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Delayed and cancelled flights
we know your rights
  • Clear advice from experts you can trust
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If your flight is delayed or cancelled

You might get a call or text before you leave for the airport. Or you could be faced with a changed or cancelled flight while you’re on your travels. Either way, this kind of disruption to your journey is hugely stressful. And if you miss a connecting flight or need to book extra accommodation, it could also be expensive.

Often, there’s little support and advice on hand at the time. The airline may well offer you limited options when it comes to rebooking, or even deny responsibility for the difficulties you face.

You have a number of rights under EU regulations

As a consumer, you have important legal rights when the flight you’ve booked is delayed or cancelled. But a lot depends on the cause, how much notice you were given, and how far your flight was travelling. You also need to be 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.

Getting rerouted, refunded and/or compensated may be simply a question of contacting the airline or the agent you booked your flight through. But the airline will have to accept that the disruption was their fault, and not caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’ outside their control.

Which? Legal can help

We can help you work out whether you might be entitled to compensation. We’ll talk you through your options and how best to approach the airline or booking agent.

Perhaps you’ve already tried to get a refund from the airline and were unsuccessful. If so, we can tell you if you should be due that refund, or compensation, and advise you on next steps. If the airline still refuses to cooperate, we can explain how you may be able to escalate the issue to a dispute resolution service. We’ll:

  • listen to the problem and explain what your rights are
  • talk you through the different ways you might be able to resolve the situation
  • help you understand what steps you can take to get the refund or compensation you’re entitled to




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Meet your experts
James Attew Prior to joining Which? Legal in September 2018, James advised in relation to consumer, commercial, and property disputes at various firms in the South of England See profile
Peter Litchman Peter qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and joined Which? Legal as a legal adviser in January 2007. He advises on all aspects of consumer law, tenancy issues, and neighbour disputes. See profile
Adrian Schwab Adrian joined Which? Legal in June 2017 as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Adrian received his Bachelor in Law degree from the Holborn Law School in 2006. See profile
Meet all the team