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Last-Minute Flight Cancellation: Your Rights

Flight cancellations are annoying.

A last-minute flight cancellation can potentially destroy your travel plans. Especially if you have more than one flight, and everything’s booked in advance. However, when it comes to KLM flight cancellation policy, and flight cancellations in the EU in general, there are some very good news. For more than a decade already you — as a passenger — are protected by the law.

When things go wrong, KLM has to take care of you.

1. KLM Flight Cancellation: Last-Minute Flight Cancellation

Whenever KLM cancels a flight, it has to take care of you.

  1. If that results in a long wait at the airport, you have the right to care from KLM. Sometimes you will get a coupon for free meal, other times — free hotel accommodation and transfer. 
  2. If you aren’t taking a flight, you have the right to refund for cancellation. It can be a direct transfer to your bank account or a refundable KLM voucher.
  3. As long as it’s a last-minute flight cancellation, it has happened up to 2 weeks before the original date, and it’s due to fault of the airline, you can claim flight cancellation compensation

This applies to all KLM flights to 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.

2. What to Do if Your Flight Is Cancelled Last-Minute?

Where are you right now? At the airport?

2.1 If You Are Still at Home or Hotel

Stay where you are for a while.

Contact KLM customer service to find out what should you do next. 

As mentioned above, you will be taken care of. You just have to find out what’s the new plan, will you fly today or no, what are the options, etc. You have the right to care, and a free alternative flight to your destination or refund (if you choose so), even if the flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances.

2.2 If You Are Already at the Airport

First of all, don’t go through the airport security.

If your flight is cancelled, there will be a new flight. And that means you will have to get a new boarding pass, go through check in one more time, check in your bag, if you have any, go through passport control. If you have already gone through security, try to go back to the landside of the airport. 

Next, try to get in touch with representatives of KLM.

You have to find out what to do next.

Euro banknotes
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3. KLM Flight Cancellation Compensation

Flight compensation rules in the EU are very specific.

Anything less than 2 weeks before the flight is seen as a last-minute flight cancellation.

Your flight is cancelled 7 – 14 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by KLM, 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.

Your flight is cancelled less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by KLM, 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:

Read more: KLM Flight Cancellation Compensation

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4. How to Claim KLM Flight Compensation / Refund?

For refunds there is a special page — refunds.klm.com

To get a compensation, the most important thing is to make a claim. Unfortunately, but you won’t get anything, if you don’t ask for it. The most straightforward option is to contact customer service of KLM, and to submit your claim. You don’t have to agree to travel vouchers if a compensation is due. According to the regulation the EC 261, in the EU flight compensation has to be paid to your bank account. Compensation amounts are fixed — from 250 euro to 600 euro. 

You can also take the easiest path — legal representation.

When you choose this option everything is handled by a flight compensation company. They file a compensation claim and do all the negotiations on your behalf. 

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.

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

Featured photo by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

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