Available on the company’s website, the guide includes research comparing 25 major airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia and Virgin Atlantic, highlighting their policies relating to cancelled flights, delayed flights, refund procedures and any legal stipulations.
All major airlines included in the research were found to provide similar amenities to passengers when a flight is cancelled or delayed. For example, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic all offer passengers delayed by over four hours complimentary meals and refreshments as well as two telephone calls, telefax or emails. Whereas, some airlines including Alitalia and Japan Airlines only offer meals and refreshments on flights delayed by over five hours and do not stipulate if telephone calls or emails are included.
In regards to cancelled flights, all airlines offer passengers the option to re-book the next available flight to their original destination free of charge. Additionally, if a passenger requires an overnight stay, most airlines, apart from Alitalia, guarantee complimentary hotel accommodation and transportation between the airport and place of accommodation.
All airlines highlighted in the research offer a full refund if the cancelled flight is due to non-extraordinary circumstances. Passengers must note that refunds will only be processed via original form of payment for example credit card used at purchase. Additionally, Air France, Delta Airlines, and KLM passengers may choose travel vouchers of a higher value instead of obtaining a direct refund.
Travellers should be aware that time taken to process a refund varies according to airlines, for example, Aer Lingus specifies that reimbursement can take up to seven working days, whilst in contrast KLM may take up to four weeks to handle refund requests.