Snow diverts planes north, and is Thomas Cook a safe bet for Antalya this summer?
Wednesday 15 February 2012
Q. We were flying from Murcia to Stansted on Ryanair. Due to the runway at Stansted being closed, our flight was diverted to Newcastle for refuelling. However, we were eventually told to get off the plane at 2am and to make our own way home. We endured a very uncomfortable and stressful time getting back to Stansted – spending around £300. I thought we had a contract with Ryanair to get us to Stansted? Margaret Wellington
A. In theory you do, but the practical application of passengers' rights legislation is far from perfect. The airline is legally obliged to deliver you to your final destination, and take care of you along the way. In practice, airlines often leave you to your own devices in difficult circumstances.
In this case, Ryanair says its efforts to get you back to Stansted were thwarted because "coach drivers were refusing to travel due to the weather". As a result, "passengers were asked to source alternative onward travel and accommodation, and to submit receipts to Ryanair". You will need to ensure your claim is fully itemised and supported by receipts if you are to get a swift resolution from the airline.
Q. We are considering booking a flight-only to Antalya in September with Thomas Cook. Is this advisable bearing in mind its recent problems or should we opt for a flight with Monarch? Robert Dennis
A. Flight tickets bought direct from an airline are generally not covered by the Atol protection scheme. But since you would presumably buy them with a debit or credit card, your money will be protected by the financial institution.
When an airline fails, people holding flight-only tickets often have to pay much higher fares to get to their destination. So the broader question is: how likely is Thomas Cook to go out of business? The indications are that, after a rocky few months, Britain's second-largest holiday company is rebuilding financially.
A more significant concern is that you are choosing to source flights and accommodation separately. That means you do not have the protection of the Package Travel Regulations – which basically means "if things go wrong, the tour operator is obliged to sort them out".
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Business class to New York at economical prices - but will it fly?
French air-traffic controllers strike Q&A: When is the strike and which travellers will be affected?
A380 celebrates first decade in flight - but how long will the Superjumbo's time in the sky last?
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The most powerful passports in the world
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...
£18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...
£Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...