What to do in the event of a flight delay or cancellation in a London airport

Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, City, Gatwick, Southend – London is served by six international airports that cater to flights from not only all over Europe, but over the entire world. And while some airports might be in disputes over where a certain runway should be built, there’s one thing that unites them all – despite the massive air traffic they all receive – and that is that they are all prone to flight delays or cancellation.

Now delays can happen for all sorts of reasons, but they’re never fun if you find yourself on the receiving end of one. That being said, if you do find yourself sitting in the terminal, unsure of when your flight is due to depart, it doesn’t mean you’re stranded and without options. Below we’ll take a look at what to do in the event of a severe flight delay in one of London’s airports.

Get paid

That’s right – if your flight is subject to a severe delay or cancellation and it’s the fault of the airline, you’re entitled by law to compensation up to €600. The exact amount you’ll receive depends on the length of your delay and how far you were due to travel. It doesn’t matter whether it’s British Airways that caused your flight to be delayed, or a budget airline like Ryanair or EasyJet, all companies leaving or departing from a European country are bound to compensate every passenger they cause delays for. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re eligible, ask anyway. At worst they’ll say no and you’ll get the next flight out; at best you’ll have your pints paid for for the next three months.

Wait it out in a pub

London is no stranger when it comes to pubs and good beer (in fact it’s kind of renowned for it). If you’re going to be in limbo for a good few hours, then taking the tube into London for the sake of a pint might not be the worst idea in the world. And thanks to the night tube, you’ll be able to visit your favourite local or bar regardless of what time it is. Just make sure you’re back at the airport in time for your flight!

Go and look at some art

This applies purely to Heathrow, but if you find yourself delayed and in the busiest airport in your Europe, head over to Terminal 5 and tour the T5 Gallery which offers a professionally curated permanent exhibition of world class art and sculptures. It’s a lovely cultural experience and will kill a good few hours until your flight is ready to depart.

Visit a spa and get treated

Delays can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay stressed. Almost every airport worth its salt will have a decent spa or massage parlour on site. Instead of worrying about missed connections and how you’re going to catch up on sleep in the morning, head on over to a spa of your choice and let all of your cares melt away under the gentle hands of an airport masseuse. You’ll be surprised at the list of treatments available – anything from simple massages, manicures and pedicures, all the way facials and even reflexology.

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