Holidaymakers WON'T get compensation for flights cancelled in the heatwave – what you can do about it | The Sun

MILLIONS of travellers across the UK have faced severe disruption to flights and the heatwave has only made the problem worse.

Holidaymakers are usually legally entitled to compensation worth up to £520 if their flight is cancelled less than 14 days before departure and if it's the airline's fault.

But people whose flights were cancelled at the last minute this week due to heatwave WON'T be getting compensation.

This is because the hot weather was out of the airlines' hands and carriers will claim that cancellations were due to extraordinary circumstances.

It means they're not on the hook for paying customers compensation for the last minute changes.

Coby Benson, flight delay solicitor at Bott and Co said: "The heatwave is likely to be classed as an extraordinary circumstance.

"The law (EC Regulation 261/2004) says that passengers are not entitled to compensation where the disruption was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances', which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

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"However, the law also says that where a flight is cancelled (for any reason whatsoever) the passenger is entitled to a full refund or a free replacement flight (on any airline, not just the one they were due to fly with)."

Can I get a refund even if I'm not entitled to compensation?

Yes you can. Since Brexit, EU regulation 261/2004 has been adopted into UK law.

Under this rule, as long as your flight originated from the UK or EU member states or if you're returning abroad on a UK/EU airline you'll be covered by the rule.

If your flight is cancelled you'll have a choice as to whether you get a refund or move to another flight. You're only entitled to one of:

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  • A FULL refund – That will be paid into the same bank account you originally booked the flight with. You're legally entitled to a CASH refund and don't have to accept vouchers if the airline tries to push this alternative. 

OR

  • An ALTERNATIVE flight – If you still want to travel, your airline must find you an alternative flight at your request. The airline should try to re-route on the same day. If no flights with the airline you booked with are available, it can book you with a different airline.

And remember – always avoid accepting a refund voucher as these often come with expiry dates and lock you into to spending your cash with one firm.

Why am I not entitled to compensation?

Your flight would need to be cancelled within 14 days of the original departure date to get you compensation of between £110 and £520.

However, you'll only be entitled to the extra cash if the cancellation are the airlines fault.

For example, mass staff sickness, staff on strike and aircraft issues are not seen as outside of the airline's control – hence in these cases you'd be eligible for compensation.

However, extreme weather, like the recent heatwave are outside of the airline's control and the flight cancellations as a result come under the banner of extraordinary circumstances – meaning you're not entitled to extra cash.

How do I request a refund for my cancelled flight?

You should be able to request a refund directly from your airline if they haven't already been in touch.

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You'll usually be able to do this online or over the phone.

  • For British Airways flight refunds and rebooking, go to Manage My Booking.
  • For EasyJet flights visit your Manage Bookings page to request a refund or new flight.
  • Ryanair passengers can visit the airlines Flight Cancellation page to apply for a refund or alternative flight.
  • For a refund request from TUI, fill in its online form.
  • To make a refund request with Wizz Air, login to your online account.

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