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15 Feb 2019

Airline cancels flights ahead of Brexit due to uncertainty: what are your rights to a refund?

If your flight has been cancelled, you have rights under the Denied Boarding Regulations

Furious British holidaymakers whose flights were cancelled due to Brexit uncertainty have been left trying to fill in forms in Romanian to get their refunds.

Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air has reportedly cancelled some flights out of Liverpool's John Lennon Airport from the start of March.

At this stage it appears to just be just a few flights from that airport.

Which? attempted to book flights to different destinations in the EU from Liverpool and other UK airports Blue Air operates from.

We weren't able to book flights from Liverpool on days where there have been reported flight cancellations, but we were able to get to the final payment stage for flights departing from Liverpool on other days in March.

If your flight is cancelled, you have the right to be rerouted or refunded under the Denied Boarding Regulation.

Read more: your rights under the Denied Boarding Regulations

Outrage as Blue Air cancels flights

One passenger who was set to fly from Liverpool to Rome on 6 March said he'd been sent an email saying his flight was cancelled for 'operational reasons'.

He said: 'On replying asking for a refund I got an automated response which asked to fill in a form which I think was in Romanian.'

Another Blue Air passenger,Sara Kavanagh, was due to fly to Rome for her wedding anniversary on 18 March. She said: 'We've looked online and they have two other flights available but for three times the price we paid in January.

'My flights were before 29 March, so really Brexit shouldn't be an issue here.'

Which? has attempted to contact Blue Air but has not received a response. The airline also has not responded to other media.

A spokesman for John Lennon Airport said the 'Brexit impasse' had impacted the airline's ability to operate flights between the UK and countries other than Romania.

Your rights if your Blue Air flights are cancelled

Under the Denied Boarding Regulation, if your flight is cancelled more than 14 days in advance you are not entitled to compensation but have the choice of being rerouted or refunded.

If flights are now more expensive than when you booked, it's wise to ask to be rerouted so you're not left out of pocket.

Alternatively, if you decide you no longer want to go you can ask for a refund. This has to be processed within seven days.

Read more: when you're entitled to compensation under the Denied Boarding Regulation

If your flight's cancelled and you paid by credit card

If you paid more than £100 by credit card for the cancelled flight and the airline refuses to refund you, you could make a Section 75 claim to your card provider.

This means your card provider will then take up the dispute with the airline.

We have a free template letter you can use to make a section 75 claim for a cancelled flight.

Your rights if flights get cancelled due to Brexit

This area of consumer law could be affected by Brexit and whether we leave the EU with a deal or in a no-deal scenario.

It's likely any flight disruption around 29 March 2019 will be classed as an extraordinary circumstance so you won't be entitled to compensation.

You'll need to check with your insurer about what your cover is in that situation.

Read more: Will my flight delay rights be affected by Brexit?