Schiphol Reopens
Amsterdam's Schiphol is one of Europe's busiest airports. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has cancelled more than 300 flights as the Netherlands has been struck with the heaviest summer storm on record.

In three Dutch provinces, a code red has been declared by the national meteorological institute as Storm Poly brought heavy rain and strong winds, with one gust reaching over 90mph. The storm has forced Schiphol, one of Europe's busiest airports, to cancel or delay hundreds of flights, including both KLM and easyJet arrivals from Manchester Airport.

The powerful storm that has killed at least two people saw KLM Royal Dutch Airlines cancel 207 flights, according to Yahoo! Life. The national railway company has also halted all trains across Northern Netherlands.

How to get a refund for cancelled flights?

Airports in the UK including Heathrow, Manchester and Gatwick, are experiencing lengthy delays for arrivals and departures to and from the Netherlands, according to Mirror.

If a passenger's flight gets cancelled because of the weather, they must be aware that they have the right to receive a full refund. This includes other flights from the airline that you won't use in the same booking such as onward or return flights. Alternatively, passengers can rebook for a replacement flight to get them to their destination.

If a traveller is halfway through their journey and they don't want a replacement flight, they also have a right to a flight back to the airport they originally flew from. One must ask for a refund or replacement at the airport if they can. If not, they can claim from the airline later.

However, the bad news in such circumstances is that regardless of the inconvenience caused by flight cancellations, a traveller is unlikely to get any compensation. It is understood that airlines need not pay compensation for delays or cancellations caused by unusual measures outside of their control.

Netherlands storm
A tree fell on a houseboat fixed in one of the iconic canals in Amsterdam. Evert Elzinga/AFP News

EasyJet released an official statement on their website, apologising for the cancelled flights.

"This is due to an adverse weather forecast in Amsterdam which forecasts high winds and low visibility on 5th July. As a consequence, Schiphol airport authorities have imposed arrival restrictions which significantly reduces the number of flights that can operate to and from Schiphol airport on 5th July," easyJet wrote.

Adding further, easyJet wrote that they understood the disappointing situation for their customers and they wanted to make it as easy as possible for their flyers to make new plans. "So here's everything you need to know about what to do next. The disruption to your flight is outside of our control and is considered to be an extraordinary circumstance," wrote easyJet further.

The British low-cost airlines then advised their passengers to either switch to another flight for free, select a voucher for the full value of their ticket or request a refund.

How bad is the storm in the Netherlands?

Since the storm is slowly moving towards Denmark and Germany, arrivals and departures from those countries may also be impacted.

The Schiphol Airport on Wednesday had said on its website that it expected "very limited air traffic will be possible" into the afternoon, leading to cancellations and delays for incoming and departing flights.

Netherlands storm
Trees collapsed on a row of houses in Haarlem Remko de Waal/AFP News

"At the moment, 400 flights have been cancelled. Due to strong gusts of wind, rain and poor visibility caused by storm Poly, very limited air traffic is possible between 9 am and 4 pm on Wednesday, 5 July. Both arriving and departing flights have been cancelled or delayed," a Schiphol spokesperson said.

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is a major hub connecting flights from Asia, the Middle East and the United States to the rest of Europe.

Dutch media has been regularly sharing visuals of trees scattered at highways, collapsed on a row of houses in Haarlem, and uprooted onto a tram in The Hague. In Amsterdam, a tree fell on a houseboat fixed in one of the city's historic canals. Amsterdam municipality closed parks as the storm hit the Dutch capital.

Meanwhile, emergency services in North Holland province, which includes Amsterdam, sent a push alert to mobile phones urging people to stay indoors as the storm passed. Traffic authorities also advised motorists to drive only in the utmost needed circumstances.