According to a new report, it has been estimated that over a million flyers from the UK may be owed around £360 each as Compensation for Flight Delays or cancellations.
A new study on the subject found that almost 1.2 million flyers were entitled to compensation after their respective short/medium-haul flights had been delayed for over 3 hours in 2016. This, when broken down, amounts to about 3300 flyers who had to suffer delays from/to Britain on a daily basis.
The study, which was conducted by a consumer group, also found that the number of flyers experiencing such delays had doubled in the last 5 years for carriers such as Ryanair, British Airways, and EasyJet. Other than that, it was also observed that the number of delays in the country’s busiest airports has increased as well.
Rules on Compensation
The rules established by the EU allows passengers to claim compensation if their delayed flight departs the EU or is an EU-based carrier. The Compensation Amount that can be claimed ranges from £220 to £360 for short-haul flights. For long-haul flights, the amount can go as high as £535 if the delay is significant.
However, the actual number of compensation claims do not tally with the actual number of passengers experiencing delays. Most flyers don’t bother to apply for compensation as they find it too tedious to deal with the bureaucracy.
Adding to the problem is the fact that a lot of carriers find ways to avoid entertaining such claims. One trick is to cite “extraordinary circumstances”. Under EU Regulations, this can only apply to situations involving ATC strikes or extreme weather. However, carriers still manage to find a way. In fact, some have managed to flout the rule completely by blaming their delays on technical difficulties or lack of staff, which are not covered under this clause.
Time for Action
The consumer group behind the survey has now called on ministers to take action against such carriers. The move has found support from Labour and Tory MPs, John Mann and Huw Merriman.
The study looked at around 25 airports in the UK and assessed them from 2016 to 2017. This included both, short and medium-haul flights. The number of delayed passengers, as mentioned earlier, was estimated to be around 1.2 million, indicating a 50% rise compared to the figures obtained for the 2011-12 period.
The carrier with the highest delays was found to be EasyJet with 191,000 delayed passengers. This was closely followed by British Airways with 131,000 delays. Coming in at third place was Ryanair with 90,000 delays.
As for airports, Gatwick saw an increase of 60% with 264,000 delays. Heathrow suffered 240,000 delays while London City saw an increase of 212% in the number of delays. Glasgow, Newcastle, and Manchester reported fewer delays.
When questioned, most air carriers and airports either chose to blame the delays on circumstances that were out of their control or tried to divert the discussion to a more positive topic about their performance.