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The severe cold snap has thrown millions of travellers' plans into chaos over recent days.

Flights and Eurostar trains have been worst affected with many cancelled or severely delayed.

Eurostar services are gradually getting underway but ensure you check its website for updated departure times. If you're due to fly check with your airline.

While refunds cannot always replace ruined holiday plans, you may be entitled to money back, so here's a Q&A on your rights:

My Eurostar journey's been delayed/cancelled. Will I be reimbursed?

Anyone delayed will be paid "reasonable" out-of-pocket expenses while waiting for their train (such as hotels up to 3*, transport and meals), so keep receipts.

What else you get depends when you were due to travel. If:

  • Last Friday or Saturday. If stuck in the tunnel you'll get a refund of your journey, another free return journey in the next year, and 150 or 170 in cash. If not, but delayed by more than one hour, you may get a free one-way journey in the same travel class as your original ticket, or a 50% discount off a return fare. If delayed by over two hours, you may get a free return journey.

  • On any day after. If you get on another train you won't be offered a refund or a free journey. You'll only get a refund if any rescheduled trip is inconvenient and you reject it.

  • How to claim. See the Eurostar website for full info.

My flight's been cancelled/delayed. Will I be reimbursed?

Under EU regulations, you're entitled to the following:

  • If cancelled at short notice. Airlines must normally either give you a full refund of any unused ticket or offer suitable alternative travel.

  • If delayed. If by over five hours, you can choose not to travel on the delayed flight and get a refund for that trip and for later flights on the same ticket.

  • Taking a connecting flight. Whether it's cancelled or delayed, if you no longer wish to continue, you are entitled to your money back and a free flight back to your departure point.

  • How to claim. Contact your airline (see the Cheap Flights guide).

My flight's been cancelled/delayed. Will I get extra compensation?

You should get food if stuck at the airport for over two hours for a short-haul flight, for up to four hours on medium/long haul. Depending on the airline, you may get overnight accommodation.

It's unlikely you'll get anything more than your money back or food/accommodation because the bad weather is out of the airline's control, and extra compensation is only due when the airline's at fault.

What if I booked alternative transport?

Neither Eurostar nor the airlines are likely to cover any back-up transport you've booked (see the Cheap Flights guide). They will only cover anything you book with them.

Travel insurance is also unlikely to pay for such costs.

What if I had a hotel/car hire booked at the other end I cannot use?

First contact the relevant firm to get a refund, if possible. It's unlikely your transport provider will offer a refund, but it's worth asking.

British Airways and Eurostar, for example, have said they won't. If you have travel insurance you may get compensation (see below).

If I booked a package?

If your trip's delayed/cancelled, you should either be offered alternative transport or an alternative holiday. If that's unsuitable, you'll get a full refund.

What about road/rail travel?

If stuck on the roads, your travel insurance may pay out for non-refundable accommodation if severely delayed (see below).

If going by train, the Association of Train Operating Companies says, generally speaking, you'll get a full refund on advance tickets if your service is over an hour late, though varies by operator.

If your train is cancelled, you can usually use any advance ticket on another service over the holiday period (see the Cheap UK Travel and Cheap Trains guide).

UK train travel has been less badly affected by the cold snap, however.

Will travel insurance pay out?

If you bought insurance and transport before you knew of the disruption, you may be covered for non-refundable hotel and other holiday costs (other than transport which should be covered by the airline/train firm).

But insurance rules are hideously complicated and vary from firm-to-firm (see the Travel Insurance guide).

While some insurers such as Direct Line and Churchill say they may provide cover for cancellations or delays of more than 12 hours, the Association of British Insurers warns not all companies will follow suit.

You may even get compensation on some policies if you couldn't make it to the airport/train station/ferry port due to UK transport delays, as long as you left reasonable time given the weather problems.

If I paid on a credit card?

The cover you get under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for items over 100 is unlikely to come into force. If you're claiming on delayed/cancelled transport, this should be covered by the airline/train firm.

If claiming for hotel costs or alternative transport then, as Section 75 only kicks in when the retailer has broken their contract, as the hotel firm/alternative transport provider has done nothing wrong, it's unlikely you'll get any joy.

Further reading / Key links

Make them play fair: Consumer Rights
Travel for less: Cheap Flights, Budget Airline Fee-Fighting, Cheap Trains