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Last-Minute Flight Cancellation: Your Rights

Was your TAP flight cancelled last minute?

Having your flight canceled at the last minute can be extremely frustrating, causing disruptions to your travel arrangements, especially if you have multiple bookings (flights, train or bus journeys). Nevertheless, there is a silver lining. TAP’s flight cancellation policy are subject to regulations that safeguard passenger rights, a practice in Europe that has been in effect for over ten years. Consequently, if TAP cancels your flight, they have the obligation to ensure your well-being as a passenger and seek a suitable resolution.

1. TAP Flight Cancellation: Last-Minute Flight Cancellation

If TAP cancels your flight, they have an obligation to assist you and find a solution.

Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  1. In the event of an extended wait at the airport caused by the cancellation, TAP is obliged to provide you with care. This may involve issuing a coupon for a complimentary meal, arranging free hotel accommodation, and facilitating transfers to the hotel.
  2. If you opt not to accept the alternative flight offered by TAP, you have the right to receive a full refund for the flight. This refund can be issued either through a direct bank transfer or in the form of a refundable TAP voucher.
  3. If TAP cancels your flight, and the reason for the cancellation lies with the airline, you can file a claim for compensation for flight cancellation. Keep in mind that you are entitled to compensation only if the flight is cancelled last minute, i.e., 2 weeks or less before departure.

Will you be unable to make a connecting flight due to a cancellation?

Firstly, it’s important to know that you have the right to receive assistance since you will be stranded at the airport. This is called “right to care“.

Secondly, TAP is obligated to provide you with a complimentary booking on an alternative connecting flight. This must be offered for free.

Furthermore, you might be eligible for compensation. Please consult our guide on compensation for missed connections with TAP. In summary, the regulations mirror those for flight delays. Essentially, you need to assess the difference between your original scheduled arrival time and the actual time of arrival at your destination. If it’s more than 3 hours, you may be entitled to compensation, provided that the delay is attributable to the airline’s fault.

These laws are applicable to all TAP flights.

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?

If your flight is unexpectedly canceled at the last minute, the actions you should take will depend on your current location.

Are you already en route to the airport, or are you still at home?

2.1 If You Are Still at Home or Hotel

It is advisable to remain where you are for the time being.

Contact the customer service of TAP to ascertain the subsequent steps you need to take. As mentioned previously, TAP will provide you with assistance.

You will be rebooked on an alternative flight. The representatives of TAP will inform you about the available flight options. However, please note that your new flight may be scheduled for the following day, if there’s no flights that day.

If the cancellation occurred due to extraordinary circumstances, you have the right to either a complimentary alternative flight to your intended destination or a refund, depending on your preference. If the cancellation is attributed to the airline’s fault, in addition to the aforementioned options, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the flight cancellation.

2.2 If You Are Already at the Airport

If you are already at the airport and you find out that your flight has been canceled at the last minute, it is crucial not to proceed through airport security. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Engage with TAP representatives to obtain information about alternative flight options. They will provide you with a new boarding pass and guidance on the next steps. Remember that you are entitled to receive care while waiting for your new flight.
  • If your replacement flight is scheduled for the following day, TAP must arrange a complimentary hotel stay and provide meals free of charge.
  • You will need to go through the check-in process again and, if you have checked luggage, you will need to recheck it before proceeding through passport control.

If you have already passed through security, make an effort to return to the public access area of the airport (landside area).

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

3. TAP Flight Cancellation Compensation

Within Europe, there exist precise regulations regarding flight compensation.

When your flight is canceled less than two weeks before the scheduled departure date, it falls under the category of a last-minute cancellation. In numerous instances, you may have the right to receive compensation.

Here are the rules.

Your flight is cancelled 7 – 14 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by TAP, which departs not more than 2 hours before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 4 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

Your flight is cancelled less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure:

  • You choose a new flight offered by TAP, which departs not more than 1 hour before the original departure time and you reach your destination less than 2 hours after the original arrival time. In this situation you are not entitled to compensation.
  • In other situations you are entitled to compensation.

Conditions for claiming flight cancellation compensation:

  • Flight must be cancelled due to the fault of TAP Air Portugal;
  • Flight must be within Europe, to Europe, or from Europe;
  • It must be cancelled last minute (0-14 days before departure date).

Read more: TAP Flight Cancellation Compensation

4. TAP Air Portugal Flight Cancellation Refund

Should a TAP Air Portugal flight be cancelled, passengers have the right to either a rescheduled flight to their intended destination or a full refund. If you opt for a refund, it can be processed either to your bank account or given as a TAP voucher. Your choice will greatly depend on your personal circumstances and future travel aspirations.

TAP assures that your refund will be processed within 7 days.

Note that the right to compensation and the right to a refund are two separate entitlements under UK/EU flight compensation rules. Consequently, even if you opt for a refund, depending on the reasons for the flight cancellation, you might still be eligible for compensation.

4.1 What Happens If You Cancel a Flight?

If you, as a passenger, decide to cancel your flight, the conditions for a refund vary. Generally, the refund policy of TAP is influenced by the type of ticket you have bought.

Depending on the fare conditions, fully-flexible tickets are typically refundable, while low-cost, non-flexible tickets may not be. It’s always wise to double-check the specific conditions regarding your ticket or contact TAP’s customer support for more details. If your travel insurance policy covers flight cancellations, you might be able to obtain a refund through your insurance provider.

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Photo by from Pexels

5. How to Claim TAP Flight Compensation / Refund?

To get refund for a cancelled flight from TAP, click here.

In order to receive compensation for a canceled flight with TAP, it is crucial to initiate a claim. You can accomplish this by contacting their customer service via their website for the purpose. It is important to note that you are not obligated to accept travel vouchers, as you have the right to compensation in the form of a direct payment to your bank account. The specific amount you are eligible to receive will be determined by the rules outlined in EC Regulation 261 and can vary between 250 and 600 euros.

If you don’t want any hassle, work with a flight compensation company.

When you choose this option, everything is handled by professionals. They make a claim and complete the process on your behalf.

Our partners offer such services.

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:

Last-minute flight cancellation – have you ever experienced that? How did the airline solve that? Do you still have questions about TAP compensation policies? Ask in the comments.