How long airlines like British Airways REALLY give you to cancel your flights for free

IT is easy to make a mistake when you're booking flights, especially with details such as destinations, names or times.

However, sometimes you might just change your mind and want to cancel your flight right after booking.

Some airlines in the UK offer a 24-hour grace period, or 'cooling off' period, where they will give you a full refund if the flight needs to be cancelled within that time.

While some airlines offer the service for free, and others charge a fee – and some airlines don't allow any cancellations at all and you will risk losing out.

Here, Sun Online Travel reveals the cancellation policies you need to know about:

British Airways

British Airways allow a 24-hour grace period for passengers to change a flight for free if there is a mistake with the date or time of a flight.

They advise, instead of trying to change the booking, to "cancel it and start again" after getting a refund.

The website explains: "If you notice a mistake with your booking after you have paid for your ticket(s), you may cancel a reservation made on or through the British Airways call centre within 24 hours of ticketing for a full refund.

"The 24 hour deadline can be extended up to 48 hours if the call centre is closed when you first call."


If travelling with easyJet, passengers can also cancel their flight up to 24 hours after booking.

However, they will charge a fee.

In the terms and conditions listed on the airline's website, it explained: "You may cancel Your Booking within 24 hours of making the original Booking (save that no cancellation can be made within two hours of the Flight time) and receive the applicable refund (including any applicable Passenger Duty) but excluding a cancellation fee as listed in Our Fees & Charges."

It costs £30 to cancel online, or £35 to cancel over the phone.


Ryanair flights cannot be cancelled.

You can, however, make minor changes within 24 hours of your original booking, and that includes details like spelling of names and the dates of travel.

After that, they will allow you to make changes for a fee up to two hours before boarding.

Changes to names or flights can cost between £35 and £160, depending on whether it is done online or at the airport.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin also offers a 24-hour "cooling off" period with free cancellations.

They explain: "We know that sometimes we can all make impulse decisions. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment.

"If that’s the case, then don’t panic. You can have a day cooling off period.

"If your flight isn’t in the next week, then just get in touch with your local contact centre within the first 24 hours to cancel or change your ticket."

Jet2 has no cancellation policy.

The website explains: "If you decide to cancel your whole booking or to cancel an individual passenger in your party, we do not provide any refund and strongly recommend all people travelling put in place appropriate personal travel insurance from the date of booking."

Thomas Cook

The airline does not allow any cancellations unless buying a Flex Fare flight, which can be cancelled up to 25 hours before a flight, costing between £35 and £150.

For every other fare, they state: "Thomas Cook Airlines fares (and flight extras) are 100 per cent non-refundable.

"This means that if you cancel your Booking for any reason, other than due to Force Majeure, you will be charged 100% of the Booking cost.

Passengers who miss their flight are also unlikely to get a refund.

While some airlines will try and put them on the next flight for free, most will charge for the new flight.

A woman was previously charged over £1,000 in error after trying to change a name on a boarding pass.

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