Flyers facing flight delays at the Manchester, Dublin, Glasgow, Heathrow and Gatwick airports will now be eligible for a free flight from Southend. The airport, located in Essex, is offering the option to the first thousand passengers who face delays longer than 30 minutes. The offer became active last month.
However, there are certain terms and conditions. For instance, the free flight ticket won’t be made available until the end of October.
Southend has launched the offer as part of an effort to advertise its connections to the other airports mentioned above, which will begin at the end of October as well.
In order to be eligible for the free flight offer, the flyer must be booked on a flight set to depart from Heathrow or Gatwick to Dublin, Manchester or Glasgow between the 14th of August and the 30th of September.
The delay must be at least half an hour behind the original schedule. If the first two conditions are met, the flyer can email a copy of their boarding pass to firstname.lastname@example.org while also mentioning the actual departure time of the flight.
Successful applicants will be provided with a voucher code for a free flight.
A joint venture
Southend airport has tied up with Stobart Air to provide the service. Glyn Jones, CEO for Stobart Aviation, told the media that Gatwick and Heathrow often compromise on passenger experience in their effort to boost passenger numbers.
However, Jones claims Southend can be of help at the moment because it’s already operating at peak capacity.
According to Southend, Heathrow had 21% of passengers being delayed for over 15 minutes while Gatwick had 26% of its passengers being delayed. These are believed to be the figures for 2017. But, it must be noted that while Southend plans to offer 12 flights to Glasgow in total, British Airways operates as many flights on a daily basis from Gatwick and Heathrow, both.
A spokesperson from Heathrow said that the airport had invested around 11 billion pounds to change things up. This includes installing advanced technological solutions to boost efficiency and reduce delay times. The spokesperson also added that Heathrow is still voted as the Best Airport in all of Western Europe.
As of now, the airport is said to be looking forward to more expansion, which will include more runway capacity and a better experience for passengers.
Southend is one of the oldest airports in the UK and saw its first flight all the way back in 1915. It was a military flight that aimed to intercept a German Zeppelin. The airport was also the third most busy airport in the UK at one point in time. Heathrow and Manchester came in first and second, respectively.
But, now, Stansted occupies that position. Southend sees lesser crowds owing to the fact that it is 40 miles from the eastern side of London. The sheer distance and the cost involved in covering that distance keeps passengers away.