Updated on May 16, 2024.
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Flight cancellations can be frustrating, and the worst part is that they are unpredictable. However, when it happens, usually airlines refund the passengers to make up for it.

Let’s discuss the most common reasons flights get cancelled and whether you qualify for a refund in those situations or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Flight cancellations can occur due to various reasons such as severe weather conditions, security concerns, mechanical issues, and strikes.
  • Passengers are typically eligible for a refund if their flight was cancelled due to mechanical issues or sudden strikes, but may not be eligible for a refund if the cancellation was due to severe weather conditions or security concerns.
  • It’s important to understand the refund policies and rebooking options available to passengers who experience flight cancellations, as these can vary depending on the airline and the reason for the cancellation.

Severe Weather Conditions

Weather is probably the most common and obvious reason for the cancellation of the flight. Airplanes are grounded during severe weather to ensure the safety of the passengers.

These conditions can include hurricanes, snowstorms, fog, even excessively high temperatures, because of which the plane will not be able to function properly.

Since this condition comes under the heading of “extraordinary situations” (which the airlines cannot control), you shouldn’t expect any refund or compensation.

Flights also get cancelled if there is a severe weather condition at your destination while the weather at the departure terminal is fine.

Security Purposes

Numerous flight cancellations happen because of security concerns. For example, a bomb scare at the airport from which you’re departing. Or a threat at the place you’re traveling to.

Airport security is the toughest these days than it’s ever been, and airlines don’t take any chances when it comes to security. The plane will be grounded if there is a real concern about the flight’s safety.

Airlines are not legally obliged to refund passengers if a security concern causes the cancellation.

Mechanical Issues In The Airplane

Often, there are issues found in the preflight inspection of an aircraft. It can be anything from a hydraulic leakage to a malfunctioning engine or even a door that has come off its hinges.

There is a high risk of flying a defective plane. For the trip, every plane part must be in excellent working order.

Hopefully, the delay will be short until the crew repairs the aircraft, or the airline will reassign you to another flight, but this may sometimes result in flight cancellation.

In this situation, passengers will get a refund.


why do flights get cancelled?

Strikes at the airport or among airline employees can lead to flight cancellation. Even though you have to provide advance notice of the strike, it might be difficult to know whether your flight will be affected.

If you reach out to the airline ahead of time to inquire about your flight’s status, they may be unable to provide you with an answer.

Strikes in the airline sector are not uncommon. Since aviation is a highly specialized workforce-dependent industry, workers have a lot of negotiating power, which they use to go on strike for improved working conditions.

The question is:

If a flight cancellation occurs due to a strike, do passengers qualify for compensation?

It all depends on who was on strike, airport or airline employees, and when the strike time.

In case of sudden strikes, passengers often get a refund.


Flight cancellations occur for several reasons, such as security purposes, severe weather conditions, strikes, mechanical issues, and others.

For the cancellation due to strikes, you can be notified earlier by the airlines and whether or not they will compensate depends upon various factors such as who was on strike, the strike timing, etc.

Furthermore, you can get a refund for cancellation due to mechanical issues but not you will not get any refund for a flight cancellation that occurred because of security threats or weather conditions since these situations are out of the airlines’ hands.

Struggling with getting a refund for a cancelled flight? Find out the best flight cancellation compensation companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most common reasons for flight cancellations?

The most common reasons for flight cancellations are severe weather conditions, security concerns, mechanical issues, and strikes.

  • Will I receive a refund if my flight is cancelled due to severe weather conditions?

No, airlines are not required to provide refunds for flight cancellations due to severe weather conditions since these situations are beyond their control.

  • Can I expect compensation if my flight is cancelled due to a strike?

It depends on various factors, such as who was on strike, the timing of the strike, and other circumstances. Passengers might receive a refund if the strike was sudden and unexpected.

  • What should I do if my flight is cancelled?

Contact your airline immediately to inquire about your options for rebooking or receiving a refund.

  • Is it possible to avoid flight cancellations altogether?

Unfortunately, flight cancellations can be unpredictable and occur for various reasons, but choosing a reliable airline and booking nonstop flights can reduce the likelihood of cancellations.