Martin Lewis explains conditions for getting flight compensation
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Thousands of holidaymakers’ flights have been cancelled, with airlines citing staff shortages as the reason the planes can’t take off. Martin Lewis has revealed how passengers can get a refund, and/or claim compensation.
Martin appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live with Nihal Arthanayake earlier today.
He said: “If you have a flight cancelled regardless of the reason, timings or the cause, you always have a right to either a refund or to be put on the next available flight.
“And interestingly, the next available flight isn’t their next available flight, it should be the next practical flight – although they tend to only put you on their own airlines.
“That’s what the law says, EU Regulations 261/2004 which has since been ported into UK law,” he cited.
“Now, it has to be an EU regulated flight, that is defined as ‘any flight leaving a UK or EU airport’.
“Or ’any flight coming into a UK or EU airport provided it is a UK or EU airline’.
“If you were coming in from New York to London on an American airline – no.
“If you’re coming in on British airlines – yes,” Martin added.
“However, you may also be entitled to compensation and most people are.
“For the compensation, they have to have notified you less than two weeks before the flight.
“The cancellation must’ve delayed you by two hours or more.
“Interestingly, if you take a refund, as opposed to taking an alternative flight, the time of the alternative flight even if you didn’t take it, is still relevant for more than two hours.
“And it has to be the airline’s fault,” the expert added.
“In general, staff shortages – even due to Covid – have been generally accepted as being the airline’s fault. Some may dispute this, but most aren’t.
“But when you have your flights cancelled these days, they will tell you about refunds or alternative flights, but no one will tell you about compensation.
“I had it happen to me recently and we had £400 per person – depends on the distance of the flight and the exact time it’s a fixed amount,” Martin explained.
“Be very aware, if your flight is cancelled due to staff shortages, which is the main reason at the moment, then generally you are entitled to a fixed amount of compensation.
“If it has happened to you recently, then go back and put in a note for the compensation.
“We don’t want to be mean to airlines here, if it didn’t inconvenience you and it wasn’t such a big problem, then it doesn’t matter so much.
“But certainly if it put you out, and you had costs, then go for it,” he concluded.
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