Travel Disruption: What Happens if Your Flight Is Delayed or Cancelled?

7 Jun

Just as the travel industry has started to get back to normal and post-Covid travel is on the increase, we have now been hit by horror stories of delays, cancelled flights and ruined holidays.

What’s worse, the number of cancelled flights is predicted to rise over the coming weeks. If you happen to find yourself in an unfortunate situation as shown on the news recently, we have put together this short guide to help you.


If the airline cancels your flight, it is their responsibility to offer you:

  • A full refund of the parts of the ticket not used.
  • An alternative flight to your final destination as soon as possible, or an alternative flight to your final destination at a later date that suits you. The transfer should include a transfer back to the original airport, or another nearby destination of your choice. You may also be entitled to compensation if your flight was cancelled less than 14 days before you were due to fly.

Flights outside of the EU on a non-EU airline

In the event that an airline outside the EU cancels your flight, your rights will vary depending on the terms and conditions of your contract with that airline. Most airlines have a contractual obligation to offer you a full refund or offer you an alternative flight if your original flight is cancelled.

If you cancel your flight or holiday, the airline is not obliged to provide a refund. You may be able to claim your costs from your travel insurer if you cancelled for an insured reason, such as illness. Please check your travel insurance policy for the full list of insured reasons.

You will not be covered by insurance if you choose not to travel for reasons such as changing your mind due to the long delays, fear of cancellation etc.

Travel Delays

If your flight is delayed, your airline or tour operator holds a duty of care to look after you whilst you wait at the airport. It’s essential to keep in touch with your airline for the latest information.

You may also be able to claim further compensation from your travel insurance policy. Travel delay cover usually takes the form of a fixed benefit to help you cover additional expenses, such as food and drink, while you wait at the airport.

Other travel expenses

Your airline can give you a full refund for your cancelled flight, but they won’t pay for any other costs, such as cancelling hotel bookings, hire cars or other cancelled events unless you had booked as part of a package deal. This is where you could claim from:

  • Your credit card company, if this was your method of payment.


  • Your travel insurance policy – be aware that there may be an excess on your policy.

Need Advice?

Speak to our personal insurance team today to discuss your travel insurance. Call us on 02920 853759 or email