Last summer we saw the aftermath of the UK (and rest of the world!) having emerged from the remainder of the Covid-19 restrictions. The airlines and airports were overwhelmed by the volume of Brits packing their suitcases and jet-setting across the globe to enjoy their first holiday in potentially 3 years. Flights were routinely cancelled and the airlines were overwhelmed with the number of visitors flooding through their doors. This summer, you may be worrying that the situation could repeat itself, and you should stay informed on what to do if that is the case. So what are your rights? <br> <br>
Can I get my money back if my flight is cancelled?
If your flight is covered under UK law you will have to choose to either get your flight rescheduled or refunded. <br>
If your outbound flight has been cancelled (meaning you haven’t left the UK yet), you will be able to be refunded for any part of your flight that you have not been able to use, such as the return flight. <br>
If you still want to travel, your airline is obligated to find you the means to get there, whether that is with another airline or on a different mode of transport. <br> <br>
How do I get back to the UK if I'm stuck abroad?
Sometimes, your cancelled flight may be the homebound one. And while the airline should be getting you back to the UK on their dime, it's always good to have a backup plan. We've found that it's often cheaper to buy a single return flight in the currency of the country you're visiting. And just like with your travel money, it is always best to pay in the local currency. <br> If you have a Caxton Card, you have the option to pay for your return flight in the local currency. simply use your pre-paid travel card to check out on the website or at the airport counter, and you could end up saving more than you think. <br> <br>
Can I claim compensation for a cancelled flight?
If you fit into any of the following criteria, you have a number of rights under UK law. <br>
- You’re flying from a UK airport on any airline
- You’re arriving at a UK airport on an EU or UK airline
- You’re arriving at an airport in the EU on a UK airline <br>
Your compensation entitlement depends on a number of factors such as the reason for cancellation, how much notice you were given, etc. <br>
If the cancellation was not due to the airline and deemed ‘’extraordinary circumstances’’ which were unavoidable, you will not be eligible for compensation. <br>
Examples of these are extreme weather or air traffic control strikes. <br>
The compensation amount also depends on how far you were travelling. Should your claim be successful, this is what you can expect to receive. <br>
For flights under 1,500km, such as Glasgow to Amsterdam, you can claim up to £220 per person <br>
For flights more than 3,500km, such as London to New York, you can claim up to £520 per person <br>
Check you flight distance here <br> <br>
What if my flight is delayed?
You’re entitled to the same assistance as you would be if your flight was cancelled if the delay is larger than 2 hours. <br>
You may also be able to claim compensation if your flight arrives in its destination more than 3 hours late, and this too will be based on distance. <br>
If you’re delayed by longer than 5 hours and you no longer wish to travel, you can request a full refund. <br> <br>
What do I do about my package holiday?
If your holiday company is an ABTA member and your flight is cancelled, you’re entitled to a suitable alternative flight or a full refund. <br> <br>
I’ve had to buy food and/or temporary accommodation at the airport, can I be compensated?
If you’re stuck in an airport or abroad due to a cancelled flight airlines must also provide you with assistance until they can get you onto a suitable flight to your destination. This includes: <br>
- A reasonable amount of food and drink, usually as vouchers
- A way for you to communicate, usually by refunding the cost of calls you have to make
- Free accommodation if you have to stay overnight waiting for a flight
- Transport to and from the accommodation <br>
If your airline is unable to arrange assistance you have the right to arrange everything yourself and claim back the cost once you have travelled. It is essential that you keep the receipts and not spend more than necessary as advised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). <br> <br>
If in doubt, check the terms and conditions with the individual airline that you have booked with to find out exactly what they can offer. For more detailed advice on any of these individual topics, have a look at the Citizen’s Advice website.