What are my rights if my flights are cancelled?

If you are a regular user of air travel then you are well accustomed to flight delays & cancellations.


 How will I be informed if my flights are affected?

If your flight is delayed your airline provider will generally contact you with flight information by email or text message.

They will also look to convey information on their website as soon as possible.

Visit your airlines homepage (e.g. aerlingus.com or ryanair.com).

What rights do I have if my flight is cancelled?

If for any reason your flight is cancelled, irrelevant of whether they inform you, they are obliged to offer you the following options:

  1. A refund.
  2. Re-route your journey in the near future.
  3. Immediate re-route of journey at earliest convenience.

Is it possible to apply for a re-routing or alternatively, a refund?

In the event of a cancellation or delay, airlines are obliged to inform passengers of their options. If this unfolds at the airport, staff will typically be on hand to talk you through the various scenarios.

Otherwise, the quickest option is to check your carrier’s website. It should include the steps to process your own refunds or bookings.

What rights do I have to general care and assistance?

In plain English: you can avail of all free stuff you possibly want from hotel breaks to transfers. If your airline fails to offer any of the following, keep the proof of purchase- you have a right to be reimbursed for a reasonable amount.

Be wary, however, your airline are highly unlikely to cover a night in a 5 star hotel for you.

Is compensation a possibility?

Yes it is but it depends on a number of factors ranging from length of your flight to reasons for cancellation.

Financial compensation can vary depending on the flight length and the reason for the cancellation. Compensation can vary from €250 (flights below 1500 km) to €600 (flights over 3500 km).

How do I request compensation?

You will never come to a resolution regarding a claim at the airport. If you are under the impression you merit compensation, you can get in contact with your airline provider. If you wish to take your claim further, the Commission for Aviation Regulation will deal with any queries you may have.

What if the situation arises that my flight is delayed?

Delays can often prove somewhat of a grey area, if the situation arises

If your flight is delayed by more than five hours, and you choose not to travel, then you are entitled to a full refund. If you accept this refund, the airline is no longer obliged to provide onward travel or assistance.

If your flight is delayed by at least two hours (short-haul), three hours (European) or four hours (long haul), you are entitled to care and assistance as outlined above.

If you arrive at your destination more than three hours after the scheduled arrival time, you may be entitled to between €250 and €600 compensation, depending on the flight distance.

How can my travel insurance cover me?

In the event of a flight cancellation, the first source of refunds and re-routing should be with your airline (see above).

Standard travel insurance policies are not inclined to obliged much help here, but ‘missed departure’ cover can help you secure a new flight, or an additional night’s accommodation.

If your policy includes extra “travel disruption” cover, you should be covered for additional transport or accommodation costs up to €1000 pp, according to Ciaran Mulligan, Managing Director of Blue Insurance and Multitrip.com.

This covers “99%” of scenarios with flight cancellations due to weather, strikes and so on, Mulligan says, but note that it covers transport and accommodation-related expenses only – i.e. not lost annual leave, business opportunities or deposits, concert tickets or museum or attraction fees booked in advance online.

I’m nervous about travel. Can I get a refund?

Highly unlikely. If you cancel your holiday without the DFA declaring travel to be unsafe, it could be deemed “disinclination to travel”.

As such, you may have to pay a cancellation fee or forfeit some or all of the cost of your air fare or holiday package.

That said, it’s worth noting that Irish tour operators have in the past worked to facilitate customers affected by exceptional events, so it’s always worth a phone call.

See our blog “How to: Manage my Booking” if you are affected by a missed/delayed flight in which affects your travel time with Citylink.

COVID-10 Update / Consumers’ rights

Consumers are being advised that travel plans disrupted by the spread of the COVID-19 virus may not result in compensation.

When a flight is cancelled, you should receive information from the airline telling you that you have a choice between rerouting to your final destination or a refund for the part, or parts, of the journey cancelled or not completed due to the cancellation