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Heathrow Airport warns for more flight cancellations

Heathrow Airport warned that more flights could be cancelled this summer if travel chaos continues to disrupt thousands of passengers.

The news comes as the London airport Heathrow confirmed it is carefully reviewing flight schedules to ensure they are deliverable amid soaring demand and staff shortages and will seek more cancellations if the chaos continues.

Last month, airlines were instructed by the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority to review their timetables in a bid to reduce disruption for passengers. However, flight cancellations will continue if the schedule reductions do not prevent disruption.  

So, as those planning to take a trip abroad remain uncertain, Connor Campbell, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, shares his expert advice on what rights you have if your flight is cancelled and what steps to take.

Often it is difficult to know what to do when a flight is cancelled. In those initial moments of stress, it can be easy to forget your rights as a consumer. Yet you should be aware that there are a number of regulations that all airlines are obliged to follow that can help you to navigate the fallout of your flight cancellation

You have a number of rights under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), whether you're flying from a UK airport on any airline, arriving at a UK airport on an EU or UK airline, or arriving at an airport in the EU on a UK airline.

Essentially, if your flight is cancelled, your airline must allow you to choose between either receiving a full refund or choosing an alternative flight. 

You are also entitled to get your money back for any part of the ticket you haven't used. This means that if you booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket refunded.

If you want to travel on your planned date, your airline must find you an alternative flight. So, if another airline is flying to the destination you were planning to travel to – or another suitable mode of transport is available – then you have a right to be booked onto that alternative transport instead.

For cancellations, airlines must also provide you with other assistance until you're able to fly to your destination. 

These include: a reasonable amount of food and drink (often in the form of vouchers), free accommodation (if you have to stay overnight to fly the next day), return transport to and from the accommodation, and a form of communication (covering the cost of phone calls).

If your flight is cancelled with less than 14 days' notice, you may be able to claim compensation based on the timings of the alternative flight you're offered and also how far you were travelling.

Also, with many last-minute cancellations occurring, compensation may be available if you receive less than 14 days' notice of cancellation.

This includes access to a reasonable amount of food and drink (often provided in the form of vouchers) and accommodation until the airline is able to fly you to your destination.

To know the status of your airline’s flight, you can check an EasyJet flight here and a British Airways flight here. If your Jet 2 flight is cancelled, it should be listed on the airline’s ‘incident page’.

If your RyanAir flight is cancelled, the airline promises to notify you directly via text or email, and you are then able to change your flight or apply for a refund. Refunds are normally processed within five working days to the original payment method of the booking.

What to do if you are worried about a potential cancellation?

Apart from paying with a credit card – one of the best ways to protect your money, because if an airline wrongfully denies you a refund, you can initiate a chargeback through your credit card company – you could take out insurance. For example, there are several policies that offer cover for the failure of an airline.

Often this is referred to as Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI). Whilst the level of this protection varies, often providers can offer to cover up to £2,500 for loss on air tickets and the extra cost of replacing flights.

It can also cover other additional purchases such as a villa deposit, which you may lose if you can’t travel because of the airline’s failure.

Unfortunately, if you booked your flight and accommodation separately, the airline won’t be responsible for your hotel booking, which means you’d need to make a travel insurance claim separately. This also includes other bookings, such as car hire.

If you booked your flight as part of a package, then your tour operator should offer compensation or an alternative booking for both your hotel and flights.

Therefore, if you haven't taken out a package deal with an airline, insurance is essential; it can cover every leg of the journey, from the flight to your accommodation and any pre-planned trips you’ve paid for.

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Posts

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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