Today, thousands of people are affected by flight cancellations and delays at Luton Airport. A huge fire broke out at the multi-storey car park blazing through the night from 9pm until around 8.45am when it was extinguished.
Airlines easyJet and Wizz Air have wanted passengers travelling today to check whether their flights have been cancelled or delayed. All flights from Luton Airport up until 3pm have been cancelled while those after may be affected.
More than 15 crews from Bedfordshire Fire Service tackled the fire with local residents advised to close their windows to avoid the heavy smoke. A brigade spokesman told the Mirror : "One half of the structure is fully involved in fire and the building has suffered a significant structural collapse." Hundreds of cars were also melted by the blaze.
READ MORE: easyJet and Wizz Air update for passengers as Luton Airport fire grounds flights
READ MORE: Inferno at Luton Airport consumes car park as flights suspended until 3pm
But, if your flight has been cancelled you're likely wondering what to do. When an airline cancels your flight, you are entitled to a refund, although some companies do also offer options such as rebooking to a later date or receiving that money in credit for a future trip.
In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation. However in the case of the Luton Airport fire, airlines will be able to claim 'extraordinary circumstances' ie something that was out of their control, therefore it's unlikely you'll receive compensation. Although some airlines, like easyJet have offered hotels and food vouchers to those who need them.
A spokesperson for Claims.co.uk has explained passengers' rights to a refund or other options following the fire. They said: "Whilst booking a package holiday can slash the cost of going away, if your flight is cancelled you can risk having your whole holiday cancelled or rearranged. If you have booked a package holiday and your flights are cancelled, you have the rights to either claim a full refund, a reroute of the trip destination and potentially compensation from the airline.
"However, in these specific circumstances, delays and cancellations caused by air traffic control restrictions are considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and therefore do not qualify for compensation. In cases of flight delays and flight cancellations due to an ‘extraordinary circumstance,’ the airline must provide you with additional services, depending on the length of your delay and waiting time.
"These additional services include free meals and refreshments, which you are entitled to when your flight is delayed by at least 2 hours. Passengers should also receive a free overnight accommodation and a transfer to and from the airport if the flight is shifted to the next day.
"If a travel operator needs to cancel a package holiday for any reason, they are required to notify you as soon as possible and without undue delay. This is to ensure that you have enough time to help you make alternative arrangements or seek refunds. However, in many people's case due to the disruption, if you are at the airport when the flight is cancelled, it is advised that you contact your travel company straight away to talk through your options.
"If the delay lasts more than five hours, but is not actually cancelled, you should also be able to choose not to travel and get a full refund on your ticket. If your flight cannot be rearranged, meaning your whole holiday must be cancelled, then the travel company must offer an alternative holiday if possible, or a refund of the full package price, not just the flight part."
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