Heathrow airport, which is the UK’s most busiest airport was hit by freezing fog yesterday, which caused flight delays and cancellations for the second day in a row. The airport reported that due to these conditions it was forced to cancel over 100 flights. London City Airport also reported that it was forced to cancel dozens of flights.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled or delayed may be able to claim compensation from their airline. This comes in the form of a full refund within seven days, or the airline providing a replacement flight for their passengers. People are also eligible to claim flight delay compensation if their flight has been cancelled or delayed for over three hours and the flight took off or arrived at an airport within the European Union.
The Sun reported more information about flight delay compensation and the circumstances in which a person is able to make a claim.
However, airlines are not legally obliged to compensate customers for delays or cancellations in instances where the flight was cancelled due to reasons beyond the airlines control, such as a volcanic eruption, a strike or extreme weather.
Some airlines may stretch the definition of the extraordinary circumstances that won’t permit them to fly, says consumer body Which?, so if you don’t agree that there were extraordinary circumstances you can challenge them.
For example, if you are told you can’t fly due to weather conditions, but other flights are departing, you may choose to challenge the airline.
In most cases, however, the airline doesn’t have to pay compensation for flights cancelled as a result of severe weather.
If you are not entitled to financial compensation for flight delays in these circumstances, you could be entitled to refreshments at the airport, but this may have to be claimed on your travel insurance.
In some cases, travellers are entitled to free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required.
If you are struggling to get compensation directly from the airline, contact the aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who may be able to intervene on your behalf.
The CAA can only help you if the flight was cancelled or delayed within the UK.