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17 Feb 2022

Storm Eunice: your power cut and travel disruption refund rights

Storm Eunice is set to cause significant disruption across the UK, with winds reaching 100mph, as the Met Office issues a 'stay indoors' warning.

The storm is set to be even stronger than the preceding Storm Dudley, which caused power outages and disrupted travel up and down the UK.

Here, Which? explains your compensation and refund rights if you've been left out of pocket by either storm.

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1. Claim compensation for power cuts

Typically your electricity distribution company has 24 hours to restore your electricity supply if it fails due to a storm.

Although after a severe storm like Eunice this deadline can be increased to 48 hours.

If power isn't restored by this deadline, £70 should be paid to you by your energy firm, with a further £70 to be paid for each additional period of 12 hours in which supply is not restored, usually up to a cap of £700.

You usually have to make the claim yourself with your energy firms within three months of your electricity supply being fixed.

The difference in classification between a storm and a severe storm is related to the number of supply faults experienced in a 24-hour period.

2. Know your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled

If, due to Storm Eunice, your flight is delayed by more than two hours or cancelled, your airline has a legal duty to look after you.

You're entitled to:

  • two free phone calls, faxes or emails
  • free meals and refreshments appropriate to the delay
  • free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required

But be aware if you take a refund from your airline it's legal duty to look after you ends, so be sure it is the right option for you.

And be aware that airlines don't have to pay compensation for flight delays if they're caused by extraordinary circumstances such as severe weather.

Always check with your airline for any disruption before travelling to the airport.

3. Get back the cost of the ticket if your train travel is disrupted

Strong winds can damage overhead electric wires and tracks due to debris or trees falling onto the railway.

Network Rail has warned of timetable disruptions in light of Storm Eunice, while some operators have asked passengers not to travel on Friday 18 February.

You might be able to make a delay repay claim and get back some or all of the cost of your ticket - unless the train company published an emergency timetable in response to the storm.

Or, if you decide not to travel due to severe delays, you will be able to claim a refund of the cost of your ticket.

However, an administration charge of up to £10 on each ticket could be charged, and you will need to apply for the refund within 28 days of the expiry of the ticket's validity.

You can use our guide to make a train delay repay claim.

Passengers are urged to check for updates before they travel.