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Travelling This Christmas? Know Your Rights If You Get Stranded

Unfortunately, delays, cancellations and lost luggage are common during the festive season as airlines and train companies struggle to cope with the rush of travellers trying to get either get home or reach their holiday destination for Christmas, and not to mention the bad weather which can hit during December! but what do you do if all goes wrong? Read on to find out your rights if you get stranded…

Flight Delays and Cancellations

If you’re delayed by more than three hours or your flight is cancelled, under EU rule 261/2004, by rights you can claim for compensation. This could be anything between £90 and £420. Only EU regulated flights count though, this is where a flight departs from a EU airport regardless of the airline or where the flight lands.

With most flight delays you can claim for refreshments, meals and up to two phone calls, and when a waiting period includes an overnight stay, the airline is obligated to arrange hotel accommodation and transportation between the airport and place of accommodation. If you happen to be delayed for more than five hours, you are entitled to claim a full refund should you decide not to travel, but whatever you do, make sure you always request a written statement from the airline. This statement can be used as proof to support your claim.

Beware…. Airlines can avoid paying compensation if they can prove the cancellation could not have been avoided due to extraordinary circumstances such as adverse weather!

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Train Delays and Cancellations

Delay repay is a National scheme that most train companies use to compensate people for delays and cancellations and works in the following ways:

  • You Miss The Train

If you miss your train because, for example, the weather is bad and the roads are closed preventing you from getting to the station, you can claim a cash refund under National Rail’s conditions of carriage, even thought its not the train companies fault! However, there is a set time frame in which you can file such a claim, normally 28 days, and an administration charge may also be applied.

  • The Train is Cancelled:

You’re entitled to a full, immediate refund, which you can obtain from the ticket office, but if circumstances within the control of a train company leave you stranded, they should provide assistance in getting you to your destination or overnight accommodation if necessary.

  • The Train is Delayed:

The amount you’re entitled to will depend on the length of your delay. Compensation for late train departures and arrivals for more than one hour are available. The minimum compensation for a delay is 50% on single tickets and 25% on a return, unless you delayed on both legs of the journey. However, if you choose not to travel due to a delay that is within the control of the train company, you can claim a full, immediate refund from the ticket office.

For further information please visit:

*One last thing.... Don't forget your travel insurance! Even UK Christmas breaks need cover, take a look at our blog on Travel Insurance For Christmas Breaks >>>  

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