Which? advises on travel rights for journeys disrupted by snow

Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert said:

“If your journey has been cancelled or disrupted due to today’s bad weather, the company you’re travelling with still has a duty of care towards you and should give you clear information about your rights.

“Whether you are entitled to assistance, money back or compensation will depend on your mode of transport and the severity of the delay, so it is always useful to do some research so you are armed with as much information as possible before making your case.”

Notes to editors: 

Train issues due to bad weather:

  • If you experience train delays or cancellations today due to bad weather you can make a claim, but this will depend on the length of the delay and the train company’s money back/ Delay Repay scheme.

  • If your train company offers Delay Repay, as most now do, you can make a claim for a delayed or cancelled train regardless of the reason for the delay. Some train companies will pay a full or partial refund if the delay was 15 minutes or more, for others the delay must have been 30 minutes or more.

  • Unfortunately you can’t make a claim with train companies that don’t offer Delay Repay, as snow is considered outside of the train company’s control.

  • If you can’t make a Delay Repay claim it might be worth complaining anyway as sometimes a train company will compensate you –  even if their Passenger’s Charter says they wouldn’t in that situation – so it’s always worth trying.

  • Which? advice on your train rights and how to claim compensation here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/can-i-get-compensation-for-train-delays-and-cancellations

Plane issues due to bad weather:

  • Unfortunately because bad weather is out of the airline’s control, if your airline tells you this is why your flight is late or delayed it usually means you can’t claim additional compensation.

  • We would therefore urge you not to cancel your flight if it looks like it will be significantly delayed as you will not be able to get your money back.

  • However, you still have the rights to assistance which are explained below under the Denied Boarding Regulations (EU 261).

  • Also it’s worth challenging your airline if you don’t agree that there were extraordinary circumstances, for example if you’re told you can’t fly due to bad weather but other flights are departing it’s worth making a claim to your airline.

 Your rights no matter the reason

  • Your airline should always let you know if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

If your flight is delayed for at least two hours, no matter the reason for the delay, under the Denied Boarding Regulations (EU 261) airline passengers are entitled to:

  • two free phone calls, faxes or emails

  • free meals and refreshments appropriate to the length of the delay

  • free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required

  • If a flight is cancelled or delayed by more than five hours and you decide not to travel, you should also be offered an alternative flight or a full refund.

  • Full Which? Advice and guides on how to claim here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/i-had-a-flight-delay-can-i-get-compensation