What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Queues at Gatwick South Terminal at 10:39hrs on Wednesday. More than 150 UK f

Flights have been cancelled and heavy queues have filled airports across the country - Credit: PA

As holidaymakers face more disruption at airports across the country, many people have been left wondering what their rights are.

On Wednesday (June 1), more than 150 UK flights were cancelled and passengers who could travel were forced to wait in long queues at airports.

Airline passengers have been hit by disruption for several months, with the situation worsening this week due to the rise in demand sparked by the half-term school holiday and the four-day jubilee weekend.

Passengers queue for flights at Heathrow Airport. Would-be travellers have labelled queues at Heathr

Many people have experienced travel disruption ahead of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend - Credit: PA

The aviation industry is suffering from staff shortages after letting thousands of people go during the coronavirus pandemic.

Conor Campbell, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, shared his advice on what rights travellers have under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

What are my options if my flight is cancelled?

If your flight is cancelled, your airline will allow you to choose between either receiving a full refund or boarding an alternative flight. 

Will I get my money back?

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You will be refunded for any part of the ticket you haven't used.

This means that if you booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket refunded.

What if I can't get another flight until the next day?

The airline must find an alternative method of transport and provide assistance until the traveller can reach their destination.

A reasonable amount of food and drink should also be offered as well as free accommodation and free travel to and from your accommodation.

Can I claim compensation if my flight is cancelled?

You may be able to claim compensation based on the timings of the alternative flight you're offered and also how far you were travelling.

Compensation may be available if you receive less than 14 days' notice of cancellation.

How can I protect my money if booking a holiday?

One of the best ways a customer can protect their money is through a credit card and by taking out insurance.

If an airline wrongfully denies you a refund, you can initiate a chargeback through your credit card company.

This is often referred to as Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI).

While the level of this protection varies, often providers can offer to cover up to £2,500 for loss on air tickets and the extra cost of replacing flights.

It can also cover other additional purchases such as a villa deposit, which you may lose if you can’t travel because of the airline’s failure.

What airports have been affected?

Today (June 1), EasyJet cancelled at least 31 flights at Gatwick, including to destinations such as Bologna, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Prague, Czech Republic; Krakow, Poland; and Edinburgh, Scotland.

British Airways axed 124 short-haul flights at Heathrow, but the airline says passengers were given advance notice.

Tui Airways is continuing to cancel six daily flights a day at Manchester Airport.

What if I have travel insurance?

Travel insurance can give travellers peace of mind.

If you booked your flight as part of a package, then your tour operator should offer compensation or an alternative booking for both your hotel and flights.

If you haven't taken out a package deal with an airline, insurance can cover every leg of the journey, from the flight to your accommodation and any pre-planned trips you’ve paid for.