25/06/2024 6:31 AM

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Bristol Airport: How to get compensation if your flight is cancelled

Hundreds of flights from airports across the country have been cancelled lately due to a shortage of staff and IT issues. Thousands of passengers have been left stranded, sent hundreds of miles away, and forced to miss special occasions as a result of the cancellations.

EasyJet and TUI are the two most notable airlines to pull flights from service. Huge queues have been pictured at a number of UK airports after over 200 flights were cancelled due to a software problem.

At Bristol Airport, 30 easyJet flights have been cancelled in the last week as the airline culled 200 flights in total. Tui cancelled it’s Bristol to Paphos flight on Saturday, May 29, after passengers waited eight hours past the scheduled flight time.

Also read: Angry travellers brand Bristol Airport ‘a zoo’ amid flight chaos

Previously, staff shortages and increased passenger numbers were the overwhelming factors behind further passengers having their trips left in tatters. Once the news of a cancelled flight has hit home, understandably the next thought process will be regarding what compensation rights they have for the disruption.

The appropriate rules only apply for UK or EU-regulated flights. For those set for flights anywhere else in the world, there is another set of rules that apply, but you may still get your money back in addition to compensation as BristolLive reports.

Should a flight be cancelled, you have the legal right to either a full refund or a replacement flight to get you to your intended destination. This applies regardless of the length of time between being notified of the cancellation and the time your flight was set to take off, as well as the cause of the cancellation.

Additional compensation can be claimed as long as certain criteria apply. Any amount between £110 and £500 can be claimed.

The levels of compensation will depend on the delay of the alternative flight as well as the distance of the journey. The cheapest claim (£110) comes for a journey between 0-1,500km, such as London to Paris, and the alternative flight leaves over two hours before and lands up to two hours after the originally scheduled flight. The dearest claim (£500) comes for journeys over 3,500km, such as London to New York, and the rerouted flight lands over four hours late.



A photo uploaded to social media at 7.03am today (May 11) shows passengers at Bristol Airport queuing outside the door
A photo uploaded to social media on May 11 shows passengers at Bristol Airport queuing outside the door

Even if you opt for a refund rather than being rerouted, compensation can still be claimed based on the timings of the alternative flight offered. In order to qualify, the rescheduled flight has to arrive at its destination later than the original was scheduled to, the flight was cancelled within 14 days of the journey and the reason for cancellation is firmly down to the airline.

Examples of it being the airline’s fault include the flight being underbooked, a staff strike or the pilot was sick and not replaced. Extraordinary circumstances, such as poor weather, political problems and security or safety issues would acquit the airline from any blame, thus compensation couldn’t be claimed.

Compensation also won’t be able to be claimed if the passenger was told of the cancellation between seven days and two weeks prior to the scheduled departure time and offered a rerouting which ensured you ultimately reached your end destination less than four hours after the scheduled arrival time. If you were told less than seven days before the flight and the rerouting offered would reach the final destination less than two hours after the scheduled arrival time, you also wouldn’t be entitled to compensation.

Being bumped off a flight due to overbooking will entitle you to compensation, again depending on the flight distance. If you’re downgraded, although you won’t get a full refund for your ticket, you are due compensation – 30% of your ticket cost for short-haul flights, 50% for medium-haul and 75% for long-haul.

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