How to protect your holiday if your flight gets cancelled

We don’t book flights, but we’d be happy to give you a consultation on the best flight connections for your holiday in Italy.

 

Booking your own flights is cheaper and lets you control your holiday arrangements.

What happened if my flight get cancelled?

So you’re about to leave, and then you find out your flight’s been cancelled? Unfortunately, this kind of inconvenience happens more often than you’d think, so it’s good to be prepared.

 

Lots of things can cause a flight to get cancelled. Mishaps like this can be a pain and ruin your plans, but every traveller can exercise their rights and, in some cases, get a refund. European legislation protects each passenger when travelling by plane, setting common rules for assistance and compensation in the event of an unforeseen event like this.

 

This article will tell you what to do and how to behave if your flight is cancelled.

What does “cancelled flight” mean?

A cancelled flight is when a passenger’s specific air route is cancelled.

 

Passengers aren’t entitled to request compensation if the flight is cancelled due to things like bad weather, risks to passenger safety, or political instability in the country of departure or destination.

 

Because of these special circumstances, the airline can’t be blamed for the damage, so it doesn’t have to pay its passengers back.

What are my rights as a passenger?

If your flight gets cancelled, you can either get a refund for your ticket or get rerouted to another flight. Basically, you have the right to get on the next available flight or one later that works for you.

 

Pursuant to art. 7 of the Community Regulation n. 261 of 2004, entitled “Right to financial compensation”, each passenger has the right to receive compensation equal to:

 

€ 250 for all flights of less than or equal to 1500 km

 

€ 400 for inter-Community flights exceeding 1500 km, and for all other routes between 1500 and 3500 km

 

€ 600 for air routes of more than 3,500 km outside the European Union

 

It’s also worth noting that you only get half the amount if you’re offered an alternative flight that arrives no more than:

 

2 hours after the original arrival time for flights equal to or less than 1,500km,

 

3 hours after the original arrival time for inter-Community flights over 1,500km km, and for all routes between 1,500 and 3,500 km,

 

4 hours after the original arrival time for air routes that do not fall within the previous types listed.

 

It’s important to know that passengers are entitled to assistance if their flight is cancelled.

That includes: food and drink in relation to the waiting time; a decent hotel if you need to stay overnight, getting to and from the airport, and the right to make two phone calls or send emails.

What if I booked through a third party?

If you booked your flight through a travel agency or tour operator, the airline is still responsible if the flight is cancelled, and your rights are still the same.

What do I do when my flight gets cancelled?

If your flight’s been cancelled and you’re at the airport, talk to the airline’s ground staff first. Please go to the airline counter or your plane’s gate, where you will find the staff who can help you.

 

You’re entitled to a seat on the next available flight, food and lodging for the day if the next flight isn’t that day, and you can ask questions – just make sure you’re fully informed.

How do I get a refund?

Once you have established your rights, you can ask for compensation if your flight gets cancelled. First, keep your ticket (or reservation confirmation), boarding pass, and receipts for any extra expenses (like food or taxis) from the inconvenience.

 

Each airline has its own policies for managing complaints and refunds. So, you should contact the airline directly on the website as soon as possible. It usually takes 8 weeks to hear back after filling out an online form.

 

If you haven’t gotten a response in eight weeks or more, you can also go ahead and contact the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) body.

 

If your claim is rejected, you can take your airline to a small claims court.

When can I get a refund?

Regulation 261/2004/EC protects passengers’ rights, but there are lots of factors that determine if you can get compensated for a cancelled flight.

 

You’re entitled to compensation under European air passenger rights law in the following cancellation cases, as illustrated by the table.

 

Pre-departure communicationReplacement flightRight to compensation?
More than two weeks before departurearrival times are irrelevant
7 -14 days before Departs maximum 2 hours before and/or arrives maximum 4 hours later
7 -14 days beforeDeparts more than 2 hours before and/or arrives more than 4 hours later
Less than 7 days before Departs maximum 1 hour before and/or arrives maximum 2 hours later
Less than 7 days beforeDeparts more than 1 hour before and/or arrives more than 2 hours later
Less than 14 days beforeNo replacement flight is offered

How soon can I request a refund?

For most European countries, you have 2 years from the date of the cancelled flight to make a claim.

What’s travel cancellation insurance and how does it work?

There’s this thing called travel cancellation insurance. This policy comes in handy when something beyond our control happens, and we can’t take the trip on the planned dates and terms.

 

The best time to use travel cancellation insurance is when your flight gets cancelled. The plane’s cancelled–there’s nothing we can do about it. So, we’re asking the insurance companies for a refund. Something beyond our control, like a sudden illness or serious injury, could also make us cancel our trip.

 

If you’re unsure, just read the Travel Cancellation Insurance Agreement. This document has everything you need about travel cancellation insurance, and it’s a great reference if you have any questions.

 

If something comes up and you can’t take our trip, you can request a refund from the company we booked with.

There’s no one answer to the question of when to buy trip cancellation insurance. You have to stipulate this policy before the trip.

 

So, if you’re planning to go to Italy for next summer, and you’ve already bought the tickets and booked the hotel, you just need to get trip cancellation insurance so you’re not stressed. The sooner you sign a contract like this, the better it is. This is a pretty simple and general contract that applies to most companies that offer this kind of service.

Trip cancellation insurance: what’s covered

Most trip cancellation insurances cover expenses incurred from the cancellation, that can’t be recovered otherwise. For example, if you booked a hotel room for 7 nights but then had to cancel the trip, the insurance could cover that expense if the hotel refused to reimburse you because of the inconvenience that occurred.

 

The reimbursement could be for the full amount or just a part of what you paid. It all depends on the policy and what the contract says. Always pay close attention to the deductibles when it comes to travel cancellation insurance.

 

This is the part of the refund that the insurance company withholds and doesn’t give to the customer. The minimum repayment amount is usually given in your country’s currency, and the contract also specifies the percentage of the total amount you need to pay back (but only if this amount is more than the deductible).

 

It’s clear what trip cancellation insurance is for and what it covers, but it’s still tough to understand the elements that insurance companies include in their contracts.

 

So it’s important to carefully choose your insurance.

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