Flight attendant reveals why you should never accept a voucher for a delayed flight

·3-min read
Brits can be compensated between £226 and £544 depending on their flight delay (Getty)
Brits can be compensated between £226 and £544 depending on their flight delay (Getty)

In a year when flight delays and cancellations have been more commonplace than ever (thanks, Covid), airlines have been quick to offer vouchers instead of cash compensation.

However, former Emirates flight attendant Sandra Jeenie Kwong has revealed on TikTok why you should always ask for cash compensation instead of accepting vouchers.

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Kwong says: “If you are flying within, to or from the United States and you are involuntarily bumped off your flight due to an overbooking, don’t accept the voucher.

“Not only are the airlines required to find you an alternative flight, depending on the length of the delay you are entitled to cash.”

While Kwong’s advice is US-specific, stating that you can get paid up to $1,350 in compensation if your flight is delayed for more than two hours, Brits are also entitled to compensation depending on how long their flight is delayed.

Under EU law, Brits can get compensation if their flight has left from the UK, the European Union, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland or if they were flying with a European airline that landed in one of these destinations. This is expected to remain the same following Brexit.

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For shorter flights (less than 1,500km) that are delayed for more than three hours, Brits can claim up to €250 (£226) in compensation. If your flight is more than 1,500km within the EU then you can claim up to €400 (£363) for a delay over three hours.

For passengers travelling from EU to non-EU airports with a distance of more than 3,500km, you can claim €300 (£272) for a delay of three to four hours.

If you are travelling from an EU to a non-EU airport and your delay is more than four hours, you’re entitled to €600 (£544) in compensation.

If your flight is delayed for more than five hours, you don’t have to take the flight and, legally, the airline has to give you a full refund for the flight and a full refund for any other flights from the same airline that you won’t use in the same booking.

If you do take the flight, you can still claim the compensation listed above depending on where you are travelling to.

If your flight is cancelled, you are legally entitled to a full refund of all flights by the same airline on the booking or a replacement flight to get you to your destination.

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You are also legally entitled to compensation if you’ve been delayed by two or more hours by the replacement flight and were given less than two weeks notice.

The airline must also help with costs of food and drink, access to phone calls and emails if your delay for the replacement flight is more than two hours and accommodation if you are delayed overnight.

For more information, visit citizensadvice.org.uk

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