The beast of the east is here to cause havoc and its doing a good job so far. With people snowed in all over Scotland, traffic coming to a standstill all over the UK and airports cancelling flights left, right and centre, it is important to know where you stand when it comes to cancellations and the disruption caused to your trip.
The Met Office has forecast snow and very cold weather for much of this week with red alert warnings in place in parts. Amber and yellow 'severe' weather warnings are also in place for many parts of the UK and further snow predicted with the arrival of Storm Emma from the south west.
So, what should you do if you are affected by the weather?
Taking a train
If your train has been cancelled, you'll usually be entitled to a full refund from the train operator as your journey has been disrupted. Many train sites have delay repay forms which you can fill out, often giving you your money back within 14 days of the journey date. If you miss your flight due to train cancellations, then you will need to speak to your travel insurance provider to make a claim. The rail companies do not accept responsibility for missed flights.
The National Rail Conditions of Carriage explicitly state that in the event of train delay or cancellation, firms won’t cover any consequential losses – for example, if you miss a show or a flight. Your best bet is to check the cancellation policy of whatever's affected - for example, your theatre tickets. It may also be worth phoning up to explain and seeing what they can offer you.
Taking a plane
When a flight is cancelled, under EU rules you have a right to choose between either a full refund – which includes money back for both legs if you have booked a return ticket and either of your legs is cancelled, or an alternative flight. If you still want to travel, your airline must find an alternative flight.
If you choose to be re-routed or if your departure is delayed by more than two hours, airlines must provide assistance such as food, phone calls and accommodation, where appropriate, to passengers.
If you are concerned about the weather conditions affecting your travel, contact your travel insurance provider who will let you know where you stand when making a claim. Do not risk travelling in dangerous conditions, because the only thing worse than being delayed on holiday is never making it at all.