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Last-Minute Flight Cancellation: Your Rights

Are you experiencing a last-minute flight cancellation on your Finnair flight?

If your Finnair flight is cancelled last minute, it can lead to major disruption, particularly when it affects connecting flights or pre-planned travel schedules. However, both EU/UK law and Finnair’s flight cancellation policy have protections in place for passengers. These regulations have been in force for over a decade, meaning if your Finnair flight is cancelled, the airline has a responsibility to assist you and find an appropriate alternative.

1. Finnair Flight Cancellation: Last-Minute Flight Cancellation

If Finnair cancels your flight, it’s their duty to assist you.

  1. In the event that a last-minute flight cancellation results in a lengthy wait at the airport, Finnair is obligated to provide care. If the wait extends to 3 hours, you will be given a voucher for a complimentary meal, and if it entails an overnight wait — free hotel accommodation and transfer are provided. You have a right to care if you are stuck at the airport.
  2. If you opt not to accept the alternative flight suggested, you are entitled to a full refund from Finnair. This refund can be either transferred directly to your bank account, or provided as a Finnair voucher.
  3. As long as the flight cancellation is classed as a last-minute cancellation (i.e., flight cancelled up to 2 weeks before the original departure date), and the cancellation is due to Finnair’s fault, you can claim flight cancellation compensation from Finnair.

If your connecting flight is missed due to a cancellation on your Finnair flight, you may qualify for compensation. Please refer to our Finnair missed connection compensation guide for additional information.

In summary, the regulations are similar to those in place for flight delays. You need to compare your actual arrival time with the original arrival time.

These compensation rules are applicable to all Finnair flights to and from Europe.

By Europe and EU here on this page (and on this website in general) 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?

What to do if your flight is cancelled last-minute?

The steps to take depend on your location. If you have already departed for the airport, the measures to be taken could be different to if you are yet to leave your home or hotel.

2.1 If You Are Still at Home or Hotel

Is your Finnair flight cancelled last minute, while you are still at home?

If you are yet to depart and your flight has been cancelled, it’s advisable to remain where you are. Reach out to Finnair’s customer service to understand your next steps.

As mentioned earlier, Finnair will provide assistance. They will inform you of your choices – it’s possible you will be departing the same day, or the subsequent day. This depends on flight availability. Don’t forget, you can request a flight with a different airline as well.

In the event of extraordinary circumstances leading to the cancellation, you are entitled to care, a free alternative flight to your intended destination, or a refund if that is your preference. If your flight is cancelled due to the airline’s fault, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, you are entitled to receive flight compensation.

2.2 If You Are Already at the Airport

If you are already at the airport and have been notified of your last-minute flight cancellation, avoid passing through airport security. A new flight will be arranged for you. This implies that you need to obtain a new boarding pass by going through the check-in process again.

If you have any luggage, you need to check it in again, and pass through passport control. If you have already completed security, try to return to the landside (public access) area of the airport.

It’s crucial to get in touch with Finnair’s representatives at the airport to understand the next steps. They will provide you with assistance, such as offering you an alternative flight to your destination (or a full refund) and care.

Euro banknotes

3. Finnair Flight Cancellation Compensation

The UK/EU has laid down specific rules regarding flight compensation.

If your flight is cancelled less than 2 weeks before the scheduled departure date, it falls under the category of a last-minute cancellation, and you may be entitled to compensation.

If your flight is cancelled 7 – 14 days before the scheduled departure time:

  • If you opt for a new flight offered by Finnair, which departs not more than 2 hours before the original schedule and you reach your destination less than 4 hours after the original arrival time, you are not entitled to compensation.
  • Otherwise, you are entitled to compensation.

If your flight is cancelled less than 7 days before the scheduled departure time:

  • If you opt for a new flight offered by Finnair, which departs not more than 1 hour before the original schedule and you reach your destination less than 2 hours after the original arrival time, you are not entitled to compensation.
  • Otherwise, you are entitled to compensation.

Conditions for claiming compensation:

  • Flight cancelled due to Finnair’s fault;
  • Flight is to/from/within Europe;
  • It must be a last-minute flight cancellation (less than 14 days before departure).

Read more: Finnair Flight Cancellation Compensation

4. Finnair Flight Cancellation Refund

In the event of a Finnair flight being cancelled, you are entitled to either a rescheduled flight to your intended destination or a full refund. If you choose a refund, it can be processed either to your bank account or provided as a Finnair voucher.

Your decision will likely be influenced by your personal circumstances and future travel plans.

Finnair guarantees that your refund will be processed within 7 days.

It is important to understand that the right to compensation and the right to a refund are two distinct entitlements under UK/EU flight compensation regulations. Thus, even if you decide to receive a refund, depending on the specifics of the flight cancellation, you might very well still be eligible for compensation.

4.1 What Happens If You Cancel a Flight?

If you, the passenger, decide to cancel your flight, the refund conditions vary. In general, the refund policy of Finnair is determined by the type of ticket you have purchased.

Depending on the fare conditions, fully-flexible tickets are usually refundable, while low-cost, non-flexible tickets may not be. It’s always advisable to examine the specific conditions attached to your ticket or reach out to Finnair’s customer support for further clarification. If your travel insurance covers cancellations, you may be able to secure a refund through your insurance company.

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5. How to Claim Finnair Flight Cancellation Compensation? Cancellation Refund?

Finnair flight cancelled last minute, and you don’t want to fly anymore?

If you wish to secure a refund for your ticket, you may apply for a refund through the “Manage Booking” section. The refund will be processed using the same payment method that you utilised when booking your ticket.

What if you’re entitled to flight cancellation compensation?

You could be due compensation from Finnair if your flight gets canceled. The crucial step you need to take is to make a claim. Neglecting to do so would result in no compensation. Reach out to Finnair customer service to make a claim.

Remember, you are entitled to compensation, and you’re not obligated to accept Finnair vouchers. According to EC Regulation 261, compensation for flight disruptions within the EU should be paid directly into your bank account. The amount of compensation you’re entitled to is fixed and ranges from 250 to 600 euros.

Opting for legal representation is also a viable route — and arguably the easiest one.

Choosing this option means a flight compensation company will handle everything. They will make a compensation claim and oversee the entire process 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.

Read more:

Have you ever experience a last-minute flight cancellation? How did the airline solve this? Do you still have questions about Finnair compensation policies? Ask in the comments.