What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?
It has been well documented in the media in the last few days that, airlines are being forced to cancel flights amid the current travel chaos at UK airports. In order to deliver an acceptable and on time service airlines such as Easyjet, British Airways (BA) and TUI have taken the decision to cut back on the daily flight schedule out of major UK airports. OK, so this helps them but how does it help all those passengers who have booked flights and holidays in advance, to find out 2 weeks before that their transport is cancelled and they face the prospect of disruption to their travel plans.
In particular it has been noted that Gatwick airport has decided, in order to cope with the current problems, that passenger numbers are going to be reduced over the busy summer period. Not the news that most travellers, planning a well-earned holiday post-pandemic, want to hear!
Understanding your rights if your flight becomes cancelled
When you find yourself with a cancellation, your flight must fall under one of the falling criteria for your rights under UK Law to take effect. Your flight must:
If you arrive at the airport and your flight becomes cancelled, the airline you are flying with must provide you with care and assistance until you are able to fly, no matter how long the delay lasts.
Depending on the nature and length of delay, passengers should be offered the following where needed:
Airlines should seek to offer care and assistance to ALL passengers but at times they can become stretched and may not be able to do so. In this instance you have the right to arrange your own care package and then claim the cost back. You must keep all receipts and do not spend more than is seen as reasonable. If you book a luxury hotel and purchase alcohol do not be surprised when they fail to refund you for this.
My flight has been cancelled less than 14 days before departure – can I claim compensation?
This very much depends on what has caused the cancellation. If the airline isn’t at fault and it is due to extreme weather conditions or for example an air traffic control strike, it is very unlikely you will be eligible for compensation.
Based on 7 to 14 days, notice of cancellation you may be able to claim compensation based on timings of the alternative flight given.
If your new flight given departs no more than 2 hours before your original flight time and your new flight arrives less than 4 hours after the scheduled flight, you are not entitled to financial compensation.
If your flight time falls outside of the above criteria then you are likely to be eligible for compensation at this time. We will provide a link to follow at the end of this section which documents tables of eligibility based on whether your flight is short, medium or long haul.
If your flight is cancelled with less than 7 days’ notice as with the above you may be eligible for compensation. This time the airline has to meet a tighter, criteria with your new flight in order for you not to qualify. If the airline is able to provide a flight that departs no more than 1 hour before your original flight time AND your new flight arrives less than 2 hours after the scheduled time, you are not eligible for compensation.
For all the tables of compensation figures and eligibility under UK Law click HERE
Rearranging your cancelled flight
If at any point your booked flight becomes cancelled at the fault of your airline you are travelling with, passengers under the rights of UK Law can choose between the following options:
1. RECEIVE A FULL REFUND
Passengers are entitled to a full refund for all parts of a flight ticket that hasn’t been used. For example; if the outbound leg of a return flight is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.
If you are a passenger travelling with a connecting flight and you have completed the first part of your journey, when your connecting flight becomes cancelled, you are also entitled to a flight back to your original place of departure if you choose not to continue with your journey because of the unforeseen cancellation.
2. CHOOSE AN ALTERNATIVE FLIGHT
If you still wish to travel, under UK Law the airline must find you a suitable alternative flight. It is at your discretion if you choose to fly as soon as possible after the cancellation of the original scheduled flight or you decide to travel at a later date. Airlines will usually book you onto another flight they can offer to the same destination. However, if another airline is flying their significantly sooner or there are other suitable modes of transport available to complete the planned journey, then you may have the right to get booked onto that alternative instead. This can be discussed with the airline in question.
We hope this has helped you in understanding your rights should your flight become cancelled.
Remember if you are travelling abroad this year and require travel money, visit Currency Online Group for some of the best market exchange rates. We offer a home delivery service or the option to collect your currency from our exclusive office location within London Waterloo Station.
© Currency Online Group
22nd June 2022
Mask wearing rules for Jet2, EasyJet, Ryanair, British Airways and TUI
Do I need to wear a face mask at UK airports?
With all remaining Covid restrictions lifted in England on February 24th it became no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask at venues indoors, including airports. While the wearing of face masks continues to be recommended it is now at the choice of the traveller, if they chose to wear a mask while present at the airport. However, you will still find that certain UK airlines state on their websites that masks should still be worn at the airport which makes this rule conflicting. Is it time for the rules to become more consistent and that mask wearing become, across the board, a personal choice?
Do I need to wear a face mask on the plane?
As with the question above it very much depends on which airline you are flying with. Here we have tried to summarise the rules per the main airlines used by passengers from the UK.
At the beginning of March Jet2 became the first UK airline to drop the mandatory use of face masks on flights departing the UK (excluding Scotland). It was felt that as the legal requirement to wear masks was dropped in all other circumstances, the same should be said of travelling on their planes. Of course, the company is following Government guidance and still openly encouraging passengers to wear them, but this is something that cannot be enforced.
Those departing Scottish airports and are aged 6 and over will still have to continue to wear a face mask at the airport, boarding gate and on the plane.
Of course, while these rules are relevant to the countries in the UK, passengers must ensure they know the face mask wearing rules of their destination country.
EasyJet have just announced that mandatory use of face masks to those countries where there is no legal requirement to wear a face mask, will end this Sunday (27th March 2022)
Passengers aged 6 and over and not medically exempt will still need to wear face masks if the destination country still has laws in place. The airline said it will continue to remove the mask-wearing rule on other international routes as and when both ends of the route has no legal requirement. It stated: "As a pan European airline operating between over 30 countries, we must continue to ensure that we and our customers follow the legal requirements of all the countries we fly to.
The airline’s website currently states that EasyJet will not accept scarves, visors or masks with valves as acceptable face coverings and insist that it must be “FFP2 (or equivalent) certified, surgical or cloth”
Failure to wear the correct face covering will result in not being able to board your flight.
Passengers travelling from Scotland still have to follow the country’s guidelines that face mask wearing is still mandatory at airports and on the planes, unless exempt.
Ryanair continues to monitor the situation and has indicated that mandatory face mask wearing on board their flights is likely to be dropped as early as the end of April/beginning of May.
For now, the rules are still in place that all passengers 6 and over must wear a face mask at the boarding gate, on the plane etc.
In particular if you are travelling to, from or within Italy, Austria or Germany, a FFP2 face mask must be worn as it is the only type that will be accepted.
As of March 16th, British Airways changed their policy on wearing face masks. In line with the changes in law within England the airline has stated that those destinations where it doesn’t require you to wear a face mask, the choice to wear a face mask becomes optional. For those destinations, where there is still a requirement to do so, the airline asks that the same rules apply for those travelling from England and Northern Ireland.
As with Jet2, TUI was one of the first to decide to scrap the mandatory use of face masks for flights departing England and Northern Ireland. TUI does advise passengers to carry a face mask to ensure you are not caught out by arriving in a country that still requires you to wear one. As per the government guidelines they still promote the recommendation to wear a face mask for your own protection.
Those passengers aged 12 and over travelling from Scotland and Wales will still be required to wear a face mask regardless if they are fully vaccinated or not.
We hope that clears things up a bit! We will keep all our readers up to date with the newest travel changes and remember if you do require currency for your trip away then take advantage of the best rates and service on the market with Currency Online Group.
© Currency Online Group
22nd March 2022