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What to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled

Travel has been tricky over the past year, with flight delays and cancellations becoming more frequent due to the pandemic. We hope this article will give you some clarity about your rights and the airlines’ policies. Note that you should always consult local government websites before booking any travel.

When am I entitled to compensation for flight delays or cancellations?

Found out that your flight has been cancelled at very short notice? Airlines will normally compensate passengers for the inconvenience.

However, the airline is not legally obliged to provide compensation if the flight was cancelled due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’, or reasons beyond the airline’s control. These include extreme weather, a strike or flights grounded due to government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Depending on what airline you are flying with, you should expect a full refund or an offer of alternative travel arrangements. That can translate to a seat on an alternative route or a different airline’s flight to your destination.

Many airlines have also opted to make their tickets flexible so that you can use them later. When you use the Skyscanner app or website, you can actually filter your search to show only flexible tickets. That way, you can book with confidence.

How do I claim compensation for flight delays or cancellations?

If you are struggling to file a claim by yourself, you can find a template letter here to help with filling out a flight delay or cancellation claim.

Will I get any compensation if I’m waiting at the airport for a new flight?

If you receive a new flight ticket and have to wait in the airport for over two hours for a short-haul flight or over four hours for a long flight, you should be provided with food and drink vouchers at the airport. If the delay is outside the airline’s control, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. Many policies include payouts for missed, delayed or cancelled flights, depending on what company you have purchased your policy with.

Who pays for my food and accommodation if I have to stay extra days due to flight delays?

In the case of long flight delays, while airlines should refund you or try to accommodate you on an alternative flight, they may not provide you with food and drink. You can, however, try to claim these expenses on your travel insurance.

Accommodation is provided on a case-by-case basis. It depends on where you are from, where you are stuck, for how long and if you have any friends or relatives nearby that can take care of you.


Until da next Tyme

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