Due to the coronavirus KLM canceled all flights from China about a week ago. Naturally we are entitled to a full refund. According to European Union air passenger rights, passengers are also entitled to up to €600 Of compensation in the case of a canceled flight. However, we requested a cancellation of our tickets five days before they announced the cancellation of our flight but after it became public that China closed down Wuhan with the risk of other cities. So we wanted to leave as early as we could. KLM had given notice that they offer rebookings and cancellations at that time.
Are we therefore also entitled to a 600€ refund Or would we have had to first give KLM the chance to offer us an earlier flight before booking a flight with another airline and canceling theirs? Or should we have waited 5 days until they cancelled the flight to be entitled to receive both the refund + compensation?
So in short, what does the compensation depend on? Also, does the corona virus qualify for the airline to waive the compensation penalty because it’s an “extraordinary circumstance” in the legal sense?
Edit: the cancellation & approval of the refund claim of my ticket came into effect yesterday, 5 days after the flight would have taken place. We received no confirmation of cancellation neither for our specific request nor any warning of the airline itself that the flight was cancelled in general. This suggests that they A cancelled our tickets and therefore B didn’t consider us a passenger anymore at the time of cancellation. Still, it’s odd that they never gave us confirmation of the ticket cancellation. Just a “pending approval for refund request” state.