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Martin Lewis urges thousands of holidaymakers to check if they’re owed up to £505

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Martin Lewis has explained how to check if you're due flight compensation

Martin Lewis of the MoneySavingExpert website has explained how you could be owed compensation for cancelled flights – but the rules are complicated, as we explain below…

Martin Lewis has explained how to check if you’re due flight compensation

Martin Lewis has urged thousands of holidaymakers to check if they’re owed up to £505 each in compensation for cancelled flights.

The call-out from the MoneySavingExpert founder comes after British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair scrapped hundreds of trips over the last couple of months.

Airlines have blamed high levels of staff absences caused by coronavirus for flights not being able to go ahead.

If you’ve been caught up in the cancellations, then Martin says it is worth checking if you’re due money back.

To be eligible for compensation, your original flight must be cancelled by the airline within 14 days before you were due to depart.

easyJet, British Airways and Ryanair have cancelled hundreds of flights
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Image:

NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The time difference of the alternative flight compared to the original booking, and the length of your journey, is also taken into account to determine any money owed.

For a flight distance of less than 1,500km – so for example, London to Paris – if it departs more than two hours earlier than the booked flight and arrives up to two hours later, you could be due £105.

If the same flight lands four hours late, or leaves two hours before and lands two hours later, the compensation would be £210.

Have you successfully received compensation for a cancelled flight? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

Both these scenarios apply if you were told of the cancellation between seven and 14 days before departure.

If the same flight was cancelled with less than seven days to go before departure, you new flight would need to take off more than one hour before your original booking, and arrive up to two hours after, for you to be due £105.

If it lands two hours late, you could be due £210.

The maximum amount of compensation you could be owed is £505 for flights with a distance of more than 3,500km – so from London to New York.

This could apply if the rescheduled flight arrives four hours or more late, for flight cancellations where you were given less than 14 days notice by the airline.

You can see the full breakdown of compensation levels for different flights – which will apply for person, if you booked as part of a group – on the MoneySavingExpert website.

The levels of compensation have been converted from euros, so may vary slightly depending on exchange rates.

Compensation is only awarded for EU/UK airlines and it must be the airline’s fault that the flight could not go ahead.

MoneySavingExpert said law firm Bott and Co told it that staff sickness, including Covid related sickness, and strikes by the airline crew “are NOT reasons for airlines to avoid paying compensation”.

Martin said: ““Under EU regulation 261/2004, which since Brexit has also been adopted into UK law…

“If you are on a flight leaving the UK/EU or returning to it (then it must also be an EU/UK airline), and the flight is cancelled within 14 days of departure resulting in a two or more hour delay, then – providing the reason for the cancellation is the airline’s fault – you are likely entitled to fixed cash (not vouchers) compensation of between £105 to £505 per person depending on the flight.

“Many airlines say they are cancelling due to staffing problems because of Covid. Historically, courts have ruled staff sickness has been seen as an issue which is the airline’s fault (as they should be able to roster for this within their schedules) so compensation is likely due.”

Easyjet has confirmed it will pay out compensation in these circumstances, while British Airways is advising customers who believe they may be due money to fill out a form online.

Ryanair did not respond when asked for comment by MSE.

If you believe you’re entitled to compensation for a cancelled flight you can make a claim using the MSE free online reclaim tool.

Alternatively, you can complain directly to your airline. It is free to put in a complaint:

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/martin-lewis-urges-thousands-holidaymakers-26870165

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