Here’s what to do when your flight is cancelled or delayed 

cancelled flight advice

Brits have been urged to know their rights if they suffer delays or cancellations at the airport this Easter, after recent statistics show more than 45 million UK fliers faced disruption in 2023.

Data from AirHelp found that a third of the 131 million passengers travelling last year suffered turbulence with their travel plans, with 3.8 million people having their flights cancelled altogether.

These challenges the industry faced throughout 2023 are likely due to a mix of issues such as strikes, failures with air traffic control and worsening weather patterns. 

There are also potential issues on the horizon for 2024 that any wishing to venture abroad should be aware of.

Travel issues to be aware of in 2024:

  • Airlines are struggling to get back to full capacity post pandemic, when staff layoffs were wide spread – creating a reduction in flights and a surge in prices.
  • Fears of overtourism – restricted access to key tourist spots and additional charges for entry are likely across 2024 as hotspots brace for a record year of international arrivals.
  • Trends show people appear to be taking shorter and more frequent breaks rather than fewer, but longer, holidays – putting added pressure on available flights.
  • Tightening of restrictions on Airbnb use across the globe are reducing holiday options and availability for travellers.

Travel insurance expert at Tiffany Mealiff says: “2024 looks set to be a bustling year for travel with tourism experts predicting international arrivals will surge amongst the holiday favourites to record levels.

“However, to help avoid the overcrowding and improve the chances of a smoother escape this Easter it would be worth reviewing the options for travel to more obscure, lesser known destinations.  It’s also worth researching costs both on and off peak travel times as a rising trend for off season travel emerges in a bid to help holidaymakers combat rising costs.

“We want to help travellers save where they can and know their rights should they suffer a delay, a cancellation or any other unexpected bumps in the road.  Making sure bookings are ATOL protected, using a credit card to pay and taking out an insurance policy when they initially make their bookings, can all help protect their trip.”

 What to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled:

  • Cancelled flight – passengers legally have the right to request a full refund from the airline, or a replacement flight which will allow travellers to get to their final destination.
  • Long delay – five or more hours delayed entitles all passengers to compensation, full refunds, or a replacement trip.
  • Short delay – travellers can request help with travel costs, claiming compensation if the cancelled flight means a delay of arrival by two or more hours.  (The airline will rarely give out compensation if a delay was caused due to reasons beyond their control – such as adverse weather conditions)
  • Personal emergency – If you are unable to travel due to a medical emergency or a family bereavement your travel insurance could help to cover the costs but you should be sure to take out the insurance policy at the same time as you book your trip. helps travellers compare travel insurance products and find savings.

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