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What To Do If Your Flight Is Cancelled or Delayed?

The recent news reports have seen the budget airline Ryanair hitting the headlines, as their pilots and cabin crew go out on strike over better pay and working conditions. Unfortunately, this has forced Ryanair to cancel hundreds of flights during one of the busiest times of the year for air travel with further strikes planned over the next few weeks.

Cancelled or delayed flights is something I Love meet and greet handles with on a daily basis, with flights cancelled or delayed for various reasons; weather being the most common. We always advise our customers not to worry too much about informing us as we are in constant contact with the airport and check all flight statuses. But it can be a stressful time for any one travelling, especially after months of planning, so here we provide a few helpful tips as to what your rights are, if your flight is cancelled or delayed.

My flight is cancelled or delayed – what am I entitled to?

All European Union regulated flights are covered by EU law so if you are travelling from a European airport or to a European airport on an EU airline and your flight is cancelled, your airline must either offer you a full refund or rebook an alternative flight, subject to the airline’s rebooking policy.

If your EU flight is delayed, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the length and cause of the delay – see below.

Under this law EU airports also include Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

What if my cancelled flight was part of a package holiday?

If your out-bound flight was booked as part of a package holiday and has subsequently been cancelled, your tour operator has to either get you an alternative flight, an alternative holiday or refund the whole holiday cost.

If your return flight is cancelled, your tour operator will cover all extra costs such as accommodation in your holiday destination and will sort out getting you home as soon as possible.

Am I entitled to compensation for a cancelled flight?

If you were given more than 14 days’ notice about the cancellation, you will only be entitled to a new flight or full refund for your original flights.

But if your flight is cancelled within 14 days of departure you may be entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation will depend on when you were told about the cancellation, the length of the flight and how long you had to wait for a new one.

The cancellation needs to have been something which could have been avoided by the airline, so you will not be able to claim for reasons such as a crew strike or extreme weather conditions.

Am I entitled to compensation for a delayed flight?

You are entitled to compensation if the delay was something within the airline’s control. Staff problems and under-booking all count. Unfortunately delays due to the weather, industrial strikes by airport staff or air traffic control or situations where the entire airport was closed will not be covered.

The amount of compensation for a delayed flight is determined by the length of flight and the delay to destination and is only due on flights arriving over three hours or more late.

My flight is delayed with a non-EU airline?

As EU rules only protect passengers travelling with an EU airline or departing from an EU airport you will need to check with the airline you are travelling with.

If your flight is delayed or your flight has been cancelled find out more about your rights under EU law on the Civil Aviation Authority website. Obviously these will only apply until March 2019 when the UK leaves the European Union.


By Sarah Anglim at 30 Jul 2018

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