With two storms, Isha and Jocelyn, sweeping over the country in recent days, almost 200 flights were cancelled at Dublin airport. It was much the same at other Irish airports and across Northern Europe too, with dozens of flights cancelled due to heavy rain and gale-force winds.

Whatever the reason behind the cancellation of your flight, you are always entitled to choose between an alternative flight or a full refund on your ticket. However, you are unlikely to be able to claim compensation.

What happens if your flight gets cancelled?

Under Regulation (EC) 261/2004, airlines must offer you a refund or a re-routing on the next available flight, or at a later time of your choosing.

If you select a refund the airline should process the refund within seven days of the cancellation of your flight. The refund must include the cost of your ticket and a return flight to the airport of departure if you have a connecting flight.

If you ask for the next available flight, the airline must provide care and assistance as long as you are waiting. If you are re-routed to a different airport in the same city, the airline must pay for your transport to the original airport.

What is ‘care and assistance’?

If you are waiting for the next available flight, the airline has to ensure you have meals and refreshments. You are also entitled to overnight accommodation if you are to be re-routed the day after your planned flight, the airline must cover the cost of transport to and from the hotel to the airport.

How do I make a claim to the airline?

Send copies of all receipts to the airline, including the booking references, passenger details and the original and new flight information.
You can use our Flight cancellation template letter to help you make a claim.

Am I entitled to compensation?

In short no you are not. Airlines are not required to compensate passengers for cancellations or disruption in circumstances beyond their control; severe adverse weather conditions are outside their control.

My flight was cancelled and I booked it through a travel agent or booking website what are my options?

You should be offered the same options of

  • a full ticket refund or
  • re-routing to your final destination

If you choose a refund, you will have two options:

  • ask the airline to refund your ticket
  • ask the intermediary party to refund your ticket

Airlines are responsible for refunding your ticket, even if you have booked using an intermediary service. Airlines are required to reimburse you within 7 days of the cancellation of your flight. There is no such time limit for intermediary parties. It is therefore often fastest to ask for your money back with the airline.