Travel disruption: your rights to a refund

Since the global pandemic, UK strike actions and other political events, travel for many of us has been disrupted.

While travel disruption is frustrating, it can also be incredibly costly.

Whether you had a flight cancelled while you were already at the airport, or missed an appointment due to train shortages, you need to know your rights and how to claim some or all of the money back.

Flights: can I get a refund?

You may be entitled to a refund or seats on an alternative flight if your flight is covered under UK law.

Usually, the airline will be obliged to offer you either a refund or passage on a different flight, even if the cancellation was a while in advance.

If the cancellation was within two weeks of the flight, you could be entitled to further compensation.

And if you’re already at the airport when the flight is cancelled, the airline must also provide suitable accommodation, food and drink.

If you can’t reach a representative of your airline, make any reasonable purchases and keep all receipts to claim back from them at a later date.

However, if your flight isn’t covered by UK law – from outside the EU for example – then you should refer to the refund policy in the airline’s terms and conditions.

Trains: what am I entitled to?

If any train journey you have paid for is cancelled, you should usually be able to get a full refund from the provider.

However, when it comes to train delays, it’s less black and white, with the amount of money you get back depending on timings.

If you arrive at your destination over 30 minutes (15 minutes for some providers) later than stated, you should be entitled to a partial refund.

As with many airlines, you may need to refer to the specific terms and conditions of train operators to get a clearer picture of your entitlement.

Try to notify them of your request for full or partial refund as soon as you can, or at least within 28 days to strengthen your claim.

And of course, always hold on to any tickets and other proof of purchase to make it easier to establish the facts.

Travel costs squeezing your budget?

Whether it’s a return ticket to London or flights for a family of four, travel isn’t cheap – especially if your journey doesn’t even happen.

If you’re pursuing compensation or reimbursement, we know how being out of pocket could impact your household budget.

If you need help or support on budgeting read our guide for further information.

Don’t have an account with us and are looking for debt advice?

Angel Advance provides online debt advice to get you back on track and make your finances more manageable.

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