Citizens Advice: What to do if you have issues with delayed or cancelled flights

Citizens Advice North Herts is offering advice on what to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled

Citizens Advice North Herts is offering advice on what to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled - Credit: Citizens Advice North Herts

A lot of people will be worried after seeing the recent news about delayed and cancelled flights. The Citizens Advice website has lots of information about what to do if you face issues, so it may be worth checking before you travel.

If you’re already at the airport when they announce the delay, the airline should give you food and drink, also access to phone calls and emails. You should get accommodation if you’re delayed overnight which includes journeys to and from the airport.

The airline might offer you vouchers to pay for these or advise you to keep receipts to claim back reasonable expenses later.

It’s worth knowing that if your flight is delayed for more than five hours, you don’t have to take it. The airline legally has to give you a full refund for that flight, and any onward and return flights if you’re part way through a connecting journey. Talk to someone from the airline as soon as you decide you don’t want to fly.

If your flight is cancelled altogether, you have a legal right to either a full refund or a replacement flight to get you to your destination. Again, the refund includes any onward flights and money for a return flight if you’re part way through a connecting journey. Ask about this at the airport if you can.

Don’t just rebook another flight yourself – check with the airline first because it is their responsibility to sort out your replacement. If you do end up rebooking, keep any receipts and evidence of why the airline couldn’t do this for you, for example screenshots of live chats. If the cancellation ends up delaying you getting to your holiday by two or more hours, you’re entitled to help with costs.

Check if you’re entitled to compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight. Again, this will depend on how long the delay was, the distance, and whether it’s the airline’s fault. The Citizens Advice website has details on claiming compensation for delays or cancellations from the airline. It’s also worth checking your travel insurance policy.

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If you have a problem with an airline and you’re not sure what to do, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133.