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Flight delays are becoming more common in the UK says consumer watchdog in recent report

Flight delays in the UK

The UK experienced the second-highest number of flight delays and disruptions of any country in Europe this year, according to new research. The busiest airlines have seen a significant increase in flight delays over the last five years, according to consumer watchdog, Which. Thomas Cook passengers were the most likely to face a delay of at least an hour, with 11.5 per cent of flights arriving at least an hour late. Under EC 261/2004, passengers may be entitled to compensation in circumstances where a flight arrives three or more hours late and the delay is within the airline’s control.

The Future of Flight Claims

Due to an increase in late flights caused by matters within airlines’ control, claims under Regulation 261/2004 will increase over the coming months. The watchdog report found that the number of Ryanair flights delayed by an hour or more doubled in the past five years, from three per cent in 2014 to nearly eight per cent in 2018. Ryanair pilots have recently been on strike over pensions; loss of licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; amongst other things. Ryanair was voted the worst brand for customer service. Collectively, this had led to an influx in Ryanair flight delay claims under EC Regulation 261/2004.

Ryanair passengers board after airline announces flight is delayed more than 3 hours.
Above: Ryanair Passengers Boarding Delayed Flight

British Airways (BA) pilots recently announced they are due to strike on 9, 10 and 27 September which will inconvenience many passengers. The airline was forced to apologise to customers which incorrectly received emails advising that their flights were cancelled due to strike action by the British Airline Pilots Association on days other than those mentioned. The BBC mentioned that BA had received over 40,000 calls from disgruntled passengers within 24 hours relating to the cancellation notices. A subsequent email leading on from this advised that some of the flights in question were in fact taking place. Many passengers spent hours trying to get through to BA only to be informed that this information had been sent out in error.

BA passenger voices opinion on Twitter after trying to get through to airline after an email causes confusion.
Above: @Lewgriffs shared his experiences on Twitter

Concluding Remarks

Whilst common rules for a compensation system in scheduled air transport created basic protection for passengers, the number of passengers denied boarding against their will remains too high, as does that affected by cancellations without prior warning and that affected by long delays. When passengers flights are cancelled they should be able either to obtain reimbursement of their tickets or to obtain re-routing under satisfactory conditions and should be adequately cared for while awaiting a later flight but there is no guarantee this will take place. In many cases, delayed passengers may be able to obtain as much as £560 per passenger in compensation in addition to this.

If your flight has been delayed, cancelled or you have been denied boarding, please get in touch. We operate a no win no fee service and can assess the merits of your claim. Contact us now and find out whether you are entitled to compensation under EC 261/2004.

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