The United Kingdom has been ranked as the worst country in Europe for flight delays, according to a recent report. Coming in at second place after Germany, the UK is believed to have reported an estimated 86% increase in the number of flight cancellations in 2017.
A study of flight data from across the globe found that more than 175,000 flights in the UK were either cancelled or delayed in 2018 – that’s 26,000 more than the previous year’s reported figures. Out of a total 692,800 flights this year, 10,640 were cancelled, while another 164,690 were reported to have been delayed by over 15 minutes. Around 25% of all flights from the UK have faced disruption in 2018.
Germany was ranked the worst. The country reported around 14,040 cancellations and 167,420 delays in 2018. Around 28.8% flights were disrupted out of a total 630,000 flights.
The Rest of the Team
The third, fourth, and fifth positions for highest number of disruptions went to France, Spain, and Italy, respectively. However, when it came to the maximum percentage of flights that were cancelled or delayed, Portugal took the cake. The country reported, in 2018, an average of one in three cancellations/delays out of a total 143,000 flights.
According to an air passenger rights expert, 2018 was the worst year so far in terms of disruptions across Europe. Million of flyers were affected by cancellations and extreme delays, a majority of which were caused by the airlines. Germany and UK flyers were, of course, the worst affected. Multiple factors played a role in causing these delays and cancellations. This included bad weather, lack of staff/pilots, and strikes.
The expert added that the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit aviation deal could possibly make things worse. The number of European flights is likely to go up to around 12.4 million by 2024, meaning there would be greater chaos across European airspace.
But, the expert added, that it was the duty of airlines to support and provide assistance to passengers, irrespective of how the deal turned out.
Passengers Have Rights
European Law clearly spells out that passengers are entitled to compensation in the case of delays and cancellations. The regulation, titled 261/2004, states that passengers can claim up to €600 (£536) as compensation if they have faced a delay of 3 hours or longer.
The compensation amount starts at €250 (£223) an applies to a minimum of 3 hours delay and travel distances within 1500km. The maximum compensation a passenger can claim is €600 (£536). This applies to flights delayed by at least 4 hours, covering distances of 3500km or more (between EU and Non-EU destinations).
Airlines are also requested to provide customers with accommodation, refreshments, and meals while they wait for a rearranged flight.
However, compensation cannot be claimed in the case of delays or cancellations caused as a result of “extraordinary circumstances”, such as strikes or bad weather.