Heathrow Airport Strike: Expert Shares 5 Things You Can Do if Your Flight is Delayed or Cancelled

Flight delays and cancellations are a major source of frustration when travelling, especially during peak travel seasons like Bank Holidays. With a 72-hour strike also planned from the United Union working for AFS Aviation from the 4th of May at Heathrow, Brits should expect longer waits than usual when travelling.

With this in mind, the travel experts at PayingTooMuch have advised what UK travellers should do if their flights are delayed or cancelled during the May Bank Holidays.

5 things you should do if your flight is cancelled or delayed:

1. Contact your airline straight away

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you should contact your airline straight away to get up to speed on the reason for the delay or cancellation. 

Make sure you keep an eye on the time of your delay as any delays over three hours mean you may be able to seek compensation for the inconvenience. 

2. Know your rights 

Knowing your rights in the event of a delay or cancellation is important.

For delays, your airline should provide you with food and drink while you wait if it’s the right time of day. For overnight delays, you should be given accommodation as well as transport to the accommodation.  If your flight is cancelled, your airline must offer you an alternative flight or a refund. 

The airline could ask you to make your own travel arrangements, and then claim for a refund later. You must keep evidence of your onward travel arrangements so you can claim back for them later. 

3. Keep records

Keep all records of your travel documents, including your ticket, boarding pass, and any communication with the airline. These may be needed when you decide to file a compensation claim or for documentation purposes.

4. Claim compensation

When preparing to claim compensation for flight cancellations or delays, it’s important to determine the extent of the issue and if it is the airline’s fault.

Factors like weather or air traffic problems are out of their control but airlines would still be obligated to cover customers food and potential accommodation, according to the Civil Aviation Authority

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled and the fault lies with the airline, it is important to initiate the process as soon as possible by submitting a claim via their website. Provide all necessary information and documentation to support your claim and increase your chances of a favourable outcome. Note that cancellations with over two weeks’ notice may not qualify for compensation.

5. Consider travel insurance 

A failsafe way of protecting yourself financially is to take out travel insurance. Check your policy details to see if you’re covered for delayed or cancelled flights. 

Taking out insurance means that you can claim money back even if the flight being delayed isn’t the airline’s fault. If you have cancellation coverage as part of your policy, you’ll be covered with a full refund for flights and your accommodation. 

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.