Flight disruptions

Finnair is one of Europe’s most on-time airlines. Sometimes flights can, however, be disrupted. Flight disruptions refer to situations where a flight is delayed, cancelled, or otherwise does not operate according to the planned schedule due to technical, weather, etc. Overbooking situations are also considered as flight disruptions.

As an airline based in an EU country, we comply with the regulation EC261/2004’s rules regarding the assistance and compensation to passengers in the event of disruptions.

Please note that Finnair is not responsible if a customer misses a separate flight connection with another carrier or a separate train, bus or ferry connection.

Commercial schedule change/flight cancellation or disruption? 

Involuntary change is considered as commercial schedule change or flight cancellation when it takes place 2 days or more before the first scheduled date on the ticket. In such cases the marketing carrier is responsible airline for customer care and rerouting. 

Involuntary change is considered as disruption when it takes place 2 days or less before the first scheduled date on the ticket. In such cases the operating carrier is responsible for customer care and rerouting. 

Please see Flight disruption policies page for more information.

Ticketed bookings 

Please see specific guidelines on Flight disruption policies page

Unticketed bookings 

For unticketed bookings, alternative flights are rebooked from current availability and in accordance with the conditions of the fare to be ticketed.

Offering alternative flights 

Processing the PNRs and offering alternative flights (based on availability) during normal disruptions may take a few hours and during massive disruptions (strikes etc.) can take up to 48h. Finnair will automatically update the new flight details to the PNR and update the ticket.

Customer communication 

We do our best to always inform our customers about the reason and duration of the disruption as well as its effects on the rest of the trip via SMS/email and Finnair app. In order to receive Finnair’s messages, please make sure that customer’s contact information on PNRs are up-to-date. If the disruption affects a large number of customers, a disruption news is published on Finnair agency and operational news.

Travel agency can see changes in flights on PNRs. In case of minor changes, such as delay up to 5 hours, flight segment will not be updated but customer is communicated about it directly. 

In case of flight cancellation, SMS/email is sent to customer and new routing is visible on PNR as well as Finnair Manage Booking tool. In some cases it may take some time until alternative flight is inserted to booking. There might be situations where alternative options are very limited and therefore cannot be automatically offered, in that case our agent help desk is there to support in finding suitable options if available.


According to EU regulations, passengers whose flights have been delayed for a long time may be compensated. When passengers reach their final destination three hours or more after the scheduled arrival time, they may claim fixed compensation from the airline. The customer can claim compensation by filling in a claim request on Finnair.com.

Compensations are not paid in situations caused by extraordinary circumstances such as strikes, weather conditions, unexpected flight safety shortcomings or air traffic management decisions. The customer is not entitled to compensation when they are notified of the flight cancellation:

  • at least 2 weeks before the flight 
  • between 14 days and 7 days before departure, if re-routed with such flights that the departure takes place 
  • less than 2 hours before and arrival 4 hours after the original time less than 7 days before departure, if the passenger is re-routed with departure less than 1 hour before and arrival 2 hours after the original time.