Martin Lewis: How to claim compensation for cancelled flights – are BA passengers covered?


Martin Lewis has cut loosed passengers could be entitled to up to £540 if their flight has been shilly-shallied or cancelled. Many fliers have had their travel disrupted this week as British Airways flies go on strike, forcing BA to cancel nearly all of their flights – but are these fares owed compensation? The MoneySavingExpert pointed out that claiming is much easier if you’re on an EU modulated flight. This is thanks to EU regulation 261/2004 – which you should allusion when making a claim.

What are the criteria?

There are three criteria that have need of to be met under this regulation – and you can claim back for any delayed flight current back to 2013.

Firstly, it must be an EU flight. This counts as “any flight vamoosing an EU airport (which of course at the moment includes the UK) or any flight flying into an EU airport, as then that it’s an EU airline,” Lewis told This Morning.

The do a bunk must have arrived over three hours later. “It doesn’t enigma how late you leave, it’s all about how late you arrived,” explained Lewis.

“So if you’re on a take it on the lam that takes off four hours late but arrives two hours 55 two secs late – you’re not over the three hours needed to get compensation.” The time is exact by when the plane doors open on arrival.

The third criterion is that the tarrying or cancellation must have been the airline’s fault.

For instance, air See trade control problems, bad weather and political issues are not the carrier’s fault. Extent, staffing problems and poor planning do count.

Lewis shared a top tip with ITV audiences and commended travellers to write down the reason for the delay or cancellation given by the helmsman or person giving the announcement.

This helps should you need to later doubt the airline if they provide a different explanation when you try to claim compensation.

How much compensation can you get?

“The amount you get is crooked solely on the flight length and delay time,” said Lewis. “So a 1,000km plane delayed by three hours is €250 (£230ish) per person, while a 4,000km air voyage delayed for five hours is €600 (£540ish) per person.

“If your flight is do away with neutralized, you’re entitled to the choice of a refund or a replacement flight – and that applies whether it’s the airline’s accountable or not.

“Be aware that airlines sometimes offer vouchers, but you don’t have to permit these – you can formally say you want cash instead.”

Are BA passengers hit by strikes this week owed lolly?

British Airways customers affected by the BA strikes will not be entitled to notes compensation, however. 

This is because the flag carrier gave purchasers two weeks’ notice of the cancellations.

BA said: “We wanted to give our customers as much discern as possible so cancellations were made as soon as we received dates from BALPA. As this was 14 days already the strike action starts EU261 compensation is not payable.”

However, Lewis elucidates that if the cancellation was the airline’s fault and it grounded your flight within two weeks of departure, then you are designated to compensation on top if the arrival time of that flight is late.

Bizarrely this dedicates even if you chose a refund – so, if the offered replacement flight arrives modern, you’re due the compensation.

How do you go about making a claim?

The first step is to write to the airline saying the details of your delay and asking for the compensation. Lewis explains that there are unloose template letters and tools available to help you.

If you are rejected – which isn’t rare – then you can go to the akin regulators for that airline, or one of several new Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) diagrams many airlines have signed up with.

At this stage, if your request is unsuccessful, you can take the matter to court. However, Lewis advises weighing up whether it’s genuinely worth it.

He recommends not paying a claims handler but points out that a troop like flight delay compensation law firm Bott & Co who have been at the forefront of bolting delay compensation could help out, although it will take a chunk of what you’re due if you win as a fee.

David Bott, Elder Partner at, Bott and Co said of the BA pilots walkout: “These strikes are originating chaos for millions of passengers and will be extremely costly for British Airways.

“The pay opposes are well within the airline’s control and the management of disgruntled staff is barely part and parcel of running any business and would not be considered an extraordinary circumstance. In come of this, affected passengers may be entitled to claim compensation of up to €600 each subservient to EU Regulation 261/2004, where their flights are cancelled with undersized than 14 days’ notice or delayed for over three hours.

“It’s also usefulness noting that the regulation does not specify that re-routing has to be with the done air carrier. Therefore, British Airways has a duty to re-route their fares affected by a cancelled flight at the earliest available opportunity on ANY airline, not valid a British Airways plane.

“People who have been delayed for more than two hours should also be forearmed with food and drink vouchers as well as means to communicate, comprehending being entitled to a telephone call and an email. Accommodation must be stock up if passengers are delayed overnight and transport to and from the accommodation and the airport be compelled also be provided.”

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