Your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled
We explain your rights under the Civil Aviation Act.
Our advisors have been getting a lot of complaints recently about delayed and cancelled flights. Some people have also been bumped from overbooked flights.
Here’s what you need to know.
If your domestic flight is delayed or cancelled due to reasons within the airline’s control
The Civil Aviation Act (CAA) says you’re entitled to compensation of up to 10 times the cost of the ticket, or the actual cost of delay, whichever is lower. This includes:
staffing shortages due to sickness;
This means you’re entitled to a refund of the cost of your flight. You don’t have to accept a credit. In addition, the airline is required to compensate you for any extra expenses – such as transport, food and accommodation – up to 10 times the cost of the ticket.
If the airline says the disruption was out of its control, it needs to prove it. And if the airline doesn’t pay, you can enforce your rights at the Disputes Tribunal.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to reasons outside the airline’s control
If an airline cancels or delays a flight for reasons outside its control, such as bad weather or a Covid lockdown, it’s a different story. The CAA doesn’t require the airline to provide compensation in these circumstances and you’ll only be entitled to a refund if you purchased a refundable ticket. However, the airline should either rebook you on another flight or give you a credit.
There are different rules for international flights and your rights differ depending on where you are, where you’re heading and where the airline is based.