Flight cancellations:  Travel insurance claim or airline compensation

Added 08/09/2023

flight delays and cancellationsThere can be many reasons for the cancellation of a flight or holiday, so how do you know whether you should claim a refund from your travel provider, or make a claim on your travel insurance?

The answer depends on who instigates the cancellation.

Your holiday/flight is cancelled by the tour operator or airline

The general rule is that if your travel provider cancels your holiday or flight, it is their responsibility to provide you with a full refund, or an alternative.   They may also be liable to pay you compensation depending on how much notice they gave you and the length of your flight.

Visit the CAA website for information on whether you are entitled to compensation from your airline

Booking a package holiday is the best way maximise your rights if your holiday is cancelled. Package holiday providers must abide by the package travel regulations, which means they have a duty to provide the holiday that you booked.  If they are unable to do so, for instance because of a flight cancellation, they are required by law to provide you with a full refund or an alternative trip.

Although when you book elements of your holiday separately, each provider may be liable to give you a refund if they cancel, they are not obligated to provide a refund if another part of the holiday is cancelled by a separate provider. For instance, if your flights are cancelled, your hotel is not required to give you a refund, even if you can’t get there.

What happens if you need to cancel your holiday?

If it is you instigating the cancellation, rather than your travel provider, for example if you are unable to travel due to illness, you may be able to make a claim on your travel insurance.

You can make a claim on your travel insurance to recoup the cost of your holiday if you need to cancel for a number of reasons, such as:
  • Illness or injury. If you, a travelling companion, close relative or business associate in your home country, or the person that you are due to stay with is ill, injured or die before the trip starts.
  • Redundancy. If you or a travel companion are made redundant before the trip starts.
  • Your home becomes uninhabitable. If your home becomes uninhabitable following fire, storm or flood, or your presence is required following a burglary.
  • Requirements of HM Forces. If your or your travelling companion is unable to travel due to requirements of HM Forces.
  • Court appearance or jury service. You are required for jury service or as a witness in a court of law

Gold, Platinum and Cruise policies from Goodtogoinsurance.com provide cover for cancellation.

Get a quote for travel insurance for your next holiday

If you have a holiday booked, buy travel insurance now to protect the money you have invested.  

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