Gatwick Airport chaos: how to claim compensation if your flight was cancelled

Passengers faced flight cancellations due to ongoing drone activity around the airfield
Passengers faced flight cancellations due to ongoing drone activity around the airfield

Thousands of passengers at Gatwick Airport faced flight cancellations today due to ongoing drone activity around the airfield.

Flights are still continuing to be suspended at the busy airport, leaving passengers stranded and forced to make alternative travel arrangements.

The drone activity has now been classed as a "deliberate act" by Sussex Police

The drone activity has now been classed as a "deliberate act" by Sussex Police

Can I claim compensation?

Passengers who have had their flight cancelled or delayed as a result of the drone activity may be entitled to compensation under EU regulations.

It is advised that passengers check the website of their airline to see if they are offering any information to those affected by the disruption, although airlines are only entitled to pay compensation if they are at fault.

In order to be covered for compensation under the EU rules, your flight must have either departed from, or be landing at an EU airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority is offering the following advice to passengers currently experiencing disruption at Gatwick Airport:

"Under EU261 regulations, passengers that no longer wish to take their flight can contact their airline for a refund.

"For those passengers that do still wish to fly, we advise them to contact their airline to understand the options available.”

“Given the reasons for the current disruption at Gatwick Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority considers this event to be an extraordinary circumstance.

"In such circumstances airlines are not obliged to pay financial compensation to passengers affected by the disruption.”

What caused the disruption?

The disruption comes after drones were spotted flying above the airfield at around 9pm last night, causing all flights to and from Gatwick Airport to be suspended.

The drone activity has now been classed as a "deliberate act" by Sussex Police, although the incident is no suspected to be terror related.

The airport issued an announcement on their website at 9am on Thursday morning which said, "All arriving and departing flights are currently suspended while we investigate reports of drones flying close to our airfield.

“Please do not travel to Gatwick without checking the status of your flight with your airline, as there are significant calculations and delays today.

“We apologise to all our passengers who are impacted today, but the safety of our passengers and all staff is our priority.”