H

urray! It’s time for summer vacation. You know, that time of year we drop in the water, put sand in our bread, and come back from vacation like hard-boiled lobsters.

This year, however, everyone’s holidays may be affected by airport delays and cancellations.

After two years of Covid and pandemic, as well as travel passports, we really think we will finally be able to have a nice relaxing getaway this year without interruption.

Alas, we all know that dreams like this, for the sake of a better word, are innocent.

With the growing cost of living crisis and travel chaos leaving many travelers stranded at airports seemingly forever, as a new wave of Covid leaves many in the country, things can get messy.

Due to all this chaos, around 5,000 Heathrow passengers have had their flights cancelled. Additionally, staff shortages mean Gatwick will run fewer than 50 flights a day; BA also announced the cancellation of 124 short-haul flights from Heathrow, with EasyJet alone cutting 11,000 flights.

Furthermore, to add to the misery of holidaymakers, hundreds of British Airways ground staff working at London Heathrow voted to go on strike in a pay dispute. Workers at Terminals 3 and 5 are expected to leave in July, although no specific date has been announced.

Glory! Here are some tips and tricks on how to combat delayed and canceled flights.

What should I do if my flight is delayed?

The boss of low-cost carrier Ryanair has warned that flight delays and cancellations will continue through the summer (PA)

/ PA wire

Follow Citizens Advice Websiteif your flight is delayed long enough, your airline must provide you with:

  • food and drink
  • access to phone calls and emails
  • accommodation if you have an overnight delay – and the journey between the airport and the hotel

How long the delay is depends on the distance of the flight and the countries flying between flights. You can check flight distance on the WebFlyer website.

The airline may give you a voucher to pick up these at the airport. Ask someone who works for the airline if you can’t get help.

If they don’t help you at the airport, keep a receipt for the expenses and try to claim the airline later. Airlines only pay for ‘reasonable’ expenses – you’re unlikely to get money back for alcohol, expensive meals or luxury hotels.

Will I be compensated if my flight is delayed?

Passengers waiting at Pisa airport because the last Easyjet flight was cancelled

/ Neil Rylance

If your flight is delayed by more than three hours and it is the fault of the airline, you are entitled to compensation by the airline.

You are unlikely to be compensated if the delay is caused by a cause beyond the airline’s control, such as bad weather or a security risk.

You are entitled to some amount of compensation depending on both:

  • your flight distance – check flight distance on the WebFlyer website
  • delay period – how late are you to your destination

What should I do if my flight is cancelled?

Heathrow asked airlines to cut 10% of flights at two terminals on Monday while easyJet has begun canceling thousands of summer flights (Ben Smith/PA)

/ PA wire

In case your flight is cancelled, the compensation you have to pay will be different. These are your options.

You have a legal right to:

  • a full refund – including other flights from the airline that you will not use in the same booking, such as an outbound or return flight
  • an alternative flight to get you to your destination

if you are making part of your journey and you do not want an alternative flight, you also have the right to take a flight back to the airport you originally departed from.

Ask for a refund or replacement at the airport if you can. If not, you can ask the airline later.

You also have a legal right to:

  • help with expenses – if cancellations delay you by 2 hours or more
  • compensation – if you are delayed for 2 hours or more and you are given less than 2 weeks notice

If my flight is cancelled, will I be compensated?

EasyJet announces it is ‘actively consolidating some flights through affected airports’ (Matt Alexander/PA)

/ PA . archive

If your flight is cancelled, you are legally entitled to compensation if the cancellation was the responsibility of the airline.

You are also eligible if:

  • alternative flights delay your arrival by 2 hours or more
  • your flight was canceled less than 14 days before departure

The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on:

  • when the flight is canceled
  • flight distance – check flight distance on the website Flyers
  • scheduled flight departure and arrival times

For your full rights, visit Citizens Advice Website

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