Question from Jim, What Are My Rights When a Flight Is Cancelled in the UK?
Answer from AI:
When your flight is cancelled, your rights are primarily governed by EU law, specifically EC Regulation No 261/2004, which remains applicable in the UK. This regulation outlines the entitlements of passengers when they face flight cancellations.
Compensation for Flight Cancellations
The compensation you may be entitled to depends on several factors, including the length of the delay and the distance of the flight. For flights from London to Amsterdam, which is less than 1,500 km, the following rules apply:
- If you are informed of the cancellation less than 7 days before the scheduled departure and they offer you an alternative flight that arrives more than 2 hours later than the original flight, you may be entitled to compensation of €250.
- If you are informed of the cancellation between 7 and 14 days before the scheduled departure and they offer you an alternative flight that arrives 4 hours or more later than the original flight, you may also be entitled to compensation of €250.
- If the airline informed you of the cancellation more than 14 days in advance, they are not obligated to pay compensation.
Regardless of whether you choose to take the alternative flight or not, you are also entitled to:
- Reimbursement of your ticket cost within 7 days if you decide not to travel.
- Re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or at a later date at your convenience, subject to seat availability.
- Care and assistance while waiting for the alternative flight, which includes meals and refreshments, two free telephone calls, emails, or faxes, and hotel accommodation if an overnight stay is necessary.
Exceptions and Special Circumstances
It’s important to note that the airline may not have to pay compensation if:
- The cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure. These circumstances might include severe weather conditions, security risks, or strikes that affect the operation of the flight.
- The airline can prove that the cancellation was due to circumstances beyond their control and they took all reasonable measures to avoid the cancellation.
Steps to Claim Compensation
- Contact the airline: Reach out to the airline directly to file a claim for compensation. Provide them with your flight details and explain the situation.
- Keep documentation: Save all relevant documents, such as your booking confirmation, correspondence with the airline, and receipts for any additional expenses incurred.
- Seek assistance: If the airline does not respond or you are unsatisfied with their response, you can seek assistance from the national enforcement body or consider using alternative dispute resolution services.
Seeking Legal Advice
If you are unsure about your rights or how to proceed with a claim, it may be beneficial to consult with a legal professional. They can provide personalized advice based on the specifics of your situation.
For more detailed information on your rights and how to claim compensation, you can visit the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s website.
Remember, while this information provides a general guideline, each case is unique, and the application of the law can vary based on individual circumstances.