I booked an easyJet flight from London to Zurich several months ago. I also have an annual Coverwise travel insurance policy. I am a Swiss citizen but resident in the UK.

I was scheduled to return back on the 23rd of March but easyJet has cancelled that flight. I am able to get a refund or change my flight date on easyJet but the next available date is not clear and looks like it will be after the 23rd.

Is there any compensation for the extra expenses of hotels (not yet booked) and subsistence for the extra days in Switzerland from either the airline or the travel insurance?

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    First thing: call your insurance. They should provide you some help. If you are not happy, ask here. Airlines (and EU) gives only compensation for flight (and a certain sum). Further expenses are not covered. Insurances usually cover more, but they may tell you that this is a government driven decision, outside they liability. So start to ask them, and then give us more information Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 14:07
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    @user1936752 Is there no option to return earlier with another carrier? BA and Swiss both have flights, as far as I can see. Better that than rely on getting back on a future flight that itself might be cancelled.
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 15:05
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    It's unclear to me whether you are "stuck" in London or Zurich. There are still Easyjet flights available tomorrow and Sunday from London to Zurich, and flights from Zurich to London today, tomorrow and Sunday. You should rebook on one of those ASAP.
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 15:15
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    Got the flight leaving on Sunday - it didn't show up earlier but the link works now! I'll leave this question open for a bit for those who have similar queries. Thanks for the help Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 15:18
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    @Crazydre at this point in the game, it’s a crap shoot as to which airlines are going to be around to lose lawsuits over denied compensation and duty of care claims in the time it will take them to wind through the courts...
    – user29788
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


I assume you have already travelled London - Zurich, and it is your return which has been cancelled, stranding you in Switzerland.

Whilst Switzerland is not in the EU, it is a signatory to EC261/2004. Thus cancellation of a departure from Zurich is covered by that regulation.

Since these are extraordinary circumstances, you will be unlikely to receive the usual levels of compensation for a cancellation within 14 days of scheduled departure.

However, this is distinct from the duty of care provisions. Provided you have not opted for refund on your cancelled flight, then guidance issued just yesterday confirms that this still applies, despite (or arguably, because of) a potentially lengthy stay:

According to Article 9 of the Regulation, which provides all relevant details, passengers who are affected by a flight cancellation must also be offered care by the operating air carrier, free of charge. This consists of meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time; hotel accommodation if necessary, and transport to the place of accommodation. Moreover, airports are to provide assistance to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility in accordance with Regulation 1107/20069 .

It is worth recalling that when the passenger opts for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket, the right to care ends. The same happens when the passenger chooses re-routing at a later date at the passenger's convenience (Article 5(1)(b) in conjunction with Article 8(1)(c)).

The right to care subsists only as long as passengers have to wait for a rerouting at the earliest convenience (Article 5(1)(b) in conjunction with Article 8(1)(b)).

The intention underlying the Regulation is that the needs of passengers waiting for their return flight or re-routing are adequately addressed. The extent of adequate care will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the needs of passengers in the circumstances and the principle of proportionality (i.e.: according to the waiting time). The price paid for the ticket or the length of the inconvenience suffered should not interfere with the right to care (Interpretative Guidelines Point 4.3.2).

According to the Regulation, the air carrier is obliged to fulfil the obligation of care even when the cancellation of a flight is caused by extraordinary circumstances, that is to say circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

The Regulation contains nothing that recognises a separate category of 'particularly extraordinary' events, beyond the 'extraordinary circumstances' referred to in Article 5(3) of the Regulation. The air carrier is therefore not exempted from all of its obligations, including those under Article 9 of the Regulation, even during a long period. Passengers are especially vulnerable in such circumstances and events.10 In exceptional events, the intention of the Regulation is to ensure that adequate care is provided in particular to passengers waiting for re-routing under Article 8(1)(b) of the Regulation.

(from Commission Notice -Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19, section 3.3.)

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