Flights to and from all UK airports will commence from tonight, unless, the weather changes; over 150,000 people can start to return home. Everyone is celebrating, sure it’s great news, but the battle will now be on for consumers who want to claim back costs from their extended or cancelled holiday.
Consumers will seek help with cost of flight cancellations
Stranded and cancelled holiday refunds
Michael O’Leary, the head honcho at Ryanair, said on Monday that airlines should not be paying out compensation for issues like this, which are out of their control. Some people within the travel industry are in agreement that airlines and tour operators shouldn’t foot the bill, so who should.
There are three categories of consumers involved in this:
a) Those who have had their package holiday / flight cancelled
b) Those that were stranded abroad and could not get home
c) Those made their own way home and incurred extra costs
Consumers will expect compensation or refunds
The cancellations were due to an ‘act of god’ and many travel insurance companies have closed the door to claims. Some consumers have had to pay up to 5 or 6 days additional accommodation, and costs, through no fault of their own, as consumers should we expect our money refunded.
Huge task for airlines and tour operators
To be fair to the airlines and tour operators they would have had a nightmare trying to accommodate 150,000 people, phone lines will have been extremely busy, but many consumers will have had to fend for themselves, or attempted to make the trip home.
Passenger rights and compensation
The Department for Transport have said that passengers have rights, so I am assuming these rights are Regulation (EC) 261/2004 which says that passengers may be entitled to compensation between €250 – €600 depending on the flight distance and the delays incurred.
The debate. Add your thoughts
So the question is: should consumers expect refunds and compensation for their additional expenses due to being stranded or their holiday cancelled? Who should foot the bill? Should the government step in and help airlines? For those affected please add your questions on my flight updates post.
I will be publishing a new post with advice, tomorrow morning.