My flight’s been cancelled, what will happen to the rest of my holiday?

If your flight is cancelled and you’ve booked a package holiday, you are entitled to a suitable alternative flight or, if that’s not possible, a full refund.

What is a package holiday?

If you booked your holiday before 1 July 2018

The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 define a 'package' as follows:

  • the holiday must cover a period of at least 24 hours or involve overnight accommodation
  • the holiday must consist of a combination of at least two of the following components:
    • transport (for example, flights, trains, coaches and ferries - free transfers from the airport to a hotel would not be included)
    • accommodation (this should be significant - it would include a berth on a cruise ship but not on a cross-channel ferry)
    • other tourist services that form a significant proportion of the package (for example, car hire)
  • the holiday must be sold at an inclusive price.

If you booked your holiday on or after 1 July 2018

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 define a 'package' as follows:

  • The holiday must cover a period of at least 24 hours or involve overnight accommodation

A package holiday is a combination of at least two different types of travel services, which are listed below: 

  • transport (such as a flight, coach or train but not transfers from an airport)
  • accommodation (such as a hotel, villa or apartment)
  • car rental 
  • a tourist service (such as a tour guide or a trip to a historical attraction) where this is a significant part of the holiday, either because of its value or because it is an essential part of the trip.

It counts as a package holiday if your travel company:

  • Has asked you to pay a single price through a single payment 
  • Has let you select a combination of services – such as a flight and accommodation – before you agreed to pay for them
  • Charged you an inclusive or total price for all the services you bought
  • Advertised or sold the travel services to you as a package or using a similar term
  • Sold you one travel service; and then transferred your details, including your payment details to another company, which you then booked another travel service through within the space of 24 hours.

ABTA's advice

If you haven’t booked a “package holiday”, but you have booked other services, such as accommodation but this was done separately to your flight, you may not be able to recover that cost.

A refund would come from the accommodation supplier, but only if this is covered in their terms and conditions and it may be left to their discretion.

In addition, you should contact your travel insurance provider to find out what cover is available under your policy with them.

  • Flights