Shropshire Star

Money Matters: Know your rights over delayed or cancelled flights

In this week’s Money Matters column, Wrekin’s Debt & Energy Manager Dan Bebbington discusses how you could be owed compensation for delayed or cancelled flights this summer.


It’s been a summer of disruption for many holiday makers – with large numbers of flights having been either cancelled or delayed.

It comes as strikes, severe weather and air traffic control issues have combined to cause misery for thousands of travellers.

If you’ve been caught up in the chaos then you’re probably wondering what your rights are in regards to compensation.

The first thing to be aware of is that UK law states you can claim for such issues as long as they relate to a regulated UK or EU flight which was due to depart within the last six years.

Where delays are concerned, your flight needs to have arrived at its destination more than three hours later than scheduled for you to be entitled to compensation.

Where cancellations occur, you are entitled to either a refund or alternative flight.

You could also be due additional compensation if the cancellation occurred within two weeks of your departure date and the alternative flight was earlier or later than the original.

One of the most important criteria to highlight is that you’re only entitled to compensation if the delay or cancellation was the airline’s fault.

This could be due to staff shortages or knock-on delays from earlier flights.

However, where extreme weather or air traffic control issues such as those which occurred recently are concerned, this is deemed not to be the airline’s fault.

If you are significantly delayed at an airport then your airline is required to look after you by providing or reimbursing you for food, drinks and hotel stays.

In terms of the amount of compensation you could receive for delayed or cancelled flights, figures vary from £110 to £520 per person depending on factors such as the length of the delay.

If the airline tries to offer you vouchers as compensation, then legally you don’t need to accept these and are indeed entitled to money.

Whether your holiday was severely disrupted this summer or not, it always pays to know what your rights are.

You should never be afraid to claim what you’re owed for any inconvenience.