Compensation for flight delays and cancellations could be slashed – your rights explained

MAJOR proposed changes to flight compensation rules would slash payouts by £163 per passenger, according to new research.

The shake-up, which is still being consulted on, would see consumers get less money if their journey is delayed.

Consumer rights group Which? has warned that the new regulations would see the average traveller get just £57 in compensation.

That's compared to previous levels of £220 for a three-hour delay to a domestic flight.

The government is considering basing compensation on ticket price and the length of the hold-up.

Which? analysis of Skyscanner figures showed how much airlines would have to pay out for long delays on some of the most popular UK routes under the new system.


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The calculations assume the planes have a full capacity of 180 passengers and everyone was compensated.

For a flight between Edinburgh to London, an average economy ticket is £44.

Currently, an airline would potentially have to pay out up to £39,600 for delays of three hours or more -giving everyone £220 each.

But under the government’s proposed scheme the maximum pay out is reduced to just £7,920, or just £44 per person.

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It costs around £55 to fly between Gatwick and Belfast, and an airline would also have to pay out a maximum of £39,000 for a three hour delay.

The new rules would see the refund drop to just £9,900 – £55 per person.

The government will consult on the proposals until March 27.

What are my flight compensation rights?

You’re entitled to get compensation if the flight arrives more than 3 hours late and it's the airline’s fault, according to Citizen's Advice.

For example, if they didn’t get enough bookings or there was a technical fault it would be the airline's fault.

But if it's out of the company's control, like bad weather or a security risk, you're unlikely to get a payout.

You have to claim from the airline to get compensation.

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Search their website or call their customer services department to find out how to make a claim.

If your flight is cancelled rather than delayed, you should be able to get a full refund or a replacement service to your destination.

You could boost your finances by claiming back thousands of pounds in refunds.

British Airways has changed its Covid voucher policy, and you could get a cash refund.

The airline was forced to refund passengers after cancelling all short-haul flights from Heathrow last month.

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