Snow Flight Cancellation compensation rights
Regardless of how much you try and plan the perfect trip, sometimes snow can get in the way and delay or even result in your trip being cancelled. It can be extremely frustrating but unfortunately it is unpredictable and you just have to roll with the whims of nature. Let's take a closer look at what you do when there is a snow cancellation and what the compensation possibilities are.
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Usually passengers can claim under the Regulation 261/2004, which covers food and applicable accommodation in case of a flight cancellation or long delays. Unfortunately, in the case of heavy snowfall, often airlines can claim that the cancellation was due to "extraordinary circumstances" and could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure stands up in the eyes of the law. Other types of "extraordinary circumstances" would include, according to the Civil Aviation Authority, extreme weather, political instability, strikes, security risks, and "unexpected" flight safety shortcomings.
If the terms of "extraordinary circumstances" are met then the airline does not have to provide any type of cash compensation to discommoded passengers. It is possible to fight for compensation if other airlines are flying at the time of your flight but in all likelihood when heavy snowfall comes, all airlines shut down their operations due to very understandable safety concerns.
Even though a full refund is rarely granted for the cancellation, there is good news. Under current regulations, passengers are still entitled to receive meal vouchers, accommodation, transport between the airport and provided accommodation and two telephone calls, faxes or e-mails. This applies to those flying with an EU registered airline or with a travel company registered in the EU.
To prevent a potential headache after arriving at the airport, call your airline or check online before you head off if you are worried that the weather is bad. Any possibility your flight may be delayed or cancelled is usually a great time to double check before leaving home for the airport. If you believe you are entitled to a full refund, make sure to talk to airline staff at the time and have them write down the reason for cancellation. Also, be sure to take a photo of the screen showing your flight was cancelled and hang on to all your receipts meals, transportation and accommodation.