The last few weeks have seen a massive amount of flight disruption across the travel industry. With Hurricane Irma and Maria ravaging both the Caribbean and Southern US states, earthquakes halting flights in Mexico City and the recent Ryanair cancellations, many people have been left stranded and forced to make new travel arrangements. Many consumers are unsure of what kind of compensation or remedies they are entitled to in the event of a cancellation, and thus can end up severely out of pocket.

 

An image of a woman looking out of an airport window to a runway after a flight cancellation

 

Here at Multitrip.com, we have years of experience in dealing with all types of travel disruption and so we’ve put together a helpful guide on how best to deal with a flight cancellation:

 

 Stay Informed: 

With natural disasters, getting up to date information is essential. Live news channels and apps will constantly update you with the viability of major travel networks and Airports. Use these as a guide but always contact your travel operator and the Airport helplines to get an idea of when operations will return to normal. Twitter and Facebook are also great resources for live updates from Airlines and airports official accounts. Be sure to regularly refresh the email account that was used for your booking to see if your airline has sent you any updates or instructions related to your flight.

With Ryanairs recent announcement that they will be cancelling 50 flights over a six week period, a list of these flights can be found here. Make sure you regularly check back with pages such as these when dealing with a cancellation in case as details may be subject to updates or changes.

 

Refunds or Re-Routing: 

As set out in EU Regulation 261/2004,  with European flights, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation amounts can vary from €250 for flights of 1,500km or less to €400 for all EU flights between 1,500km and 3,500km. You are also entitled to reimbursement of the ticket price or re-routing at the earliest opportunity/a later date. In the event that your cancelled flight leads you to miss a later flight with a different carrier, you may not be entitled to a refund. However, by notifying the airline responsible early enough, they may be able to help re-route you once you arrive at your intended destination.

 

Image of a plane flying over a building. Most passengers will be re-routed after a flight cancellation

 

Right To Care:  

In the event that you are curtailed for several hours or even overnight stays due to a cancellation, in accordance with  EU Regulation 261/2004, you are entitled to meal/refreshment vouchers, telephone calls, hotel accommodation and transport. In the event that these are not provided by your airline, maintain all receipts of expenses incurred for a retrospective claim. Airlines in the US and other countries operate similarly but it’s always best to again read the terms and conditions related to your airline before you fly and in the event of a cancellation.

 

Contacts: 

In the case of natural disasters or airline operating cancellations, you are best to contact your airline directly. Most airlines now have online help desks that run 24/7 and may be a quicker way to get updates than by picking up the phone. Any information or remedies your airline offers you should be double checked on a reputable flyer rights website. We suggest using flightrights.ie if flying from Ireland or Airhelp.com for other International flights.

 

An image of a womans hands typing on a laptop keyboard. Airline Web Chat Supports can be the best way of contacting an airline after a cancellation

 

Your Travel Insurance Policy: 

In the event of a cancellation, your issue should always first be resolved with the airline. Standard travel insurance policies can’t really help you in this instance. Many policies can include extras such as Multitrip.com’s “travel disruption cover”. This provides cover in the following ways:

  1. If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours it covers additional accommodation and travel costs up to €1,000per insured person. This could be used towards accommodation until a new flight has been re-arranged or to purchase a new flight to get you home.
  2. If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours then you can claim back up to €1,000 per insured person for irrecoverable unused travel and accommodation costs that you lose out on as a result of your flight being cancelled.

It is important to note that this extra cover can not be added to a policy after a natural disaster has already occurred or flight cancellations such as Ryanair’s have already been announced.

 

Try to relax: 

By knowing your rights and what you’re entitled to, it can ease the stresses of a cancellation. In many cases however, once you’ve followed these steps, there is very little else you can do except wait it out until your airline can get you back on your way.

 

Image of an empty departures seating area in an airline terminal. Many travelers can spend hours here after a flight cancellation

 

To get a great value quote on our Multitrip.com policies or to find out more about “travel disruption cover”, visit our website.