If you’ve been hit by a cancellation or had your holiday plans thrown out of whack, what are you entitled to? Quite a bit, as it happens
Airlines have been a bit of a shambles this summer, with hundreds of flights affect by strikes in the industry (shout out to Ryanair!). It can seem a bit hopeless if your flight is cancelled but you do have rights.
When you book a flight, there is an implied contract between you and the airline that they will get to from point A to point B. In the EU, if your flight is cancelled your airline has to accommodate you on another flight on the same route as soon as possible or give you a refund of your flight costs if you prefer. The Commission for Aviation Regulation says that an airline has to provide at least two weeks notice to avoid paying compensation along with the above.
Lots of people seem to have been hit with late cancellations this summer though which is a bit different. If your flight is cancelled at short notice (less than seven days) the airline should either offer you an alternative flight quite close to your original departure and arrival times or a full refund.
If it gets cancelled and you’re already at the airport (nightmare!) you’re entitled to ‘care and assistance’- things like adequate meals, hotel accommodation if you’re waiting overnight and transport etc. Your airline should also get you on an alternative flight as soon as possible and a full refund of the part(s) of the journey that didn’t happen (or all of it if you’re stuck and the rest of the trip is no use to you now).
If you're not offered the above, and have to spend your own money, keep all your receipts so you can claim it back.
So even if your travel plans don’t work out, make sure you get what you’re entitled to.
You can find all the relevant info here.