Airline Strikes: What to Do When Your Flight Is Cancelled
You’ve booked your flights, your hotel and your car hire, and you’re looking forward to a well-earned break. What could possibly go wrong? Well, plenty actually. Strikes by airline staff are one of those unknown variables that can really disrupt your travel plans, but passenger protection has really improved in recent years, so you won’t be left stranded on the tarmac.
If you believe your flight may be delayed or cancelled due to an airline strike, as well as checking the airline’s website, you should also follow them on Twitter. There are huge disparities in how different airlines and airports use social media, but some are excellent at keeping passengers up to date on flight statuses. Many will respond to queries very swiftly, and some will even rebook you via a tweet.
Online Crystal Balls
It’s not quite psychic, but FlightCaster.com does have a nifty algorithm to predict flight delays with impressive accuracy. Type in your flight details six hours in advance of your flight. TripIt.com is also a great resource. Although the free version has value, the paid version is worth the subscription for anybody who flies regularly. It provides updates on flight developments such as delays, gate changes, and cancellations.
European Union Protection for Cancelled Flights
According to EU regulations, if a flight is cancelled, passengers are entitled to have the full cost of their tickets repaid or to rebook for an alternative date – either as soon as possible after the original booking or a later date. Depending on when you were notified about the cancellation, you may be entitled to compensation as well.
If you receive less than 7 days notice of the cancellation, and you choose to be re-routed as soon as possible, then your airline should provide meals and refreshments, depending on the waiting time, and if the flight is to be re-routed the following day or the day after, you should receive hotel accommodation, with transport provided between the hotel and the airport.
If you were notified about the cancellation between a week and two weeks in advance, and you choose to be re-routed as soon as possible, you are not entitled to compensation if the new flight leaves two hours or less before the original departure time and arrives no later than four hours after the original arrival time. If you receive more than two weeks notice, you are not entitled to compensation either.
In the United States, however, cancelled flights are dealt with somewhat differently. If your flight is cancelled, the majority of airlines will rebook you on the next available flight to that destination, at no extra cost. If you find a flight with an alternative carrier, however, ask the first airline to endorse your ticket to the other airline. Although this could save you a fare increase, airlines are not legally required to do so.
Every airline has its own approach to dealing with delayed passengers, so you will need to check your carrier’s guidelines. There are no federal rules governing airline policies on flight delays. If your flight is delayed or canceled, you can ask the airline to pay for refreshments or a phone call, but there is no legal obligation for them to do so.
Cancelled Flights and Car Hire
Whichever airline you are flying with and wherever you are flying to, make sure to refer to your Nova Car Hire reservation confirmation document as soon as you know your flight will be cancelled. The document includes the telephone numbers of the car rental company, which you will need to contact immediately. If you are going to be delayed picking up your vehicle, you must contact the car hire company directly and inform them of your new arrival time. If you need to make a new booking for a later date, contact us and we will arrange the new car rental for you.