Martin Lewis of the MoneySavingExpert website has explained how you may be owed compensation for canceled flights – but the rules are complicated, as we explain below…
Martin Lewis has urged thousands of holidaymakers to check if they are each owed up to £505 in compensation for canceled flights.
The MoneySavingExpert founder’s call comes after British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair canceled hundreds of trips in recent months.
The airlines have blamed the high staff shortages caused by the corona virus for the fact that flights cannot be operated.
If the cancellations have caught up with you, Martin says it’s worth checking to see if you’re getting any money back.
To be eligible for compensation, your original flight must be canceled by the airline within 14 days of your scheduled departure.
Photo only via Getty Images)
The time difference between the alternative flight and the original booking and the duration of your journey are also taken into account to determine any monetary liability.
If you’re traveling less than 1,500km – say London to Paris – you could be charged £105 if the flight departs more than two hours before your booked flight and arrives up to two hours later.
If the same flight lands four hours late or departs two hours early and lands two hours later, the compensation is £210.
Have you successfully received flight cancellation compensation? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Both scenarios apply if you were informed of the cancellation between seven and 14 days before departure.
If the same flight was canceled less than seven days before departure, your new flight would have to depart more than an hour before your original booking and arrive up to two hours later for you to be charged £105.
If it lands two hours late you could be fined £210.
For flights longer than 3,500km – ie from London to New York – the maximum compensation amount is £505.
This could apply if the rescheduled flight is four hours or more late, for flight cancellations where you have less than 14 days notice from the airline.
You can see the full breakdown of compensation levels for different flights – applicable to people when booked as part of a group – on MoneySavingExpert’s website.
The amount of the remuneration has been converted from euros and can therefore vary slightly depending on the exchange rate.
Compensation is only awarded to EU/UK airlines and it must be the airline’s fault that the flight could not operate.
According to MoneySavingExpert, law firm Bott and Co said staff illnesses, including Covid-related illnesses, and flight crew strikes “are NOT reasons for airlines to avoid paying compensation”.
Martin said: “Under EU Regulation 261/2004, which has also been incorporated into UK law since Brexit…
“If you are on a flight leaving or returning to the UK/EU (then it must also be an EU/UK airline) and the flight is canceled within 14 days of departure, resulting in a delay of two hours or more, then – assuming the reason for the cancellation is airline fault – you are likely to be entitled to fixed cash compensation (not vouchers) of between £105 and £505 per person each after flight.
“Many airlines say they are canceling due to staffing issues because of Covid. In the past, courts have ruled that staff sickness was seen as an issue that was the airline’s fault (as they should be able to accommodate this in their flight schedules), so compensation is likely to be due.”
Easyjet has confirmed it will pay compensation in these circumstances, while British Airways is advising customers who think they may be owed money to fill out a form online.
Ryanair did not respond when approached by MSE for comment.
If you think you are entitled to flight cancellation compensation, you can make a claim using MSE’s free online claim tool.
Alternatively, you can also complain directly to your airline. It is free to file a complaint:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/martin-lewis-urges-thousands-holidaymakers-26870165 Martin Lewis is urging thousands of holidaymakers to check if they owe up to £505