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KLM Strike Compensation

KLM strike compensation in the EU and UK.

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

Most of people still don’t know this, but airline strikes aren’t considered extraordinary circumstances. Definitely not all of them. So, if there’s a KLM strike — with KLM staff striking (not other airport staff), and if that causes a flight delay or flight cancellation, you may be entitled to flight compensation from KLM. The same rules apply to all passengers on all flights that qualify. Often you also have a right to care.

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

1. KLM Strike Compensation

The rules are very simple and specific.

  • If it’ s a flight delay, it must be at least a 3-hour flight delay. What counts is the moment you reach destination, the moment when doors of an airplane are opened and passengers are free to leave. If it’s 3 or more hours later than planned, then it counts — you might be entitled to KLM flight delay compensation.
  • If it’ s a flight cancellation, it must be a last-minute cancellation. That includes all KLM flights cancelled up to 14 days before the day of departure. In all of these situations, you might be entitled to KLM flight cancellation compensation (not only KLM cancellation refund).

The rules apply to all KLM flights to, within and from Europe.

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

Airline staff strikes aren’t extraordinary circumstances.

Same like technical problems with airplane and staff shortage aren’t considered extraordinary circumstances. But still, if you do contact the airline yourself, and ask for a reason why your flight was heavily delayed or cancelled at the very last-minute, they may tell you that it was due to extraordinary circumstances — something they couldn’t avoid.

Airlines like extraordinary circumstances. Because for them it means, that they don’t have to pay flight compensation. Take this into account. And double-check what you are told.

1.2 Right to Care

Whenever you have to wait longer than planned, you have a right to care.

If you have to wait at the airport for at least 3 hours, you have a right to some services for free. Mostly you can get a meal and some drink. If the waiting time is more than 3 hours, and it’s during the night, you also have a right to free accommodation and free airport transfer.

According to the law, KLM must offer you free meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time. If nothing is being offered, contact KLM staff at the airport.

Entering hotel room
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

2. How to Claim KLM Strike Compensation?

There are two ways to claim EU flight compensation.

One of the options is to contact KLM directly. Get in touch with KLM support via their website, and request compensation for cancellation or delay. Whatever applies in your case. Be prepared that it may take months until there’s any progress. Be also prepared to negotiate.

You can also take the easiest path — legal representation.

In this case everything is handled by legal professionals (a European flight compensation company). In this case, all that you mostly need to do is to fill in a single form — compensation claim form. 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?

Mostly it takes at least a couple of months.

On average, with KLM it takes around 3 months. It takes at least twice as much, if the case has to be taken to court — if the airline doesn’t agree with this and isn’t ready to cooperate.

Euro banknotes
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

3. How Much Can You Claim?

The compensation amounts are fixed and range from €250 to €600.

These amounts are regulated by the EU and UK regulations.

Here is how you can calculate the amount of KLM compensation:

When your destination is within the EU:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1500 km


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

When your destination is outside the EU:


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

3.1 KLM Voucher Refund or Cash?

You might be offered a voucher instead of compensation.

Many airlines were offering coupons during COVID crisis. Many have been doing this forever, and continue doing. It’s understandable, because it’s cheaper for the airline to offer their services instead of simply making a money transfer.

However, you don’t have to accept a voucher or coupon. Unless, of course, you want a KLM coupon instead of money, if you know that you’ll be using it anyway. Airline compensation and refunds have to be paid in cash or by bank transfer. Always.

KLM Strike 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.

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

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