MSE News: Bad weather travel chaos - your refund rights

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"The severe cold snap has thrown millions of travellers' plans into chaos over recent days ..."


  • I missed my flight to Ireland because my National Express coach took so long to get to the airport :( On time it was meant to get there 2 hours before my flight and it actually got there 20 minutes before my flight and Ryanair would not let me on.

    The only options were completely seperate bmi flight £200 or Ryanair "oh yes you can transfer your flight....for a fee of £100"

    I have emailed both asking for refunds, had acknowledgement from NE, know I have absolutely no chance with Ryanair at the best of times and it was not their fault.

    With the coach, I totally understand weather chaos, unexpected etc but at the end of the day this one coach services East Midlands Airport, Gatwick and Heathrow and it was running 1 1/2 hours late!!! While waiting for it turn up another coach was just sat there and while on board we were stuck in traffic 1/2 hour until driver turned and went other way - if these decisions had been taken due to weather instead of staff just sitting around station waiting for coach and keeping fingers crossed, I would have got home for Christmas.

    I know NE T + C cover extreme weather but will see what they say and let you know. As for Ryanair, if they ever reply even to tell me to go away I will die of shock so might not be able to update you!!!
    Debt Free Wannabe by 1 January 2016 :o

    Jan 2015 GC £520/£450
    Feb £139/£450
  • Inactive
    Inactive Posts: 14,509 Forumite
    I agree with Cityboy, it has nothing to do with which airline you booked with. I think that the the OP needs to read the EU Regulations properly.
  • pcg2001
    pcg2001 Posts: 1,406 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have to admit that this is the time where words as "may" "depending" etc are not helpful at all. I read the article with antecipation only to find out my questions remained unanswered. I am flying out next week and would like to be sure of my rights beforehand. I am sure anyone who has been visiting the Travel MSE has similar thoughts judging by the amount of people who have posted concerns about specifities of their travel plans.

    I know there is nothing I can do about the weather, but I can try and minimize the damages of pre-paid accommodation (darn! I've learned my lesson, finally) or even cancellable but for the first day (since I only find out about the flight after the deadline to cancel has passed). Here is where insurance could be helpful. But I have no idea which policy to choose.

    Will travel insurance pay out?
    If you bought insurance and transport before you knew of the disruption, you may be covered for non-refundable hotel and other holiday costs (other than transport which should be covered by the airline/train firm).
    But insurance rules are hideously complicated and vary from firm-to-firm (see the Travel Insurance guide).
    While some insurers such as Direct Line and Churchill say they may provide cover for cancellations or delays of more than 12 hours, the Association of British Insurers warns not all companies will follow suit.
    You may even get compensation on some policies if you couldn't make it to the airport/train station/ferry port due to UK transport delays, as long as you left reasonable time given the weather problems.
  • Former_MSE_Guy
    Former_MSE_Guy Posts: 1,650 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped! Newshound! Chutzpah Haggler
    edited 23 December 2009 at 3:37PM
    Hey folks,

    Unfortunately, we have to add words such as 'may' because, in the case pcg 2001 highlights, for example, different insurers have different policies. The same goes with airlines. Short of contacting every insurer out there, which is not possible when we also have to cover airlines/trains/credit card payments/hotel refunds etc, it is not possible to give a complete picture.

    Even the insurers we have contacted (such as Direct Line), use the word 'may' in their statements as they cannot give a blanket 'yes' as some people's claims will be rejected for varying reasons.

    Take Direct Line again. Technically, as the ABI states, you have to go to the airport and wait 8 or 12 hours before your trip is technically abandoned and you can claim. Some insurers will enforce this rule but Direct Line says it won't, and if you decide not to go to the airport because there is simply no point, then it 'may' pay out.

    The point, though, is that for many, hope is not lost, so contact your airline/insurer to see what it will offer. Those who don't call, could be throwing away a lot of money.

    Even when it comes to overnight accommodation offered by airlines, yes, the rules state this has to be provided, but some airlines, especially the budget carriers, have been known to skirt round this rule so we have to give you the realistic picture that you 'may' not get accommodation even though you're entitled to it. When it comes to refunds, airlines tend to be much better at sticking to the rules (but please report any abuses).

    You may also not get accommodation if, for instance, you are due to fly at midnight and the flight is delayed by a couple of hours, even though that is 'overnight'.

    Happy Christmas/holidays to all.

    And hope those of you travelling are not too badly disrupted.

  • Was due to fly back from Cologne on Thursday evening (18th) but Easyjet decided to cancel the flight. Apart for giving us a piece of paper partly explaining our rights they didn't offer any assistance or advice whatsoever...nice company!...nearly as bad as Ryanair...
    Managed to fly home with German Wings who took full advantage of our situation and charged us very high fares....but at least we got back to the uk albeit to the wrong airport (Stanstead instead of Gatwick).

    The nub of my claim: Gatwick was only closed for 90 mins Thursday morning, it reopened at 07:33. German Wings was flying normally from Cologne, no delays or cancellations. So can Easyjet use the 'Bad Weather' excuse to cancel a flight at 21:30 on Thursday evening?

    Have sent off claim to Easyjet for refund + alternate flts + taxi. Plus contacted my travel insurance co. Will keep all posted on my success or not....
    Merry Xmas...
  • manton_2
    manton_2 Posts: 1 Newbie
    edited 24 December 2009 at 4:52PM
    We were due to fly Berlin Shonefield to Bristol on Monday but heard flight was cancelled...

    We tried phoning easyjet several times - no joy (lines constantly engaged). Registered on their website (after paying 10Eur for internet access!) to rebook flight - website would not work. In the end, we went to the airport and queued for an hour to get to the check-in desk where they told us the flight was not cancelled due to bad weather but instead cancelled due to an

    'unofficial strike' (the lady's actual words).

    I said that we needed to get back as soon as we could and she told me

    'you're on our own, we won't be able to re-book your flight or give you a refund because the people on the sales desk have walked out':mad:

    this fact was confirmed by the people who had been waiting 'for hours' at an empty desk. In the end we had to buy flights from Hannover to Stansted - this involved 3 trains, an overnight sleep on the floor of the airport, 3 more trains, a bus, then a drive home - a total of 23 hrs and £360.:eek:

    To make matters worse, our insurance say they only cover delays not cancellations. What do we do??

    Happy Christmas by the way!!! :)
  • fifeken
    fifeken Posts: 2,701 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Moneyhero wrote: »
    The nub of my claim: Gatwick was only closed for 90 mins Thursday morning, it reopened at 07:33. German Wings was flying normally from Cologne, no delays or cancellations. So can Easyjet use the 'Bad Weather' excuse to cancel a flight at 21:30 on Thursday evening?

    Your flight could have delayed due to the plane being stranded in another airport elsewhere in Europe that was worse affected, or due to crew members not being able to get to work.

    I'm sure the airlines will try to minimise the damage by re-routing aircraft but this will end up in some winners and some losers.
  • liz545
    liz545 Posts: 1,726 Forumite
    I got stuck in Paris for 2 days due to the Eurostar difficulties, we were due to travel back on the sunday night, and found out (via friends and family) that trains were suspended. Staff at the station advised us to make alternative transport plans as trains were suspended indefinitely, and they said it was likely there would be no service before Boxing Day, and told us that Eurostar would recompense us for flights/ferries - we booked onto the first available flight home, which was tuesday night.

    Now got the claim/compensation form done, and will send it off as soon as possible, but I'm worried that they won't refund all/part of it, particularly the flights, which cost €1000! Is there anything that would suggest they have to - does our ticket constitute a contract that they need to honour to get us from Paris to London? I didn't get travel insurance as it was such a short trip :(

    I've been really disappointed by the way the whole thing was handled - there was no info on their website, other than "check back for updates", staff at the station were handing out pastries but had no real information and weren't able to offer any help. All the costs were born by us, and the telephone line just had a "call back later" recorded message. It's been really stressful!
    2015 comp wins - £370.25
    Recent wins: gym class, baby stuff
    Thanks to everyone who posts freebies and comps! :j
  • Any advice anyone can give on compensation regading my cancelled flight would be much appreciated. My 18.30 flight from Stansted to Copenhagen on Monday 21st Dec was cancelled due to bad weather. At around 8pm one of the ground staff for EasyJet (Menzies) informed passengers the flight had been cancelled and that she would take us back through to the terminal building where we would be booked onto the next available flight and put on a bus to a hotel Easyjet had booked us into for the night. Passengers were told to queue to do this which I duly did.

    Three hours later when I was still queueing a tannoy announcement told all Easyjet passengers to return home and rebook through the internet by logging into their accounts. The easyJet staff shut the desk and wouldn't take anymore questions from passengers. This left me stranded at Stansted because by that point it was 11pm and the next train back to my home town wasn't until the next morning.

    I put a claim in to Easyjet on 23rd December for a refund for my return flights, hotel, taxis to and from the airport to the hotel and train home. I haven't heard anything back from Easyjet and the automated message I received when I put in my refund request told me not to try and contact EasyJet because they would be dealing with my request as quickly as possible.

    Can anyone tell me what compensation I'm likely to receive and whether there's a time limit for EasyJet to respond? Also if Easyjet pay out compensation do they pay direct into the account you bought the tickets from or send a cheque?

    Many thanks
  • Sorry, forgot to say EasyJet withdrew the offer of the hotel accomodation - no mention of it in the tannoy announcement, just told to make our own way home.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 343.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.2K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards