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43 million air passenger journeys delayed

Nearly one million people may be due compensation.


Our research has shown that almost a quarter of the two million flights to or from the UK between April 2015 and March 2016 were delayed by 15 minutes or more, affecting around 43 million air passenger journeys.

More than 10,000 of those flights were over three hours late. This means that, under the current EU Denied Boarding Regulation, nearly one million passengers could potentially be entitled to compensation for disruption to their journeys.

However, where flights were delayed due to factors such as extreme weather or airport strikes, they’re unlikely to get compensation.

If you think you might be due compensation, join the 20,000 people who have claimed for a flight delay or cancellation using our flight rights tool.

Flight delay findings

We found that 183,000 passengers were delayed on long-haul flights. This means they could be entitled to £510 (€600) if the flight was at least four hours late, or £250 (€300) if the plane landed between three or four hours behind schedule. Gatwick Airport suffered the most delays to long-haul journeys.

Among the major airlines, Vueling, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Thomas Cook were named as the airlines with the highest percentage of delays of three hours or more to their short-haul flights.

A further 729,000 travellers on short-haul flights were delayed and could claim up to £210 (€250) if they were delayed by more than three hours. Southend Airport was named as the location where passengers were most likely to encounter delays to short-haul flights.

Passengers travelling with Pakistan International Airlines, Air India and US Airways were the most likely to face three-hour delays on long-haul flights. The average delay time for a Pakistan International Airlines flight was nearly 45 minutes.  

Flight compensation – what you need to know

If you are looking to claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight, we’re here to help.

Our expert tips, advice and complaints tools guide people through understanding their rights and how to claim compensation. This information is free, so travellers who claim compensation using our tools won’t have to share a refund with claims management companies.

So far, 20,418 people have used our tool for flight delays and cancellations – 14,202 of those for delays and 6,202 for cancellations. Our template letters make it simple and straightforward to make a claim and help ensure you are not left out of pocket. If you’ve been delayed, give our flight delay template letter a try.

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Policy and Campaigns, said: “We know that lots of passengers on late-running flights aren’t claiming the compensation they’re due and could be missing out. If you’re delayed, make sure you use our guide and claim the money you’re rightly owed.”

More on this…

• Use our template letter to get compensation for a cancelled flight
• Brush up on your rights if you’re affected by a strike
• See if you can claim compensation for a missed flight

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