/ Travel & Leisure

Have you been caught up in the meltdown at UK airports?

2022 was meant to be the year that travel takes off again, but instead UK air passengers are facing a huge amount of disruption. Have you been affected?

After the lifting of COVID restrictions, airlines have encouraged us to plan for holidays and trips, assuring us that they were ready for take-off. 

Instead, passengers are facing meltdown at UK airports.

We’ve seen countless examples of the devastation facing UK air passengers in the build up to and over the Platinum Jubilee Weekend:

A father has missed his son’s wedding in Seville after a last-minute flight cancellation

A couple looking forward to their first holiday in three years in Greece ended up sleeping on the airport floor.

✈ Families have had flights cancelled after spending hours sitting on delayed aircraft.

Worse still, airlines are still failing in their legal obligations to passengers.

If your flight is cancelled within 14 days of departure, you are entitled a refund or rerouting via any carrier.

If you forgo your refund and opt to be rerouted via an alternative airline, you are legally entitled to claim the ticket back from your original airline.

However, we are seeing many examples where airlines are not abiding by their obligations to refund or rerouting.

Compensation for severe flight disruption

This is a right that many airlines are silent on. The below table outlines your rights to compensation for severe flight disruption: 

No excuses for the airlines

This level of disruption is completely unacceptable, given that airlines have  been crying out for the return of passengers, and had months to prepare for a return to business-as-usual.

There is simply no excuse for airlines failing to abide by their legal obligations to passengers when their flight is severely delayed or cancelled.

Government and the regulator must act urgently. The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority should:

✈ Remind airlines of their legal obligations to passengers and ensure they are fulfilling them.

✈ Ensure passengers are fully aware of their rights so they can make informed decisions when their flight is cancelled

Assess the capacity of airlines to fulfil their summer bookings, forcing them to cancel any they are unable to honour so passengers have clarity.

Finally, the Secretary of State for Transport should drop plans to cut passenger compensation when UK domestic flights are delayed or cancelled, and give the Civil Aviation Authority the powers to hold airlines to account when they flout the law – including the ability to fine operators directly.

Have you suffered a delay or cancellation recently? Were you able to be rerouted, refunded and/or compensated for that disruption? Or did your airline fail to help you?

Please share your story in the comments below.

Lloyd Roberts says:
6 June 2022

Our EZjet was cancelled this morning, there is no way to cancel our return flights, so it looks like we will have to pay for them. There is a cancellation fee on the hire car. Airport parking won’t be used either.
Only the xs insurance have responded to cancellation, and car hire but with a £42 fee.
EZjet emails are returned as their ‘inbox’ is full, their helpline simply disconnects after half an hour or so, and the airport parking emails are returned and help line unanswered.
I’m going to be out by the car xs, parking, and return fare, several hundred pounds

Hi Lloyd – In your position I would join Which? Legal for inexpensive advice on your rights. You don’t need to be a Which? member, I hope you sort out this mess.

Helen-Ann says:
10 June 2022

Our holiday was cancelled and they have refunded us in full, wish I could say the same for the Insurance company. Our travel policy included Cancellation but they say we are not covered because WE did not cancel – really!!!!! Holiday insurance that states ‘ we are here to support you when the unexpected happens’ reputable company 5* defaqto 4.7 Trustpilot . Will not refund our policy or let us claim the cost of the policy under their cancellation cover!! So frustrated.

Anthony John Francis says:
14 June 2022

Recently we visited our Son and Grandsons in Barcelona. On our return journey to East Midlands Airport there was a huge line of passengers at passport control due to several flights landing in succession. There were only 5 electronic gates and there is a 50/50 chance of getting your passport the wrong way round. A picture of orientation on the reader would be a great help.