In recent UK flight delay news, many holidaymakers were left more than mildly annoyed when they landed more than two hours over the time than it normally takes for a flight to cover the distance between Heathrow and Bermuda. Rescheduled flight plans have revealed that British Airways now fly a more northerly route than was used before. The route now covers Northern Ireland, South of Iceland and Eastern Canada onward to Bermuda.
The flight delay news led to a number of speculations as to why BA chose to increase the distance by almost 1,000 miles, amounting to about two and a half hours of flight time, this, along with delays on ground have spiked up the total travel time by almost five hours. The flight schedules have also been changed accordingly. It has turned out to be an inconvenience to passengers, especially considering the fact that British Airways is the only carrier that connects the UK to Bermuda directly. Any other way of getting to the islands will involve stops and multiple airlines getting involved.
It was stated that they will never operate any flights that are not thoroughly inspected for safety of their passengers and that every flight that they take is designed with many factors in play. There was no official comment by BA on the reason as to why the path was changed, leading many to believe the northerly route is safer. The change in path is only temporary and the old route, a more direct approach to the islands is likely to come back to usage.
ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engined Operational Performance Standards) is a new regulation, where a twin engined aircraft like the ones that BA uses to reach Bermuda are allowed to travel over 60 minutes, at cruising speed, to a diversion or to an emergency airport. ETOPS ensures that there will be no commercial carrier that cannot make it across the Atlantic, for example, will attempt to as the straight line path will put all diversions further than 60 minutes away.
Flight delay compensation in such cases
If a flight gets delayed beyond the stipulated time as mentioned in the EU flight regulations, even due to technical errors and difficulties, they will have to pay compensation to every passenger. There are, however a number of situations where a flight delay will not bear any payback to the customer. They are called extraordinary circumstances and are completely beyond the control of the operator. In a case like this, the flights were rescheduled and the flight timings for arrival and departure were clearly marked out, the changes are temporary, but the airliner made the flight delay news clear before take-off what the ETA will be. If the total journey or the time marked by the airline was further exceeded due to unexplained delays, passengers can apply for flight delay compensation.
Flight paths are often changed before starting and if the journey changes are notified and it turns out that the total journey has, as a result, taken longer than it would have otherwise, there is very little chance that the carrier will honour an application for flight delay compensation.