What to do If you’re stuck abroad.
VisitBritain has forecasted over 38 million overseas tourists to arrive in the UK in 2019, an increase of 3.3%. Summer 2018 saw a wave of flight cancellations from pilot strikes to air traffic control affecting thousands of passengers across the UK and Europe. This guide will help you understand your rights if your flight has been delayed or canceled at home or abroad.
If your flight is covered by EU law, your airline must let you choose between two options:
- Receive a refund
You can get your money back for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used. For instance, if you have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is canceled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.
- Choose an alternative flight
Alternatively, if you still want to travel, your airline must find you a different flight. It’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible after the canceled flight or at a later date that suits you. Airlines often refer to this as being ‘rerouted’.
Although most airlines will book you onto another of their flights to the same destination, if an alternative airline is flying there significantly sooner then you may have the right to be booked onto that flight instead. You can discuss this with your airline.
Care and assistance
If you choose an alternative flight, you are also entitled to care and assistance. This usually means food, drink, access to communications (this could be by refunding the reasonable cost of phone calls) and accommodation (if necessary).
You can read more about your ‘Right to care’ rights here.
Am I covered by EU law?
To be covered by EU law, your flight must be either be a) departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline or b) arriving at an EU airport and traveling on an EU airline (Under this law, EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland).
For more information on flight delays and cancellations click here. If you have a dispute with an airline regarding a flight delay or cancellation, you could be owed compensation. Find out how AviationADR can help with your complaint.