UK flight cancellations

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UK flight cancellations: Advice for travellers on how to get a refund or rebook your flight

The government has said a cyber attack was not to blame for yesterday’s air traffic control systems failure.

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The breakdown has left aircraft and flight crew out of position for today’s schedule. 

EasyJet has grounded more than 80 flights today, many from Gatwick Airport. While British Airways has axed more than 60 flights – mostly short-haul departures from Heathrow.

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What caused the UK flight delays and cancellations?

“We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible. Our engineers will be carefully monitoring the system’s performance as we return to normal operations.”

They apologised for the disruption and advised passengers to contact airlines for information on their flights.

How are passengers being affected?

Another user posted from Pisa airport in Italy, saying their estimated departure time was 3.30am, a delay of 11 hours.

Should you still go to the airport?

Before leaving for the airport, check your airline’s app, website and social media channels for the latest advice.

You should also check the airport’s website departures or arrivals board for information.

Edinburgh airport, in Scotland, has advised passengers “not to come to the airport before checking with their airline on the status of their flight.”

As a passenger, you have legal rights. The following advice applies to flights:

  • departing from an airport in the UK on any airline

  • arriving at an airport in the UK on an EU or UK airline

  • arriving at an airport in the EU on a UK airline

  • A reasonable amount of food and drink (often provided in the form of vouchers)
  • A means for you to communicate (often by refunding the cost of your calls)
  • Transport to and from the accommodation (or your home, if you are able to return there)

The CAA explains that, “The airline must provide you with these items until it is able to fly you to your destination, no matter how long the delay lasts or what has caused it.”

If your flight is cancelled

If your flight is cancelled, you have the right to choose between a refund or a new flight. You will usually be asked which option you want to go for when the airline contacts you to say the flight is cancelled.

While you wait for your flight, for instance if you decide to wait at the airport for the next available flight, the airline must provide:

  • A reasonable amount of food and drink (often provided in the form of vouchers)
  • A means for you to communicate (often by refunding the cost of your calls)
  • Accommodation, if you are re-routed the next day (usually in a nearby hotel)
  • Transport to and from the accommodation (or your home, if you are able to return there)

The airline must provide you with these items until it is able to fly you to your destination, no matter how long the delay lasts or what has caused it.

For further details on compensation and passenger rights, check the CAA website.

Is it still safe to fly?

Travel expert Simon Calder told Sky News that the shutdown would not cause safety issues because the system was “designed to cope” with a shutdown and aircraft carried contingency fuel.

But he added: “This is of course one of the busiest days of the year. There are hundreds of thousands of people flying into the UK, frankly this is the last thing anyone needs.

“It will at the very least have caused enough disruption for the system to be in disarray for certainly until the end of the day and possibly for a few further days ahead.”

The travel expert said air traffic controllers at Heathrow – the UK’s busiest airport – be forced to reduce the frequency at which flights are able to land.

He explained: “Normally you have flights landing typically every 90 seconds or so. They can switch away from the digital system and become much more analogue, bringing the aircraft in more manually. However, you are not going to be able to do it at the same rate.

“For Heathrow and Gatwick in particular there is so little slack in the system that it can cause problems. I

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One Comment:

  1. Selam haware you my frend

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