Across the country, holidaymakers are facing significant disruption to their travel plans as airlines cancel more and more flights, mainly due to their own staff shortages. These flight cancellations have forced a considerable number of customers to have to move, rearrange or cancel their holidays altogether. In some cases, flights have even been cancelled after customers have arrived in resort, causing further confusion and unwanted stress.
Whether you are due to travel shortly, or you – unfortunately – have had a flight cancelled, you undoubtedly have questions and concerns regarding what happens next, as well as your rights in this unfortunate situation. Below are some key pieces of information to help you:
If your outbound flight has been cancelled by your airline…
- Your airline will likely make several options available to you, which may include; switching to another flight or receiving a full refund for your flight.
- If your preference is to receive a refund, we will refund you the entire cost of your flight or the cost of your booking if you don’t travel (less any non-refundable costs, such as travel insurance).
- Regrettably, we are not always being informed when our customers’ flights are cancelled, so we kindly ask that you send us a message via the ‘My Bookings’ section of the website if we haven’t been in touch (and by using ‘Flights – I travel today and my flight has been cancelled’ if you are due to travel very soon).
If your inbound/return flight has been cancelled...
- Your airline will likely make several options available to you, which may include; switching to another suitable flight, receiving a voucher for the cost of your flight booking, or receiving a full refund for your flight.
- In the event that you are unable to find a suitable option, we will assist you and kindly request that you call us as soon as you are able, you will need to enter the 8 digits from your booking reference and your date of departure:
- On the Beach: +44 (0) 333 003 1934
- Sunshine: +44 (0) 371 512 2044
- Upon calling, you will be asked to provide your booking information so that we can locate your details.
- Please be patient as we prioritise those customers who are due to return to the UK soonest.
Why are flights getting cancelled?
There are many things that are contributing to flight cancellations at the moment. The main one, we believe, is staff shortages across the industry. That's with both airlines and airports.
There are factors outside of this but only really the airlines and the airports themselves have that information on flight cancellations.
What is EU261?
An EU regulation to protect passengers against disruption caused by long flight delays or cancellations. The UK government has written EU261 into UK law, so these rules still apply after Brexit.
Under EU261, if your flight is cancelled, you’re entitled to a new flight or refund and possibly compensation (see below).
You may be eligible for compensation under EU261:
- If your flight’s cancelled, depending on when you were informed of the cancellation and the timings of any alternative flight (for example passengers are not entitled to compensation if they have been informed of a cancellation 14 days or more before the planned departure date)
- If your flights delayed over three hours, depending on the circumstances of the delay
The airline must be at fault for passengers to be able to claim compensation. If the airline can prove the delay or cancellation was caused by ‘extraordinary’ circumstances which could not have been avoided, even if they took all reasonable measures (for example bad weather or strike action by air traffic controllers), then the airline is not required to pay compensation.
You can find out more about your rights under EU261 on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website.
How much compensation can I claim?
If you’re eligible for compensation, the amount you are entitled to is fixed by the regulation and will depend on a number of things, including how far you were flying and the difference between when your flight departs/arrives in relation to the scheduled time of your original flight.
You can find out more about the amount of compensation you may be entitled to on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website.
What about costs incurred due to cancellations when I am already away?
Your airline may provide vouchers for you to get food and drink and arrange for accommodation and transportation for you. If they don’t, you should keep all receipts for ‘reasonable’ expenses you have incurred.
We booked to sit together on the flight - will we still be able to?
We understand that sitting together on a flight is important. For this, you can to speak directly with your airline about special requirements to ensure they are still met for your flight.
I have transfers booked, how do I go about rearranging these?
Please call our in-resort line and we will sort this for you. If you are in-resort it is important that you call the right number - +44 (0) 333 003 1934 - and have the 8 digits from your booking reference and your date of departure ready.
How do flight cancellations affect On the Beach?
What are my rights and responsibilities as an air passenger?
You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities as an air passenger by reading theAviation Passenger Charter.
Simon Cooper, CEO of On the Beach says "I suppose the important sort of place to start here is thankfully the vast majority of people are able to get away and enjoy their holidays.
We've helped many tens of thousands of people get away this year already, but flight cancellations, especially those that come late, have a huge ripple effect across the rest of the industry, and they put pressure on the service we're able to offer.
We're seeing huge levels of disruption, often with zero notice to us. And this makes it really difficult to maintain the service level that we aspire to for our customers and that our customers deserve."