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Here’s what to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed


Travellers have been urged to understand their rights when their flight is cancelled or delayed, after recent statistics show one in three journeys were delayed last year.

Travel experts at Quotezone.co.uk want all passengers to ensure they have been treated according to the law, and have been compensated fairly.

Holidaymakers need to know exactly what to do if their flight gets cancelled or delayed – as new data from the Civil Aviation Authority shows one in three trips were late by at least 15 minutes in 2022.*

With UK travellers making 7.1 million trips abroad each year, it’s important for all passengers catching a flight to stay updated with their trip details in case the journey is pushed back, or cancelled altogether.** 

Travellers should also consider taking out travel insurance to give them extra peace of mind whilst at the airport – as around 25% still fail to do so.***

Scheduled flight times can often change at the very last minute due to numerous factors – such as adverse weather conditions, security issues, mechanical trouble and timing issues.

A change of flight times will often lead to a delayed take-off, or worse, a cancelled trip altogether, leading to frustrations for passengers and staff.

In the event of a cancelled flight, passengers legally have the right to request a full refund from the airline, or a replacement flight which will allow them to get to their final destination.

For any flights that have been called off part-way through, such as a connecting flight being cancelled, travellers can either fly on a replacement journey, or can fly back to the airport which they initially departed from.

Brits should also be aware that they can request help with travel costs – claiming compensation if the cancelled flight means a delay of arrival by two or more hours.

Travellers can also legally request compensation if a replacement flight means they have been delayed by two or more hours, and less than two weeks’ notice was given.

It’s important to ask for the refund and compensation as soon as possible – either at the airport, or claiming from the airline once travellers have landed back home.

Delayed flights of five or more hours also entitles all passengers to compensation, full refunds, or a replacement trip.

For journeys that have been set back over five hours, travellers do not have to travel. If this is the case, the airline must legally offer a full refund for the original flight, as well as for any onward/return flights from the airline which couldn’t be used, and a flight back to the original airport if part-way through a journey.

If passengers do decide to board the delayed flight, up to £250 in compensation can be claimed – however this is only if the airline is at fault for hold ups (such as technical issues).

The airline will rarely give out compensation if a delay was caused due to reasons beyond their control – such as adverse weather conditions.

Greg Wilson, CEO of Quotezone.co.uk said that although the airline should legally cover compensation or full refunds for cancelled and delayed flights, having travel insurance can give passengers some peace of mind on holiday.

He said: “Depending on the type of policy, some travel insurance providers will offer cover for a delayed flight of over 24 hours, or if an alternative travel option hasn’t been offered.

“Insurance policies for missed or delayed flight departure will pay for costs incurred from delayed flights or if travellers miss the trips because of a situation out of their control (such as getting into a serious accident and being taken to hospital).

“In the case of an airline going bust before passengers are able to get home, taking out the right travel insurance before jetting off will help give travellers protection.

“In the past three years, no fewer than 64 airlines have gone bust – leaving millions of uncertain and anxious passengers stranded in foreign countries.****

“Taking out a travel insurance policy which includes ‘end supplier failure’ should cover travellers if their flights have been cancelled because the company has fallen into administration and gone bust.”

Quotezone.co.uk helps travellers compare travel insurance products and find savings.






This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.