The Holiday Guru is always available to answer your questions.
Here he helps readers whose flights and package holidays have been cancelled, letting them know when they need to get a refund or compensation.
Q. What will the airline do and what compensation will I be entitled to if my flight is suddenly cancelled?
The Holiday Guru helps readers whose flights were suddenly canceled
A. Your airline should put you on the next flight to your destination, with another airline if necessary, ideally on the same day. You can request a refund instead, if you prefer. You will also be entitled to compensation, depending on the cause of the cancellation. If you receive less than seven days’ notice, this ranges from £220 per person for flights under 1,500km to £520 for long haul. See “Cancellations” on caa.co.uk.
Q. What happens if the airline cannot find a flight to my destination on the same day?
A. He should arrange accommodation for that night – and others, if necessary – and pay for food. If you cannot get a response from the airline, you can book a reasonably priced hotel yourself and then submit a claim with receipts for that and other “reasonable” expenses, such as food. This is standard procedure.
Q. What if he finds that no other flight is available?
A. You will receive a refund and compensation. You are only refunded if the cancellation is made by the airline within 14 days of your original departure date.
If your flight is canceled at the last minute, your airline must put you on the next flight to your destination, reveals the Holiday Guru
Q. What about the accommodation I have booked at my destination? Will I get a refund for this?
A. You will need to cancel this, if you can, and try to request a refund through them. Unfortunately, some accommodation owners may not offer refunds. An airline will not compensate for this.
Q. In this case, can I claim my travel insurance?
A. It’s unlikely, because you’ll have a contract with the hosting provider and you won’t be able to fulfill your part of that, even if it’s not your fault. But it’s worth asking your insurer, just in case.
Q. If a flight is canceled more than 14 days before departure, am I entitled to compensation?
A. No, but the airline should take you on another flight, ideally the same day, or offer you a refund.
If you are forced to wait overnight for another flight after a cancellation, submit a claim to the airline with receipts for “reasonable” expenses, such as food.
Q. Will I be charged any fees if I simply return home when a flight is canceled at short notice and then return for the next flight arranged by the airline? If so, how can I claim them?
A. Yes, the airline must cover transportation costs to and from the airport. To submit a complaint, visit the customer complaints section of the website – at British Airways this is ‘Complaints and Complaints’ on ba.com. This can be a more difficult process if the airline requires receipts. Keep copies of all of this and any documents you send, in case they get lost in the mail.
Q. Is compensation due for delayed flights?
A. If your flight of less than 1,500km is delayed for three hours or more, depending on the cause, you are entitled to £220. If a flight of 1,500km to 3,500km is delayed for three hours or more, the amount is £350. If a flight over 3,500km is more than four hours late, you can claim £520. Check the ‘Delays’ page on caa.co.uk.
According to the guru, if your flight of less than 1,500km is delayed for three hours or more, depending on the cause, you are entitled to £220
OUR TIPS FOR A SMOOTH SUMMER HOLIDAY
- Consider traveling mid-week to avoid busy weekend peaks.
- Book a fully protected vacation package rather than looking at flights and accommodation on their own.
- Avoid checking your bags if you can – try to pack light.
- Check social media and airport websites for up-to-date information on queues.
- Ask for help if you’re waiting in line and think you’ll miss your flight.
- Pay for the accelerated security option.
- Never keep your keys or medicine in checked baggage, in case they go missing.
Q. My package holiday to Spain later this month has been cancelled. Am I entitled to a refund?
A. Under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations (see which.co.uk), you must get a full refund within 14 days of cancellation. This applies to package holidays and where hotels and flights have been purchased together. Responsible companies must make refunds without inducement. If a business misses the 14-day deadline, it is breaking the law and can be taken to small claims court.
Q How can we request refunds if our train journeys are canceled and/or delayed?
A. You can request a full refund if your train is cancelled. It is best to make the claim within 28 days. Railroad websites have complaint procedures, for example, see “Train Ticket Refunds” on southwesternrailway.com.
If a train is delayed for more than half an hour, Citizens Advice advises that “you will usually be able to recover some money”, often up to 50% of the ticket price. You should be refunded the full cost if the delay lasts more than one hour. See ‘Get a refund for a canceled or delayed train’ on citizenadvice.org.uk.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Send your email to [email protected]