Flight compensation: can I get a refund if my journey is delayed or cancelled?

Holidaymakers have faced a summer of disruption, with strikes, staff shortages and other issues causing delays and cancellations to flights.

Sunshine
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But if your flight has been delayed or cancelled, what are your rights - and how can you ask for a refund from the operator?

Here is everything you need to know.

What are my rights for a delayed flight?

If your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to help from your airline.

The length of the flight you’re meant to be on determines how long the delay has to be before you receive assistance:

* Less than 1,500km - a delay of 2 hours or over requires compensation

* Between 1,500km and 3,500km - a delay of 3 hours

* More than 3,500km - a delay of 4 hours

According to Citizens Advice, if you hit the length of delay for the type of flight you’re on, you should get:

* food and drink

* access to phone calls and emails

* accommodation if you’re delayed overnight - and transfers between the airport and the hotel you’re put up in

The airline will deal with you directly at the airport and may give you vouchers to get some of these things for yourself.

If they don’t give you any of the required help, Citizens Advice says you should keep hold of any receipts to claim at a later date any expenses you incurred.

These expenses are only likely to be fully compensated if they are deemed to be reasonable, so you’re unlikely to receive money back for a luxury hotel.

If the flight arrives more than three hours late and it was the airline’s fault - for example, a technical fault, or they overbooked the flight - you could get compensation under EU regulation 261.

This law, which was copied into UK laws post-Brexit, sets out specific levels of compensation, again depending on how long your flight is.

* A 3 hour-plus delay for a flight going less than 1,500km - £220

* A delay of more than 3 hours for a flight between 1,500km and 3,500km - £350

* 4 hours or more for a trip of more than 3,500km - £520

* You have to contact the airline to claim this compensation (more on this below).

Bear in mind that if the delay was as a result of something outside of the airline’s control - e.g. bad weather - they don’t have to compensate you.

A delay of five hours or more means the airline legally has to give you:

* a full refund for the flight

* a full refund for other flights from the airline that you won’t use in the same booking, eg a connecting flight or a return flight

* if you’re part-way through a journey, a flight back to the airport you originally departed from

Here are the numbers and links for how to get in touch with the UK’s biggest airlines:

British Airways: 0344 493 0787 or visit the ‘manage my booking’ section of the BA websiteEasyJet: 0330 551 5151 or visit the EasyJet Disruption Help HubRyanair: you have to log into your ticket portal to get a number or visit the Submit a Claim section of the Ryanair websiteTUI: 0203 451 2688 or visit TUI’s dedicated webpageJet2: 0333 300 0042 or visit the Jet2 compensation pageYou can also contact contact Citizens Advice’s consumer helpline on: 0808 223 1133