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What can you do if your flight is delayed or cancelled? If you booked a flight that departed from Europe or was with a European airline, you might have rights under EU law if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
For the EU law to apply, one or both of the following must apply:
Flight delays: your rights will depend on the flight distance and on the length of the delay. If your flight is delayed for long enough, you will be entitled to vouchers for use at the airport for food and drink; access to phone calls and emails; accommodation if you’re delayed overnight – and journeys between the airport and the hotel. You will need to check the flight distance to work out how the delay needs to be before you are entitled to this help. Check the flight distance on the Web Flyer website. See our article for help working out what you’re entitled to:
If the airline doesn’t give your help at the airport, keep receipts so you can try to claim back from the airline later.
In addition, if your flight arrives more than 3 hours late, you are entitled to compensation, as long as it’s the airlines fault, but not if the delay is due to the weather or strikes, etc.
There is a set amount of compensation, dependent on flight distance and length of delay. Compensation is claimed from the airline.
If your flight is delayed 5 hours or more, you don’t have to take the flight, regardless of the reason, and the airline must give you a full refund as well as putting you in a no loss situation – but talk to the airline as soon as you decided to NOT take the flight.
If you do decide to fly you can claim up to €600, but only if it is the airline is responsible.
Flight cancellations: if the airline cancels your flight you can either have a refund or a replacement flight and you may have the right to compensation or other help with costs if there are delays.
You’re legally entitled to get compensation if the delay is the airline’s responsibility and either:
The amount of compensation you’re entitled to depends on:
Claim from the airline to get compensation or use your own travel insurance if it covers cancellations.
Remember to keep copies of any correspondence. If you speak to anyone, either in person or phone, do keep notes and if possible email the gist of the conversation to the person as soon as possible to keep a record of what was said.
Which? Have a template letter for complaints. See: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/letter/letter-to-request-compensation-for-cancelled-flights
For full information on the above, see: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/holiday-cancellations-and-compensation/if-your-flights-delayed-or-cancelled/