Thousands of Brits have woken up this morning to a blanket of heavy snow.
While the inclement weather may have left parks and gardens looking beautiful the weather has caused a host of disruptions to people’s plans for the week.
School snow days have been called and there are major delays on a number of roads and motorways due to crashes.
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Those hoping to head on a skiing holiday or to get some winter sun may well be disappointed though as a number of flights have been cancelled.
Stansted airport, in Essex, has currently grounded all of its flights while the runway is cleared on snow and ice.
Manchester Airport has also cancelled a number of flights out of the country due to the snow.
While the situation leaves many Brits stranded at airports the measures are important for safety as it could be dangerous to land planes or take off while the ground is frozen over.
If your flight has been cancelled it’s important to know what your rights are in terms of refunds and rebooking.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) states that holidaymakers have the legal right to either a full refund or a replacement flight if your journey is cancelled outright.
CAB notes: “If you’re part-way through a journey and you don’t want a replacement flight, you also have a right to a flight back to the airport you originally departed from.
“Ask for a refund or replacement at the airport if you can. If not, you can claim from the airline later.”
You may also be entitled to help with costs if the cancellation delays you by two or more hours or compensation if you were given less than two weeks notice.
Unfortunately, if your flight has been cancelled due to snow you may not be able to claim compensation.
This is because “you’re legally entitled to get compensation if the cancellation is the airline’s responsibility”.
Many airlines will argue that bad weather, in this case heavy snow, is not the fault of the airline.
If this is the case then you may have to seek any money back from your travel insurance provider instead.
Though check the fine print to ensure that your travel insurance covers bad weather.
The CAB also notes: “If you’ve asked the airline and they won’t give you the right compensation, you can complain to an independent organisation.
“If the airline is a member of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme, you can complain to the scheme.”
In normal circumstances, the amount of compensation you’re entitled to varies by how long the flight was set to be and how long the delay lasted.
Amounts climb from £110 to £520.
The airline might also give you vouchers at the airport to help you with access to food and drink, phone calls and emails or accommodation if you’re delayed overnight.
But, CAB also states: “You’re unlikely to get compensation if the delay was because of something outside the airline’s control, like bad weather or a security risk.”
If you’re struggling to get information from the airline in regards to your cancelled flight you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 if you need more help – a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone.
You can also use an online form.
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