Brits can get their money back for flights that are cancelled or delayed

Brits going on holidays this half term have been facing a swathe of cancellations and delays from the likes of easyJet, TUI and British Airways, as well as huge queues in airports including Bristol and Manchester.

easyJet alone has cancelled over 200 flights, while holidaymakers are reporting being stuck in hours-long queues as airports struggle to cope due to staff shortages amongst other factors.

However, if your flight is cancelled or delayed, you are entitled to getting your money back – but your rights do depend on the situation.

To give you a helping hand, we've put a guide below.

If your flight is delayed

You may be entitled to compensation depending on how long the delay lasts, and the length/duration of your flight.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority this is usually:

  • Short-haul flight of under 1,500km – £220
  • Medium-haul flight of 1,500km – 3,500km – £350
  • Long-haul flight of over 3,500km £520 (or if you arrived at your destination with a delay of under 4 hours, £260)

Depending on the length of the delay, your airline may also offer you vouchers for food and drink, or book you into a hotel overnight if this is required, for example if you're rebooked onto a flight the next day.

The CAA does caveat: "Sometimes airlines are unable to arrange care and assistance for all passengers. This can happen when staff are stretched during major disruptions.

"If this happens, in our view you have the right to organise reasonable care and assistance yourself, then claim the cost back later. If you end up paying for things yourself, keep every receipt and do not spend more than is reasonable. Airlines are unlikely to refund you for things like luxury hotels or alcohol. Some will provide guidance on reasonable costs."

If a flight is delayed, but not your holiday overall

Sometimes it's just the flights that are the issue, not the whole holiday.

If your flight is cancelled but not your trip, ABTA – The Travel Association says: "If your flight is cancelled and you’ve booked a package holiday, you are entitled to a suitable alternative flight or, if that’s not possible, a full refund."

You can find out more at

Refund rights for cancelled flights

If your flight is cancelled by the airline, you're entitled to receive a full refund, or a booking on an alternative flight to your destination. You may also be offered vouchers to use for future trips. It's up to you which of the options you'd prefer to take.

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, a full refund also includes "other flights from the airline that you won’t use in the same booking such as onward or return flights".

If you're part-way through a journey, you also have a right to fly back to your original departure airport.

It's worth noting that if you were given less than two weeks' notice for the cancellation and you're offered a replacement flight that delays you by at least two hours, you may also be entitled to compensation.

You can find out more on and

Have you been affected by flight delays and cancellations this half term? Email us at [email protected].

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