What to Do When Your Flight Gets Cancelled

12/05/2016 Off By Emma Gray

Having a flight cancelled is most travellers idea of their worst nightmare, so what exactly should you do when you find out your flight has been cancelled?

Unfortunately I had found out just what to do when my flight was cancelled a few weeks ago from London back to Glasgow. I had already been travelling and sitting in airports for 26 hours from Singapore to Hong Kong and onto London and it’s safe to say I was tired, grumpy and looking forward to getting home to my own bed.

I was gutted when my flight was cancelled and the worst part was we were already on the plane with the doors closed and our seatbelts fastened just moments from pushing back from the gate and taxiing to the runway when the captain announced it.

It’s frustrating and annoying when your flight is cancelled and if it’s never happened to you before then you may be unsure of how to proceed with getting yourself booked onto another flight. Here’s what to do:

Locate Your Luggage

The first thing to do is follow the instructions of staff in order to find the right place to reclaim your luggage if you have any, if not then you can proceed straight to customer services.

Customer Services

The next port of call is customer services and often you have to proceed to the departures area to find a customer services desk. If your flight has been cancelled you should be rebooked on a later flight to your original destination and this should all be done for you without a problem. In my case I was booked on a flight seven hours later which wasn’t too much of an issue. I just needed some matchsticks to prop my tired eyes open!

If you are flying onwards to catch a connecting flight and you know you will miss it because of your cancelled flight then you should ask at customer services how to go about re-organising this for you. If the flights were all booked with the one airline then it is their responsibility to sort out your other flights too.


If your flight is cancelled or delayed for a certain time, normally 2 hours within the EU, you should be entitled to compensation in the form of meal vouchers to spend at the airport. This can be very handy if you’re returning from a trip and are a little short of cash as you’ve spent too much time having fun on your holiday!

If your flight is cancelled or delayed overnight then the airline are normally responsible for putting you up in a nearby hotel and ensuring you have a meal that evening.

Depending on the circumstances you may be entitled to claim more compensation (£210-£505 per person) once you return from your trip. You can find more details regarding this and to see if you may be eligible to claim here.