Thousands of Britons are stranded abroad after around 200 flights were canceled over the weekend, including 80 by easyJet on Sunday. But what are your rights if you are one of the data subjects?
What if I have to stay the night?
If your return trip is cancelled, you should contact the airline to find the next available flight. You have the right to choose between being reimbursed or being re-routed on a new flight, either with the same airline or with another carrier.
The airline is supposed to give you the option of returning home the same day, but if the departure is at a later date, the carrier should help you find accommodation and cover the costs. He should also pay for expenses such as food, drinks and hotel transfers.
Am I entitled to other compensation?
You can claim compensation if the flight was canceled less than 14 days before departure. The amount depends on the type of flight, whether you’re taking a refund or the airline is arranging a return trip, and how much later your new departure and arrival are than your original plan.
You can get up to £220 for flights under 1,500km, up to £350 for journeys between 1,500km and 3,500km and a maximum of £520 for long-haul flights over 3 500 km, according to Citizens Advice. Contact your airline for full rules and to file a claim.
Jan-Frederik Arnold, Managing Director of Flightright, said: “You are entitled to compensation regardless of reimbursement, hotel and dinner etc. Airlines sometimes try to accept only one or the other because consumers do not know their rights.
If you are forced to purchase a new flight from a competing carrier, you may claim the cost of the replacement ticket. If your original flight was more expensive, however, you’d better ask for a full refund.
What if the airline does not offer to pay?
If there is no one to discuss compensation with – for example, if there is no one at the counter at the airport – you can file a claim later. Keep receipts for any additional expenses you incur, including accommodation, food, beverages, and hotel transfers.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, airlines are unlikely to reimburse you for luxury hotels or alcohol, so keep your expenses within reasonable limits.
What if my flight was part of a vacation package?
In this case, your accommodation, food and transfer costs should be borne by the tour operator rather than the airline. Get in touch with the company as soon as possible. If you cannot contact them, you should keep track of the additional charges to request a refund.
And if I have to go back to work?
Tell your employer as soon as possible if flight cancellations mean you can’t get to your next shift. You may be able to take an extra day of annual leave or work remotely to avoid losing your salary.
Shazia Shah, labor lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, says: “Those who have access to work systems may be able to work from abroad, but care must be taken that no rules are broken, for example in matters of taxation or social security.
“Another option is to negotiate a compromise like unpaid leave, or asking to make up time later so you don’t lose pay.”