Storm Dennis set to blast Britain – how can travellers protect themselves from disruption?

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Storm Dennis set to blast Britain - how can travellers protect themselves from disruption? 1

A second storm is due to blow into England this weekend, bringing with it the threat of gale-force winds, snow and icy blasts. Storm Dennis could rock the nation and cause major delays for transport plans. Following on from Storm Ciara, which saw flights and trains cancelled, travellers are being urged to prepare themselves for disruption.

Gatwick and Heathrow airport cancelled dozens of planes as ground winds heightened to 100mph across Europe.

Though the worst of the storm had passed by Monday, Gatwick airport warned travellers that “some flights will be subject to delays and cancellations.”

Heathrow airport announced it would be “consolidating” its flight schedule on Sunday by working with airline partners in a bid to minimise the number of journeys cancelled.

Met Office meteorologists Alex Deacon and Aidan McGivern warned that a similar effect could be felt for travellers this weekend.

Mr McGivern said: “Even though the winds, at this stage, are forecast to be a little bit lower than Ciara.

“So there’s still a potential for disruption.”

Emma Grimster, spokeswoman for holiday comparison website TravelSupermarket said: “With Storm Dennis due to arrive this weekend, the country is set to experience yet more travel disruption.

“And with schools set to break up for half term on Friday, many families looking to get away on a half-term break could well find themselves caught up in delays and cancellations.”

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However, passengers who have their journeys interrupted by bad weather may not necessarily be entitled to any form of compensation or financial reimbursement.

According to EU regulations, which are still applicable to UK travellers until the end of the year, airlines are not at fault for delays or cancellations caused by extreme weather.

Emma explains: “As weather conditions are out of the control of the airlines, they will not be liable for the cost of your onwards accommodation or any other arrangements you have booked ahead.

“Be aware of what your travel insurance policy offers in terms of assistance to claim back any costs incurred.”

There are some instances in which your airline may have to accommodate for delays or cancellations.

“If your flight is cancelled, the airline must give you the option of rebooking an alternative flight, or if there are no suitable flights you can request a refund,” adds Emma.

If you are delayed by two hours or more, airlines may also have to provide passengers with food or accommodation where appropriate.

“However, as weather conditions are out of the control of the airlines, they will not be liable for the cost of your onwards accommodation or any other arrangements you have booked ahead. Be aware of what your travel insurance policy offers in terms of assistance to claim back any costs incurred,” says Emma.

The best thing to do is stay up-to-date with the airline, tour operator or departure airport.


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