Gatwick chaos: Your rights if your flight is delayed

Crowds at Gatwick after the airport was closed because of disruption by drones SUS-181220-124056001
Crowds at Gatwick after the airport was closed because of disruption by drones SUS-181220-124056001

A reminder of people’s rights over flight delays has gone ouf from Citizens Advice in West Sussex following the cancellation of all flights at Gatwick today.

Thousands of people have been affected following the closure of the airport because of disruption caused by drones in the area.

Citizens Advice says that if your flight is delayed for two or more hours your airline must give you food and drink, access to phone calls and emails; accommodation if you’re delayed overnight - and journeys between the airport and the hotel.

They say: “The airline might give you vouchers to get these things at the airport. Ask someone who works for the airline if you’re not offered any help.

“If they don’t give you help at the airport, keep receipts for expenses and try to claim from the airline later. Airlines only pay for ‘reasonable’ expenses - you are unlikely to get money back for alcohol, expensive meals or luxury hotels.”

If your flight’s delayed for three or more hours Citizens Advice says you are entitled to the above but will only be entitled to compensation if the delay is the airline’s responsibility.

Says Citizens Advice: “You’re unlikely to get compensation if the delay was because of something outside the airline’s control, like bad weather or a security risk.”

They say that if your flight is delayed for five or more hours you don’t have to take the flight, it doesn’t matter whose responsibility the delay is.

If you don’t take the flight the airline legally has to give you a full refund but it does not have to pay compensation if the delay is because of a security risk.

Citizens Advice urge: “Keep records – keep copies of your claim and any response from the airline. Take notes if you speak to anyone from the airline - this could be useful if you decide to take your claim further.

“If you’re not getting anywhere you can report your issue to the Civil Aviation Authority if the airline doesn’t give you what you’re entitled to.”

See: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/holiday-cancellations-and-compensation/if-your-flights-delayed-or-cancelled/