New budget airline Primera Air has cancelled some of its transatlantic flights from Birmingham, affecting around 10,000 passengers.
The airline says it has been forced to cancel all flights from Birmingham to New York and Toronto from 21 June due to the late delivery of its new planes. It’s not yet clear when its flights from Birmingham will resume.
It’s offering all affected passengers an alternative flight from Stansted Airport in Essex or a full refund. But the airline’s also confirmed to MoneySavingExpert that passengers may be entitled to flights on an alternative airline if the option of flying from Stansted is not suitable.
See our Flight Delays guide for full help if your flight’s been cancelled or delayed.
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What rights do passengers on the cancelled flights have?
Under flight delay law EU 261/2004, passengers on EU flights (which means when you leave from an EU airport on any airline, or land at an EU airport on an airline based in the EU) which are cancelled have the right to either an alternative flight or a full refund – regardless of why the flight is cancelled. You may have the right to ask for an alternative flight on another airline if the option offered is not suitable.
In addition to this the airline must provide care and assistance, so if your alternative flight leaves or arrives at another airport you must be given help to get there. See Flight cancellation rights for more info.
In this case Primera Air has confirmed it is helping passengers to travel to and from Stansted, and this may include taxis or trains. But as the flights from Stansted to New York are daily and the flights to Toronto are operated on the same days as scheduled from Birmingham, it won’t need to provide overnight accommodation.
I’m an affected passenger – what should I do now?
If you decide to opt for the alternative flight from Stansted Airport, ask Primera Air about its arrangements for your journey to the airport. If you’re asked to pay for the journey and reclaim your costs, check which transport methods it will cover and what evidence you will need to provide.
If you believe the alternative flight from Stansted is unsuitable, you can instead ask Primera Air to move you to a more suitable flight with an alternative airline.
It says it will consider each of these requests on an individual basis, but added: “Please note that none of [the other] airlines currently are operating direct flights from Birmingham to Newark or Toronto – therefore there aren’t comparable offers that could be provided to passenger without any evaluation.”