When a flight cancellation almost ruined a member’s weekend, he visited our site to find out how much he was due. Here’s how we were able to help.
Which? member Ian, 58, was already in the departure lounge of Glasgow airport when he looked at the display to find his 10.45 flight to Nottingham East had been cancelled.
He was setting off for a weekend with friends, so the news came as a big disappointment as well as a surprise. He told us:
“I first had to ask airport staff how to exit the departure lounge when not boarding a plane! They directed me to the service desk which was already queued up. It was about 40 minutes before I could speak to anyone”
Flight cancellations can derail your plans, but you have some recourse.
If a short-haul flight is cancelled and you arrive at your destination two hours or more later than planned, you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation.
What you’re entitled to
You’re entitled to a means to communicate for free (often a refund to the cost of your calls), free meals and refreshments, and free hotel accommodation and transfers if staying overnight.
This applies whether you’re in the airport or waiting on the plane. If you choose to be rerouted, you can treat extra waiting time as part of the delay. You’re also entitled to compensation, if the reason for the cancellation was within the airline’s control.
Ian accepted Flybe’s offer of a lunch voucher, and a re-routed journey for the same day. This meant travelling by coach from Glasgow to Edinburgh, then a flight from Edinburgh to Birmingham.
Ian’s friends collected him from Birmingham, saving him a second coach trip.
Send a tailored complaint letter
The day after his cancelled flight, Ian visited the Which? website to find how much he was due.
He then used our free flight delay and cancellation compensation calculator to create a tailored complaint letter.
On 10 June, he copied the letter verbatim into Flybe online claims form. Soon after, Flybe offered Ian compensation of €250 cash or €350 in Flybe vouchers, confirming the flight had been cancelled due to an aeroplane technical fault. Ian accepted the cash and was paid on 5 July.
Have you ever had your plans disrupted by a flight cancellation? Did you seek redress, or even know that you could?
Let us know what happened in the comments.