Hundreds of thousands of airline passengers could claim compensation for delayed flights, new analysis from Which? has revealed.
Around 900,000 passengers could be entitled to claim after Which? analysed data for 1.7m flights over the past year.
The analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data found that 9,000 flights were delayed by more than three hours in the last year, potentially entitling passengers on those flights to claim compensation.
But Which? research found that only four in 10 people who were delayed claimed compensation, meaning consumers could be missing out on millions of pounds.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘We are urging people to hold their airline to account and claim the compensation they are rightly owed if they have a lengthy delay.’
If your flight was delayed, use our free tool to claim flight delay compensation.
Uncovering the worst offenders
We assessed the data on flights to and from the UK by looking at the proportion that were delayed by three hours or more, and found:
- The worst UK airport for delays of three hours or more was Gatwick, with 2,134 flights affected over the 12 months to May 2015.
- Passengers are most likely to experience delays of more than three hours on short-haul flights with Vueling, Monarch and Thomas Cook, which together accounted for more than 700 delays in the last year – 68,000 passenger journeys.
- For long-haul flights, passengers were more likely to be delayed by three hours or more with Pakistan International Airlines, Air India or American Airlines, accounting for more than 400 flights – 40,500 passenger journeys.
The three largest airlines operating in the UK – Easyjet, BA and Ryanair, which operated nearly half of all flights for the period analysed – accounted for four in 10 delays of more than three hours.
Airlines failing to explain compensation entitlement
Passengers have told us that some airlines are failing to provide the right information about compensation entitlement and are dragging their feet over payouts.
Half of those who were delayed told us they received no support or information about the delay from their airline.
If you’re travelling with an airline based in the EU or with a non EU-based airline flying to or from an EU airport, then you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation.
Compensation amounts vary depending on the length of your flight and the length of the delay, but you might be able to claim as much as €600 in compensation.
Richard Lloyd added: ‘Flight delays are a disappointing and stressful reality for people travelling abroad this summer.
‘The last thing you need is a long wait at the airport, but sadly this is going to be the case for many holidaymakers.’