London Heathrow Dubbed The UK’s Worst Airport Thanks To Massive Number of Christmas Flight Delays

Posted on January, 13 2020 by Blueway Limited

The holiday season is a special time for everyone. People wish to get home to spend time with their loved ones. Their idea of a holiday certainly isn’t spending hours waiting for a delayed flight to depart. But unfortunately, this is what thousands of travellers did last year.

2019 was reportedly one of the worst periods in aviation history, given the numerous flight delays and cancellations announced across the world. In an effort to identify if some airports experienced more setbacks than others, experts from the aviation industry studied trends from the 2018 Christmas season. The survey revealed some startling results.

According to experts, London’s Heathrow Airport – the country’s busiest – is the UK’s worst and Europe’s fourth-worst airport in terms of the number of delays and cancellations it experiences.

30% of Heathrow’s aircraft are behind schedule

One of the biggest shockers of the study was that 30% of all London Heathrow flights deferred by hours. In 2018, about 19,233 flights took off from Heathrow Airport carrying around 70 million people during the holiday season – specifically between the dates of December 21st 2018 and December 25th 2018. Based on the results of the study, over 5769 flights (30%) were delayed during the 2018 Christmas season.

If you thought London Gatwick fared better, think again. Gatwick’s flight delay percentage was a close second to Heathrow, at 29%. Over 10,371 departed from Gatwick’s terminals in December 2018, and upwards of 3007 flights were delayed for many hours with a few even cancelled.

According to experts, Heathrow airport is expected to see over 24% of its flights delayed in January 2020 as well. Gatwick airport too has made its way onto the list of the ten worst airports to travel through in 2020.

Other bad performers

While both Heathrow and Gatwick have left the UK in shame, they aren’t the most terrible performers across the world.

From the 2019 study, Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines was ranked the worst airport in the world for the number of delays it saw – over 41% of its flights departed much later than scheduled. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (India) was ranked second with a 38% delay rate. 

Europe’s first airport to make an entry into the lousy performance list is Frankfurt am Main Airport, Germany – it’s the third most delayed airport in the world. In fact, the top two worst airports from Europe belong to Germany, with the second being Munich International Airport. The third spot from Europe goes to Paris Charles De Gaulle, followed by London Heathrow.

As for the airports to experience the worst flight delays and cancellations in 2020, again, Manila takes the top. Frankfurt Airport has risen a spot, becoming the second-most delayed airport, followed by Paris Charles De Gaulle.

Most airports on the worst performers list for 2020 come from Europe; the only two non-European airports on the list are Hong Kong International Airport and Newark International Airport.

So, passengers flying out from any of these airports should be wary. If you do experience any flight delays or cancellations, you can seek compensation by filing your claims with us at Flight Delay Refunds.

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