Which? response to drone disruption at Gatwick Airport

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:
“This situation will understandably be frustrating for both the airlines and the tens of thousands of passengers travelling to and from Gatwick ahead of Christmas.

“Whilst these extraordinary circumstances unfortunately mean you are not entitled to compensation, you may still be entitled to meals, refreshments, hotel accommodation or transfers. You don’t have to cancel your tickets though, as depending on the length of the delay, your airline should be providing you with alternative travel options or accommodation.”

Notes to editors:
  • Compensation for delayed or cancelled flights is dependant on the reason for the delay and the length of notice passengers are given:
    • If the airline can prove the delay was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’, no compensation is payable.
    • Extraordinary circumstances are situations beyond the control of the airline, for example, security risk, political instability or severe weather that makes flying dangerous.
    • Although you are not entitled to financial compensation for flight delays in these circumstances, you are entitled to the meals, refreshments, accommodation and hotel transfers depending on the length of your flight and delay.
  • If your flight’s delayed for at least two hours (depending on the length of the flight) your airline has to give you:
    • two free phone calls, faxes or emails
    • free meals and refreshments appropriate to the delay
    • free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required.
  • If your flight’s delayed for more than five hours you’re entitled to choose between being rerouted on a different flight or getting a refund, just as if your flight had been cancelled.
  • For more advice on your rights following a delayed or cancelled flight, visit: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/i-had-a-flight-delay-can-i-get-compensation#your-entitlement-for-flight-delays