Protect Yourself Against Flight Cancellations & Your Rights Should It Happen

Shortly after our entire holiday was cancelled due to hurricane Irma in the US. Thousands of tourists were left stranded in airports due to a staff error caused by budget airline Ryanair.

I found us to be so lucky having booked our holiday as a package, the cancellation was completely hassle free. However, what can you do to protect yourself against flight cancellations if you’re a DIY holidaymaker? and if it does happen, what are your rights as a consumer?


When Was The Flight Cancelled?

Be sure to keep a note of the date your flight was officially cancelled. If it was cancelled more than two weeks before departure then under EU rules the airline doesn’t have to pay you compensation. Instead they simply need to refund you the cost of the flight.

It would then be up to you to check your insurance policy to seek reimbursement of financial loss caused by the cancellation.


Buy Your Travel Insurance At The Same Time (Or In Advance)

More often than not it’s both easier and cheaper to purchase an annual travel insurance. Especially if you’re going abroad more than twice a year. However, at the bare minimum be sure to buy a single trip travel insurance prior to or at the same time as making your booking. 

If you don’t have travel insurance in place at the time of the cancellation then you’ll simply be unable to claim for any consequential losses caused by a cancellation.

I’d always recommend booking travel insurance through a comparison website such as Go Compare to ensure you’re getting the very best value for money.

Check Your Policy

I’m always guilty of this. I purchase insurance but I’m never overly sure of what it includes. So, when you take out travel insurance be sure to check that the policy covers you for consequential losses.

Consequential losses are the financial losses that you may suffer due to the flight being cancelled. For example hotel bookings, airport parking, car hire fees, attractions and excursions. In the case of our holiday to Florida that was cancelled this amounted to more than £8,000 for the 5 of us. 

In this case you’ll want to be looking out for a policy that includes ‘cancellation for any reason’. This covers you if any part of your holiday is covered for any reason outside of the normal parameters of cancellation cover.


Keep Your Receipts

In order for your claim to the insurers to be valid it’s highly important that you keep any and all receipts for spending that has resulted from the cancellation. That’s everything from food to hotel rooms

I’d recommend taking a photo of any physical receipts and storing them on Evernote and doing the same with any receipt / invoice emails. It’s completely free and insures everything is stored in one place and protected.

Book Using Your Credit Card

When booking a flight alone as part of a larger ‘DIY’ style holiday package look to pay for them on your credit card (provided there’s no additional charges). This way you’ll be covered under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for purchases between £100 and £30,000.

Hopefully you can see that there are many ways you can protect yourself as a consume from flight cancellations and should the worse happen there’s plenty of ways to ensure that you’re financially protected.  

As always if you have any questions or concerns about flight cancellations or even any hints or tips as to how you can protect yourself as a consumer in these situations be sure to let me know in the comments below.


Leave A Comment