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London City Airport shut due to Second World War bomb

Airlines have a duty of care and must provide assistance to 16,000 passengers stranded by the closure

London City Airport is closed because a Second World War bomb was found nearby in the Thames river.

All flights in and out of the airport have been cancelled today, affecting up to 16,000 passengers. An exclusion zone is in place.

Passengers have been told to contact their airline and not to travel to the terminal. If you’ve been affected, the Denied Boarding Regulation means you airline has an obligation to offer you assistance.

Police said a number of road cordons were in place and advised motorists to avoid the area.

Docklands Light Railway services between the airport and Woolwich Arsenal have also been suspended.

The airport is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day.

My flight has been cancelled – what are my rights?

If your flight is cancelled and either departed from an EU airport, or you were on an EU airline and landed at an EU airport, than you have extra consumer protections.

In this case it’s unlikely affected passengers will qualify for compensation as the closure of an airport due to an unexploded Second World War bomb will count as an extraordinary circumstance out of the airlines control.

But airlines still have a duty of care to affected customers.

Under the Denied Boarding Regulation, your airline has an obligation to offer you assistance.

Depending on the length of the delay and the circumstances, you could be entitled to:

  • An alternative flight, rerouting to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or a later date convenient to you.
  • Cancel your flight and get a refund, but once you take a refund the airline no longer has a duty of care towards you and you can’t claim back any further expenses you have.
  • Food, phone calls and accommodation appropriate to the delay, and free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required.

If your airline fails to look after you then you should keep any receipts for extra expenses such as overnight accommodation, meals and refreshments while you wait for your rerouted flight. Within reason, you can claim any additional expenses.

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