Saturday 24 February 2018

Smart consumer: What will happen my hotel booking if my flights are cancelled?

Snow ploughs at work clearing the runways at Dublin Airport. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Snow ploughs at work clearing the runways at Dublin Airport. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Mairead contacted Smart Consumer for advice on cancelled flights during the snowy weather.

Having seen the TV footage of weary travellers sleeping at airports due to airport closures around Europe in the run up to Christmas, she is worried about her plan to fly from Dublin to Madrid on January 2.

She writes: "I have no idea whether snow will affect air travel then, but if it does what are my rights? I have booked directly with the airline, and also have a lovely hotel booked for four nights.

"If I can't make it, will I lose the money I have paid for the hotel."


Once again weather has been playing havoc with travel plans, but rest assured that if your flight is cancelled you have rights under European law.

If your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund or you can choose to travel on the next available flight or change your flights to a later day if that suits better.

Check your airline's website for details as all include clear information on how to go about doing this if they gave to cancel flights.

By the way, if your flight was cancelled in the last bout of snow, and you had to stay overnight somewhere while waiting for the next flight, be aware that the airline is obliged to accommodate and feed you in that instance.

If they did not, and you have receipts, then submit them to the airline for reimbursement.

In Mairead's case, even if her flight is cancelled she won't lose her money, but the situation is less straightforward with her hotel booking.

If she doesn't turn up at the hotel, through no fault of her own, then she is not entitled to a refund.

Check the terms and conditions of the hotel booking now to see what their cancellation policy is and under what circumstances refunds or a partial refund can be offered.

Finally, check the terms of your travel insurance policy too, as they may offer some compensation in the event of cancellations.

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