We are traveling from Spain to Canada via Portugal. The flight we purchased was to depart on March 14th from Spain, with a 2-hour stopover in Lisbon. The last leg of the flight is Lisbon to Toronto. Both flights are with the same carrier.

We have been advised that the first flight was cancelled and rescheduled for the 13th. This will require us to stay overnight in Lisbon. They advise that they are not responsible for any expenses and no other flights are available.

It just doesn't seem right; is it?

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    When were you advised? If fourteen or more days before departure, you get nothing only a full refund if you request it. ec.europa.eu/ireland/services/air-travel_en#4. If you were informed less than 14 days before you’re entitled to compensation. – user 56513 Mar 2 '19 at 17:03
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    Who are "they"? When did "they" advise you? What is your departure airport? – Michael Hampton Mar 2 '19 at 18:10
  • Yes, what’s the departure airport? It seems weird that there isn’t a flight available to Lisbon on the 14th, especially given the departure time of your flight to Toronto (17:40). If you are departing from a small airport, is there not another airport nearby that could be used instead? – jcaron Mar 3 '19 at 9:49

If an airline makes a substantial change like this they are obliged to offer you a full and unconditional refund Unfortunately airlines want to keep your money, so they often neglect to tell you this. Also it may not help you much if all the alternative flights are full or only have expensive tickets. But that's the way it is.

A good negotiating strategy is to call the airline, make it clear that the new times don't work for you and unless they can find something better you will be asking for a refund. Maybe then can reduce the price on the new flights (enough for you to be able to afford an overnight hotel). Or maybe they can take you off the first leg and give you a refund for that, so that you can book your own substitute first leg with another airline. They have an incentive to accept these arrangements because otherwise they will lose all your money. It will of course have helped of you have researched some alternatives in advance. And of course if you can find an alternative flight that works for you then just take the refund.

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