Cancelled or Delayed Flight? What are my rights?

Date: 16 MAR 23

1. Your Right to Care

The UK's Regulation safeguards passengers in the event of a flight cancellation, delay, or denied boarding. Both rules stipulate that all passengers who miss their flight due to a flight delay are entitled to assistance from their airline. Most of the time, it's a complimentary meal and beverage, or if there is a lengthy delay, a complimentary hotel stay.

Whether your airline is at fault or not is irrelevant. You have a right to care if you are forced to spend three or more hours waiting at the airport because your flight was cancelled due to inclement weather (not the airline's fault) or technical difficulties (the airline's fault).

As per Regulation UK261, you can obtain:

1) Free meals and beverages in proportion to the length of the wait, 2) Free hotel accommodations (if one or more nights are required), 3) Two free calls, emails, or faxes are also provided.

Conditions: There will be at least a 3-hour wait at the airport.

2. How does this work?

How are you going to get a free meal?

The majority of it will likely take the form of coupons that you can use at the airport's cafes, stores, or restaurants. If nothing is being distributed, get in touch with your airline.

You can also buy your own food. Save the receipts in this situation and ask the airline for a refund later. The cost of any additional expenses incurred as a result of a delay or cancellation is the responsibility of the airline. It's preferable to go with something affordable and simple to make the refund process easier. Particularly considering that there are no clear limitations, rules, or other restrictions in this regard; proving that champagne and caviar were actually required to survive the delay may be difficult.

3. Free Accommodation, Free Transfer

You are entitled to free accommodations if the wait is prolonged. For example, if your cancelled/delayed flight causes you to have an overnight stay.

Typically, it's a space in an airport hotel or a hotel that's close to the airport. A free hotel transfer should be provided if it's further away. If this stay is not provided by an airline, you should save your receipts and ask the airline for a refund later.

Can I get compensation if my flight is cancelled?

Scenario 1: If the airline offers you a replacement flight, you are still able to claim compensation for your original cancelled flight. The following must apply: 1) Your replacement flight arrival is delayed by 3 or more hours 2) Your original flight was cancelled before 14 days of scheduled departure. Scenario 2:If no replacement flight is given by the airline, and you have paid for a replacement flight from your own pocket, then: 1) A refund for the original cancelled flight must be given 2) If the replacement flight is more expensive than the original flight, then the airline must pay the difference. 3) You are also able to claim compensation if your replacement flight makes you arrive 3 or more hours than originally planned. Moreover, in both of these scenarios, you are entitled legally to:

Your right to care and expenses caused by the delay/cancellation as mentioned in Sections 1,2 & 3.

Am I entitled to compensation if my flight is delayed?

If the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather or security concerns, you are unlikely to receive compensation. You are entitled to compensation from the airline if it is at fault for a flight delay.

The amount of compensation depends on:

1) your flight's distance/length – the more the distance, the more you should be compensated.

2) the duration of the delay – if the flight is delayed by 3 or more hours on arrival.


There is no doubt that a cancelled or delayed flight can cause a lot of stress, loss of time & resources. That is why, in certain scenarios, airlines are legally held liable to give you compensation for your flight and take care of your additional expenses. We recognize that it can be quite confusing if you do not know what you are legally entitled to in these scenarios. That is why it is best to use flight delay claim experts like us that handle these matters on your behalf. If we win a claim, your compensation is paid directly to your account, minus our 25% fee.   You can submit a claim here: Make A Claim

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Have you had a flight delay, missed connection, cancelled flight or have been denied boarding in the last 6 years? If so try our free flight checker to see how much you may be entitled to in compensation for you AND your fellow travellers.

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