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Statement from Rob Bishton, Joint-Interim Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, 30 August:

“We know there are many passengers overseas that are impacted by flight delays and cancellations which can be frustrating when wanting to get home after a trip abroad.

“The scale of the disruption has meant passengers have faced longer delays and in some cases are waiting several days for alternative flights, but airlines are working around the clock, putting on extra capacity to resolve the issue.

“If you are still waiting to come home, airlines have a responsibility to look after you while you wait. This means providing you with meals, refreshments and hotel accommodation. If airlines cannot do this, you can organise your own meals and accommodation then claim costs back.

“We are engaging with airlines and know that more flights are being provided, but in circumstances where this has not been possible due to the volume of passengers, consumers can book their own alternative air travel and claim the cost back from their airline.

“If you end up paying for things yourself or booking your own replacement flight or hotel, keep every receipt and make sure your claim is not excessive.

“Clear and accurate communication is important during times of disruption, and we are working closely with airlines to rectify any instances of wrong information being provided to passengers.” 

Guidance to industry 

On 30 August, we wrote to airlines and provided guidance on making sure of the the importance of looking after passengers, particularly those delayed overseas.

In this guidance we also set out that we consider the delays and cancellations and knock-on effects caused by the NATS technical issue are likely to be extraordinary circumstances.  As a result, passengers are unlikely to be entitled to compensation for cancellations and delays in these circumstances.

The full guidance is published on our correspondence with airlines and airports page of our website.

Statement from Rob Bishton, Joint-Interim Chief Executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, 29 August:

“We understand the challenges many consumers continue to experience when flights are delayed or cancelled following yesterday’s technical issue that impacted National Air Traffic Services (NATS) flight planning system.

Passengers who continue to be impacted can find information about what they are entitled to on our website. In the event of delays or cancellations, passengers will be expected to be provided with food and drink as well as accommodation if delayed overnight.

“As part of our regulatory oversight of its activities, we continue to engage with NATS and once its investigation is fully complete, an incident report will be provided to the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The report’s outcomes will then be shared with the Secretary of State for Transport."