The average flyer at a UK airport loses a lot of time and money, thanks to Flight Delay Refunds. This isn’t exactly news. However, the greatest “loser” in these situations may not be the typical vacationer or casual flyer.
If reports are to be believed, the greatest loser is the business passenger. In a recent study, it was found that business passengers in the UK lost around five hundred million pounds, on average, due to delays in the top 10 busiest airports in the United Kingdom.
When broken down into actual number of days, it is estimated that business passengers lost around half a million days. When the figure is combined with the number of days lost by leisure travellers, the final number comes up to 2.5 million days, which means flyers lose around a billion pounds every year.
The data obtained from OAG, a firm specializing in air travel intelligence, shows that delays at Gatwick and Heathrow, which are two of the busiest airports in the UK, cost business passengers losses of 350 million pounds and over. When combined with the figure for leisure travellers, the figure goes up all the way to 500 million pounds.
Delays are measured according to whether flights take off or land 15 minutes behind the original schedule. The OAG’s punctuality league, which was released recently, covers around 250 airlines according to seat kilometres and global airports. The minimum number of departing seats is set at 2.5 million.
OAG ended up with the final figures by adding the total number of delay hours experienced by passengers at airports and the value they attributed to the number of hours lost. In the case of leisure flyers, each hour was valued to be worth 6.60 pound. For business passengers, each house was valued to be worth 49.2 pounds.
Chaos Strikes Again… and Again
Last month, Gatwick airport went into chaos after it was forced to shut down its runway due to the spotting of drone activity. But the aviation industry, in general, was plagued with delays, thanks to the severe disruption caused as the result of ATC (Air Traffic Control) strikes.
RyanAir was one of the operators to be affected by the strike. The airline struggled to keep control over things after its pilots and cabin crew decided to go on strike over matters of pay and working conditions. This led to the carrier cancelling several flights.
According to Phil Callow, the Chief at OAG, flight punctuality is a complex issue since delays can be caused as the result of circumstances beyond the control of carriers and airports. For instance, there are stakeholder expectations, infrastructural constraints, regulatory issues, weather and a host of other problems affecting airline schedules.
Though air travel continues to grow, punctuality seems to be a challenge that is hard to surmount. It comes with knock on effects that affect the aviation sector as a whole. The current year has been a turbulent time for aviation in terms of delays and cancellations.