM compensation policies? Ask in the comments.

Featured photo by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

3 thoughts on “KLM Flight Cancellation Compensation”

  1. Hello

    I arrived at Amsterdam from Atlanta Georgia ,on 23/04/2022, stop over for Aberdeen Scotland. My flight was to leave for Aberdeen at 16.10.
    My flight was cancelled and I could not get another flight until the follow8ng Monday 25/04/ 2022..

    I had no voucher or other compensation and had to pay out for a hotel room for 2 days..

    I want compensation. Flight # KL 1449


    Mrs Valerie Cowie

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