Flights Cancelled due to Storm Ciarán: What are my rights?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Were you hoping to enjoy a peaceful weekend getaway, free from tourist crowds and high-season prices? Under usual circumstances, this time of year offers the perfect opportunity. However, for travellers planning to fly this Thursday or Friday, Storm Ciarán is creating chaos across Western Europe, leading to flight cancellations and widespread disruptions to travel itineraries.

Major European airlines like easyJet and Ryanair have issued storm warnings, leaving passengers scrambling for information at the last minute. Stay informed and ahead of the storm; see its progression and implications for affected passengers below.

What is Storm Ciarán?

Originally a bombcyclone which hit Ireland and the UK first, Storm Ciarán is expected to speed through France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and parts of Western Germany within the next couple of days.

The UK's Meteorological Office first warned its population of the storm on Wednesday - with winds over 100km/h, harsh downpour, and waters rising, a "danger to life" warning was issued for the south of England. Similar concern spreads beyond the UK and Ireland, with severe weather warnings reported in Spain, France, and The Netherlands.

If Storm Ciarán is predicted to impact your area, prepare to stay indoors. If you have a flight to catch, beware that Storm Ciarán might affect your plans so be sure to check your flight status in advance.

My flight was cancelled due to Storm Ciarán — can I claim flight compensation?

When it comes to flight disruptions caused by severe weather events like Storm Ciarán, passengers' right to compensation under European Union Regulation 261/2004 (EU 261) becomes complex. Incidents like extreme weather, strikes, and natural disasters, among others, are typically considered "extraordinary circumstances". Because such incidents are not in control of the airline, this absolves them of their obligation to provide monetary compensation. However, if you are expecting to board a flight in Western Europe this week, it is important to know your rights as you still have some options.

Storm Ciaran Flight Cancellations — air passenger rights

Flight rebooking: Airlines affected by Storm Ciarán are likely to offer passengers the option to rebook their flights once the weather conditions have improved. This can be a suitable solution for travellers with flexible plans.

Flight ticket refund: If the rebooked flight does not align with a passenger's schedule or preferences, they have the right to request a refund for their ticket. It is essential to note that passengers should choose a monetary refund over a voucher.

"Right to Care": Despite the extraordinary circumstances, airlines must adhere to the "right to care." If passengers are stranded due to flight cancellations, the airline is responsible for providing accommodation, food, and drinks until passengers can safely continue their journey. Vouchers should be provided for these cases, but if the airline refuses to provide them, the airline's service desk at the airport is legally obligated to repay your unexpected expenses (so long as they are reasonable).

Travel Voucher: It is not usually a good idea to accept a travel voucher instead of a refund if your flight is cancelled. There are two main causes for this:

  1. You must use the same airline once again if you accept a travel voucher. The airline will often also specify a deadline for using the voucher.

  2. You might not be able to turn your voucher into a cash refund if the airline declares bankruptcy, which would mean losing your money.

Unsure if you are eligible for compensation for your Storm Ciarán cancelled flight?

Was your flight delayed or cancelled due to Storm Ciarán or, as a matter of fact, have you had any other case of flight cancellation or delay within the last 6 years? If yes, and you are unsure about eligibility for compensation, use our free, no-obligation Claim Calculator and let our experts check for you free of charge!

We know the ins and outs of airline’s excuses, compensation policies, and legal processes - We will check whether you are eligible and, whenever possible, fight for your rights. We only charge a fee (% of awarded compensation) if we win the case for you -> claim compensation risk-free!

Storm Ciarán Flight Cancellations — summary

Storm Ciarán is tearing through Western Europe, impacting regions across Ireland, the UK, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. As travellers face flight cancellations and delays because of Storm Ciarán, it's important to recognize that monetary compensation is often not applicable during extraordinary circumstances like severe weather events. However, passengers still have the right to rebooking, refunds, and the "right to care"! Careful consideration of these options, along with the assistance of experts at , can help you navigate the turbulent skies and ensure your rights are protected throughout the storm.