Can I cancel my vacation in Greece if it is too hot there? Consumer rights attorney DEAN DUNHAM responds
I’m supposed to go on a family vacation to Greece with the grandparents and the little ones at the end of this month.
But the heat seems unbearable and I am also worried about fires.
Can I postpone the holidays? Would this cover my travel insurance?
Hannah Metcalfe, Cambridge.
Heat wave: A reader wonders whether to postpone a family holiday in Greece because she is worried about high temperatures and the risk of forest fires
Dean Dunham replies: You should refer to the terms and conditions attached to your travel insurance policy to find out what circumstances and events will give rise to a claim.
There are three instances where you could potentially cancel and file a claim on your insurance.
The first is if you cancel for medical reasons and are able to obtain a medical certificate stating that you cannot travel due to excessive heat as this will worsen your medical condition.
The second is if the UK government issues a warning advising against all but essential travel to your destination due to the heat.
The third is if a state of emergency lasting more than a few days is declared at your travel destination. I advise you to check gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice before you travel.
A word of warning: if you were aware of excessive heat at your travel destination before you made your reservation, your insurance provider may be able to use this against you and deny your claim.
In all other circumstances, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be covered, as your insurer will likely say that nothing prevents you from traveling and label it “reluctant to travel” which will rarely be listed in a policy.
Can I request a refund if my flight is cancelled?
My flight is one of 1,700 canceled by easyJet earlier this month, many of whom were due to fly out of Gatwick between July and September. They have offered me another flight but I just want my money back.
Can I demand a refund and will I also receive compensation?
Abigail Connor, Wembury, Devon.
Dean Dunham replies: When an airline cancels a flight, it is required to try to find alternate flights for passengers, often referred to as a “reroute.”
Passengers then have the option of accepting the alternate flight or receiving a full cash refund.
Similarly, if an alternative flight cannot be found, you are entitled to get all your money back, not just the coupons.
Your right to compensation depends on two factors: how long the airline gave you the cancellation and the cause of the cancellation.
The law, known as UK261 or, in Europe, EU261, states that where notice is given less than 14 days before the departure date, the airline must pay compensation.
This is unless you are provided with an alternate flight and you are less than two hours late in reaching your final destination, or the cause of the delay was beyond the airline’s control and therefore falls within the definition of “extraordinary circumstances.”
Airlines will often claim that the cause of the delay or cancellation falls within this definition. If you receive notice of cancellation more than 14 days before the departure date, you will not be entitled to compensation.
The good news is that I understand that easyJet is not claiming that the cause of these cancellations falls within the definition of “extraordinary circumstances”, so those who received notice less than 14 days prior to the departure date may receive compensation.
- Write to Dean Dunham, Money Mail, Scottish Daily Mail, 20 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6DB or email email@example.com. The Daily Mail cannot accept any legal responsibility for the answers given.