Travel is something we look forward to as a family and our summer holiday plans often keep us going through the cold, dark days of winter. The journey can be tiring and stressful though in its own right and it’s even worse when things don’t go to plan. Luckily we haven’t experienced long delays on our travels, but my brother was recently unlucky enough to encounter much longer hold ups on one of his trips. Waiting around an airport lounge for another flight is far from a fun experience, so when he got back he looked into where he stood with regards to claiming compensation. It proved to be much simpler and easier to get compensation than he’d thought. According to travel rights experts Flightright, a late flight cancellation can be easy to gain compensation for. Compensation is only available if a flight is cancelled within fourteen days of departure and is not a result of extraordinary circumstances such as a strike or general grounding. If you’re unsure as to whether you’re owed compensation, Flightright keeps a live feed of cancelled flights as well as how much compensation those booked on the plane should be awarded.
So what should I do if my flight is cancelled?
- Take up any offers of complimentary food and drinks at the airport. You may as well keep yourselves as comfortable as possible at lowest cost to yourself, but take care with alcoholic drinks.
- Ask the airline concerned to confirm the cause of the cancellation in writing.
- Keep any relevant documentation like alternative tickets and collect proof of any expenses (keep your receipts).
- Use an online calculator to calculate your potential compensation.
What are my rights in the event of a flight cancellation?
- You could either get your ticket refunded or get a replacement flight to get you to your holiday destination or back home again.
- If you were informed 14 days or less before your flight was scheduled to depart , you can get compensation.
- The compensation amount is between €250 and €600 depending on the circumstances.
- Food and drinks should be provided by the airline after 2 hours delay.
If you are unlucky enough to get delayed at the airport because of a flight cancellation, you’ll want the time to pass as pleasantly and quickly as possible. I’d suggest the following tips to help you keep your sanity:
- Keep calm. This is easier said than done I know, but it won’t help matters to get het up about it and there is nothing you can do about it, so accept it as best you can and concentrate on getting through it.
- Be prepared. Many of the things that keep you going through a flight will help when you are delayed at the airport. Make sure you have a book or a puzzle magazine or electronics (these will need to be fully charged and you might want to take along a battery pack).
- Be nice to people. A smile and a kind word go a long way. You will feel better for it and who knows it might even help you make the cut if there is an alternative flight with limited spaces.
- Make sure you have your airline’s app downloaded if you have one. This will help keep you up to date and it might provide an easy way of contacting an agent to ask questions.
- Dress comfortably for your flight, ideally with some layers so you can make sure you are the right temperature whilst you wait and when you travel.