As COVID-19 is spreading in all countries, this has a huge impact on the air industry. In this article, I want to share with you need to know if you are going to fly these days.

From the European perspective, we could say that the world has stopped… and nobody is flying everywhere. Well, it’s not totally right.

Looking at the global air flight capacity study from, as of 16th March 2020, we can see that it has dropped by 12% compared to March 2019, where some countries are down more than 50% (Italy 74%, Hong Kong 80%).

Flight Cancellation Due to Coronavirus

As the situation is very dynamic now and the number of COVID-19 still continues to rise, many airlines are cancelling their flights. Following the report from company Flightright, it’s not the end:

At the same time, measures to contain the virus are having a major impact on air traffic in Europe and beyond. Countries are beginning to impose entry bans (e.g. the USA) and borders are increasingly closing down. These developments will lead to a further sharp reduction in flights.

The problem is that the situation changes daily, therefore I’d like to list the most important points which you should be aware of in case your flight was cancelled.

What You Can Do If Your Flight Was Cancelled in the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic?

First of all, the airline has to offer you rebooking or return of the amount paid for the ticket. I also recommend reading my detailed article about what to do if your flight is cancelled.

Additionally, please check if you are eligible to receive compensation. I propose you to check this using the service of one of the companies listed in my article about best flight claim management companies.

Just by giving them the data about your flight, they will be able to check if your flight was cancelled due to Coronavirus or there is another reason behind your flight cancellation.

Extraordinary Circumstances

Flight cancellation due to coronavirus is considered as “Extraordinary Circumstances”. Following my post about EU flight claims, the extraordinary circumstances are defined as:

… extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier.

Since Coronavirus could not be stopped even all reasonable measures were taken by airlines and governments, all flights cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak are classified as extraordinary circumstances.

This means that flight cancellation due to coronavirus is not entitled to compensation.

Are All Flights Cancelled These Days Classified as Coronavirus Reason?

Of course not. Following the company flight claim management company Flightright:

While some airlines are genuinely cancelling flights in order to protect their passengers, others are protecting their pockets. As chaos and panic increases, airlines wishing to cancel flights for economic reasons have a ready-made excuse: Coronavirus.

It appears that these days classifying all cancelled flights as extraordinary circumstances will be a common practice. Mainly because we are dealing with the economical factor. The truth is that thousands of people changed their plans regarding travels – no one wants to travel in the time of plague, and airlines want to protect themselves from running half-empty planes.

Who Has a Chance for Compensation?

Following reasons are given by Flightright as these which are eligible for compensation:

  • Airlines cancel flights for financial reasons
  • There are no enroute restrictions due to border closures
  • No official travel warning to the destination has been issued
  • Passengers were informed of the cancellation less than 14 days before departure

Easy to say, but how are you going to check all these things? Especially when the situation is so dynamic and changing minute-by-minute? Use the help from flight claim management company like Flightright. As they say:

… Our legal experts are following the developments minute-by-minute to evaluate whether or not passengers can receive compensation for Corona cancellations.

What if I don’t Want to Travel But I Already Have the Ticket?

In this case, I would ask you to check current announcements about travel restrictions. You can find the latest air travel restrictions on the IATA page under this link.

Then, if you want to postpone or cancel your trip, you have to contact your airline. Currently, for countries where health warnings have been restricted, airlines offer flight tickets refunds within 14 days, free of charge. In all other cases, the regular cancellation conditions of the airline apply. Some airlines can show some goodwill like free of charge rebooking for future dates.

Wrap Up

In these difficult days of uncertainty, the best idea, for now, is to stay at home. For those of you who are not able to do that, hopefully, this article will help you in case of flight issues. Stay healthy and hopefully this crisis will end soon and the world will be still there…


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