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Flight Cancellation

Did you know that Israeli law requires airlines or charter organizers to compensate passengers in the case of a cancelled flight? Know your rights in the event of a flight cancellation! Here is what you need to know about Israel’s Aviation Services Law (Compensation and Assistance for Flight Cancellation of Change of Conditions), 5772-2012.

What is a cancelled flight?

Firstly, when is a flight considered to have been cancelled? Article 1 of the Law defines a “cancelled flight” as either a flight that has not occurred, or a flight which has taken off with a delay of at least eight hours.

The Law splits cancelled flights into three categories.

The basic principle is that the less advance notification the airline or charter organizer gives the passenger, the more limited they are in terms of the options that they may offer the passenger.

Category 1: Flight cancelled at least 14 days in advance

If you were notified about the cancellation more than 14 days before the flight, you are entitled to cancel the ticket for a full refund (with no further compensation).

Category 2: Flight cancelled between 7 and 14 days in advance

If you were notified about the cancellation between 7 and 14 days before the flight, but at that time you were offered an alternative flight departing up to 2 hours before and arriving within 4 hours of the originally scheduled time, the airline or charter organizer is exempt from paying you compensation. On the other hand, if they did not offer you an alternative flight meeting the above requirements, you are entitled to cancel the ticket for a full refund should you so choose, and you are entitled to compensation.

For example:

Jim bought a ticket with a scheduled departure time of 8:00. 11 days before the flight, Jim receives an SMS from his travel agent that the flight is cancelled, but he was rebooked on a new flight departing at 6:00 (i.e. two hours earlier). If Jim choses not to accept that alternative, his only recourse is to cancel the ticket for a full refund.

However, if Jim wasn’t offered an alternative flight, or if he was offered a flight that departs at 5:00 (i.e. more than two hours earlier), he is entitled to monetary compensation and also has the right to refuse the new flight and get a full refund instead.

Category 3: Flight cancelled less than 7 days in advance

If you were notified about the cancellation less than seven days before departure, the airline or charter organizer must rebook you on a flight that departs no more than one hour earlier. Otherwise, they will be required to pay you monetary compensation.

How much compensation am I entitled to?

If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to cancel the ticket for a full refund and in certain circumstances (see Categories 2 and 3 above) you may be entitled to cash compensation. The amount of compensation due is a function of the distance of the flight:

Up to 2,000 km:    1,250 shekels

Up to 4,500 km:    2,000 shekels

Above 4,500 km:    3,000 shekels

One caveat: if you accept the new flight offered to you, the airline/charter organizer may be allowed to reduce the compensation by 50% if the following conditions are met:

For flights up to 2,000 km:        the arrival delay is less than 4 hours

For flights of 2,000 km – 4,500 km:    the arrival delay is less than 5 hours

For flights over 4,500 km:        the arrival delay is less than 6 hours

Contact our offices today to check your eligibility for compensation!