Here's the story. I had a short and sweet flight from Toulouse (France) to Amsterdam. I had planned my day based on when I leave Toulouse and arrive Amsterdam. KLM cancelled the flight and offered me an alternative because of which I have a 3-4 hour layover in Leon and waste the entire day. The additional expenses I incurred are not too much - but yes, Taxi, transport etc are there, apart from spending extra for lunch in the airport. I am not interested in getting a compensation because of these minor expenses but out of frustration because of the journey becoming 3-4 hour longer, and letting go of my plans that day. The original flight was cancelled 4 days before the departure.

I immediately filed for a compensation and the airlines now replied (after three months). Their email mentions that the flight was cancelled for commercial reasons. However they ask more details:

To finalize your claim, please send me the following information:      
Receipt of your hotel, meal and transportation expenses  
Your compensation choice. If you opted to receive cash compensation, please send me your bank account.

My understanding of the EU261/2004 regulations is that I should receive compensation of around 200-300 Eur. However this email makes me feel like I'll only get money I paid for transportation and meal (30-40 eur?) - that too, if I can still find the receipts.

My questions to the community:

  1. What's the right way to repond to this email? Should I find and share receipts (20 for uber, another 20 for lunch) and expect to receive 40-50 eur in return?
  2. Should I expect to be paid around 200-300 Eur? In that case, how to respond to this email?
  3. There were two passengers on this PNR. Does that mean both of us should receive compensation?

ps. I know I come back to this community only when an airline company really infuriates me. I'll be more active and respond to questions by newer users.

pps. The flight was a single pnr booked on KLM website. I learnt my lesson 4 years ago right on this platform. The alternate was arranged by KLM on a connecting flight operated by HOP and KLM.

  • How long in advance was the flight cancelled?
    – xyldke
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 11:05
  • 4-5 days. I'll add this detail in the question
    – Aditya
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Under EC261, when there are delays or cancellations, you may have several different rights, including:

  • Assistance (also called care): that means the airline should reroute/rebook you, provide the opportunity for a refund, and take care of you in the process if there are long delays, including meals, hotels, transfers, etc. This stops at the point where you get to your final destination.

  • Compensation: that means that if you are severely delayed at your final destination, you will get a lump sum compensation. This is independent of any costs you may have to bear. It may be much more than those costs, it may be much less, but it's fixed and pre-determined.

Any additional costs once you arrive at your (planned) destination are not covered by EC261. So if you have to take a taxi when you had planned to take public transport, or if you miss a train, or if you paid for a night in a hotel and you can't use, all of that is not covered explicitly. Hopefully the compensation will cover it, but in some cases it might not.

Any receipts for hotels, meals, etc. are normally only for what is covered by the right to assistance. That's for instance meals if you were delayed long enough (at the origin or at a connection airport), hotel nights if you were delayed overnight, transfers to/from the hotel, etc. Many airlines have strict policies about those: you should contact them, and they will give you vouchers or somehow arrange for the service to be provided, rather than let you pay for all that and then reimburse you. Even in the latter case, they usually have limits on what they will refund (no, you usually can't dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant at the airline's expense).

So if you want to be refunded for incidentals during your trip, provide the receipt for the meal. I'm not sure where/when you used the Uber, but I don't expect that to be covered.

The right to assistance is valid even if the issue is not the airline's fault. There are a number of other parameters that are different from the right to compensation (the thresholds for the delays, etc.).

What you seem to be interested in is the compensation. The amount is fixed, and is completely independent of any costs. It is computed like this:

  • For flights of less than 1500 km: 250 €
  • For intra-EU flights of more than 1500 km, or extra-EU flights between 1500 and 3000 km: 400 €
  • For longer flights: 600 €.

In you case the distance is 997 km, so the compensation will be 250 €. And that is indeed per passenger, though the procedure is normally that this is paid to each passenger, so the airline may require you to file multiple requests. Start by re-stressing that there were 2 passengers on the PNR, and see how that goes.

  • Do they offer both Assistance and compensation or do they have to provide only one based on some conditions?
    – Aditya
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 16:15
  • The two are independent and have different conditions attached. In most cases you will benefit from both, but the thresholds may be different, and the time they kick in can be very different. In your case it’s nearly certain both apply. The official resource on the topic is europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/…
    – jcaron
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 22:15

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