How To Get Flight Delay Compensation & Flight Cancellation Compensation
Flight delay compensation from EasyJet, RyanAir and similar airlines has been one of the hot topics of travel recently. Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of their rights to flight delay compensation as well as flight cancellation compensation- how to get a payout, however, can be confusing.
NB: Families with young children should DEFINITELY check out my article on the top rated travel toys for toddlers on airplanes!
My family claimed over £2000 from a travel company after our flight was delayed from Gatwick Airport to Bulgaria- the whole holiday, a ski trip, only cost us around £2500 so this made the holiday practically free! Here are my top tips for ensuring that you are taken care of during flight delays, and how to claim flight delay compensation or flight cancellation compensation.
- If you are delayed for two hours or more you are entitled to refreshments- these are usually given in the form of vouchers for a food outlet at the airport. Go to the information desk at the airport and they will tell you what is on offer. (We got vouchers for Pret- win!)
2. If you are delayed for 3 hours or more and it is the airline’s fault, (not for example bad weather) you could be entitled to up to £540 per person. The easiest way to check what you are entitled to is through a platform such as AirHelp, which has a quick calculator and can guide you through the compensation process.
3. If the airline does not give you vouchers for food or accommodation when they are supposed to, ensure that you keep all of your receipts so you can claim your money back later. Be aware that airlines will only pay ‘reasonable’ expenses so don’t splash out on alcohol, expensive meals or luxury hotels as you won’t get money back for these!
4. If the flight is delayed for 5 hours or more, you do not legally have to take the flight, no matter how far the flight or whose fault the delay was. The airline legally has to give you a full refund for the flight, a full refund for any flights from the same airline that you will miss because of the delay, plus a return flight to your original destination if you are already partway through your journey with the same airline.
5. Remember that if the delay of less than 5 hours is not the airline’s fault (such as bad weather or a security risk) you are unlikely to receive compensation- this sucks but it’s part of travel!
6. If a flight is cancelled the airline must give you a full refund or a replacement flight. If you are given a replacement with less than two weeks’ notice or it is more than two hours after the original flight time you are entitled to compensation. This compensation depends on the distance of the flight; the departure and arrival times or the rescheduled flight and when the flight was cancelled. The compensation is between 125 and 600 Euro so it is definitely worth pursuing!
7. If your airline is being obstructive or dishonest about your flight cancellation or delay you can report your issue to the Civil Aviation Authority. Airlines can often try and confuse passengers to avoid paying out which is why I recommend trying a service such as AirHelp that I mentioned in point 2. Citizens Advice can also help clarify any false information you may be given by airlines.
I hope these tips are helpful to you- we were very pleased to receive over £2000 in compensation when our flight was delayed, and hopefully your travel delay will prove to have a silver lining too!