Flight Bans, Cancellations and Passengers Transiting Through Great Britain

The government announced a ban on all flights arriving into Ireland from Great Britain with effect from midnight, Sunday, 20 December 2020.  This was last reviewed by the government on Wednesday, 06 January 2021 and will continue until Friday night, 08 January 2021.

This has resulted in flight cancellations.

Flights from Great Britain to Ireland

In accordance with Regulation (EC) 261, if your flight is cancelled, your airline must offer you the choice between (a) re-routing as close as possible to the original departure time; (b) re-routing at a later date; or (c) a refund. Airlines are entitled to offer vouchers to passengers. Passengers can choose to accept a voucher but are under no obligation to do so.

Passengers seeking to return home to Ireland from Great Britain airports should contact their airline to seek rerouting to Ireland at the earlier opportunity or a refund and then consider returning to their home in Great Britain as this may be the best place to await further developments.

Transit Passengers

Regulation (EC) 261 of 2004 applies only to passengers on EU licensed airlines travelling from third countries to EU airports. Passengers travelling to EU destinations from outside the EU on non-EU air carriers are not covered by Regulation (EC) 261.

Transiting Passengers not yet in Great Britain

We would not expect airlines to board passengers for their original departing flight where passengers are not able to complete their journey due to a flight ban, and alternative routings excluding Great Britain are not available. In these cases, passengers may be entitled to a full refund under Regulation (EC) 261 if their original point of departure was within the EU or their airline was an EU carrier.  Please contact your airline.

Transiting Passengers already in Great Britain

Where passengers have already landed in Great Britain but are not able to take their onward flight due to a flight ban, we would expect airlines to offer passengers an alternative routing to their final destination, where this is possible in light of the flight ban.  Where an alternative routing is possible, we would expect the airline operating the onward flight to provide care and assistance in line with Regulation (EC) 261.

Airlines are expected to offer a return flight to their original destination where:

  • passengers that have already landed in Great Britain but are not able to take their onward flight due to a flight ban and an alternative routing to their final destination is not possible; and
  • the airline is an EU carrier or where the original departure point was within the EU.

Passengers whose original departing point was outside the EU, and whose airline is not an EU carrier, are advised to contact the airline with which they booked the flight for advice on their options.