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Easter travel disruption: Can you claim compensation if your plans are affected?

Train strikes and planned engineering work set to delay Easter rail journeys - and there could be more snow on the way

If you’re travelling by rail this Easter, your journey could be disrupted by snow, strikes or planned engineering works.

There is planned engineering work and strikes set to take place across the UK rail network over the long weekend.

Forecasters predict another cold snap, dubbed the ‘Beast from the East Mark 3’ and are predicting snow in northern and central areas on Good Friday and Saturday.

Planned strike action

If your train is delayed due to a strike, you can claim Delay Repay compensation, but based on the temporary timetable.

  • Northern Rail passengers will be affected by industrial action by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) on Thursday. The rail operator said the majority of trains will run between 7am and 7pm but the number of services will be reduced. You should expect extremely busy trains and rail replacement buses, so it’s a good idea to allow extra time to travel.
  • South Western Railway trains RMT members will also striking from Friday 30 March until Monday 02 April. But South Western Railway said it will operate a full service by using trained contingency guards to fill gaps where necessary. It’s operating a holiday timetable, so you should check train times before setting off.

Planned rail engineering work

There are also a number of planned engineering works which will disrupt normal services this weekend, including:

  • No long-distance trains to or from London Euston on Sunday.
  • Bristol Temple Meads will be shut as Network Rail carries out its largest re-signalling project ever.

There are also other works planned around the United Kingdom. For a full list and to see if your journey is affected, visit the National Rail website.

Because engineering works are usually published well ahead of time, you can only claim compensation based on the temporary timetable.

For more information, see our free guide on what you can claim compensation for.

Is there more snow on the horizon?

If your train or plane is delayed or cancelled because of the weather, you could be entitled to a refund, refreshments or some compensation. But your rights are different, depending on whether it was a train or plane.

Train delays and cancellations

Under the Delay Repay system, passengers are able to claim for compensation even if the company was not responsible for the delay, because of bad weather or a signalling failure, for example.

Passengers are entitled to compensation each time for any delay of 30 minutes or more, and some even pay for delays of 15 minutes or more.

See our guide on how to make a Delay Repay claim.

If your train is cancelled, you might be able to use your ticket to get onto another train, or if you decide not to travel you should be able to get a full refund.

Flight delays and cancellations

Your airline should let you know if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

When flights are delayed under Denied Boarding Regulations (EU 261), airline passengers are entitled to:

  • two free phone calls, faxes or emails
  • free meals and refreshments for delays more than two hours
  • free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required.

If a flight is cancelled or delayed by more than five hours and a passenger decides not to travel, they should be offered an alternative flight or a full refund.

Unfortunately, bad weather usually means you can’t claim additional compensation because it’s out of the airline’s control.

Read our guide on what you can claim for if your flight is cancelled.

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