Travel Disruption - What Are My Rights?

Family walking through airport together with parents pulling suitcases along

Travel Disruption - What Are My Rights?

ARAG logoFor many, one of the first things people wanted to do when the government lifted covid-related travel restrictions was book a holiday. With great excitement and anticipation, the suitcases were dusted off, and we all purchased holiday outfits.

In April, international traffic rose 480% versus April 2021. However, far from being a pleasant transition back to normal, headlines are dominated by stories of cancelled flights, delays at airports and some stranded abroad, leaving questions of what legal remedies are available. The issue of compensation for delays can be tricky. Much depends on the timing of the delay/ cancellation and the airport from which someone is departing and arriving.

Claiming Compensation

Although you may be entitled to compensation, reimbursement is not automatic. The relevant airline carrier needs to be contacted for a claim to be submitted.

Extraordinary Circumstances

The airline may be able to reject a claim for compensation where ‘extraordinary circumstances apply. This means that the reason for the delay or cancellation was outside of their control. It is unlikely to cover the recurring incidence of delay and cancellation caused by staffing levels. Understanding the right to compensation is helpful but doesn’t prevent the panic that sets in when your flight is delayed or cancelled. The suggestions below may help to formulate a plan ‘B’:

  • Before the trip, check sites such as Flight Aware or Flight Radar to see your flight history. This will allow an assessment of how frequently the flight departs and whether a delay is typical.
  • Research what alternative flights may be available in the event of a cancellation. Such things as which airport may have alternative flights and other hotel and travel options may be helpful to consider in advance.
  • Keep all receipts for expenses such as food and out-of-pocket costs. Typically, the airline will provide food vouchers where they are obliged to help in the case of delay or cancellation. If the receipts from the purchases will enable an additional claim to the airline later. All expenses must be reasonable and unlikely to include alcoholic drinks or the most expensive food options. Consumer rights in this situation can be confusing and complex, so we have prepared an additional factsheet for distribution to those with our factsheet package.

Download the whole article here.

Don’t forget – all Morton Michel policyholders have FREE access to ARAG’s legal helpline, providing expert advice on a range of business-related legal and tax matters including employment and law disputes.

The information in this article is provided by ARAG and does not represent Morton Michel.