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Published on Monday, September 10, 2018

Report reveals worst airlines for flight delays

A new report by consumer group Which? has revealed the worst offenders when it comes to UK passengers suffering airline delays.

The report, compiled by data from the Civil Aviation Authority, says around 1.3 million passengers flying in or out of the UK faced delays of at least three hours last year. That is the equivalent to 3,500 passenger trips a day.

In total, over 13,000 flights to and from UK airports were delayed by three or more hours between June 2017 and June 2018.

Which? has separated flight delays statistics into three categories, covering long-haul, short-haul and medium-haul flights.

Norwegian Airways had the most delayed long-haul flights, with 2.4% of its services delayed by three or more hours, followed by Thomas Cook, with 1.8%, then TUI at 1.6%.

For medium-haul, Thomas Cook and TUI had the most delays, while Icelandair had the most short-haul delays.

EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways made up the bulk of the delayed flights, with more than 630,000 of delayed passengers travelling with one of the three. However, these airlines also operate the highest number of flights.

The five airlines with the most severe delays in each category are:

Long haul
Norwegian Airways: 2.4% of flights
Thomas Cook: 1.8%
TUI: 1.6%
Air India: 1.5%
Air Canada: 1.3%

Medium haul
Thomas Cook Airlines: 1.2%
TUI Airways: 1.1%
Saudi Arabian Airlines: 1%
British Airways: 0.7%
British Airways: 0.7%
El Al: 0.7%

Short haul
Icelandair 1.7%
Aurigny Air 1.7%
TUI Airways 1.4%
Eastern Airways 1.3%
Stobart Air 1.2%

Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neill said: "It is vital that automatic compensation is introduced across the industry so that people no longer have to jump through hoops to get what they are owed."

Airlines UK, which represents airline companies, said delays affect a minority of overall journeys and are often 'due to factors outside of an airline's control'.

Noam Shapira, co-CEO of Setoo, which was set up to transform cumbersome and complex insurance processes, said the process of claiming is currently lengthy and tedious.

"The consumer should not need to ask for the compensation - it needs to be automatic.

"In addition, compensation does not consider the derived loss from the delay. Finally, with the range of insurance solutions currently available, it is usually sold as part of a larger travel insurance policy that may not be needed by the consumer.

"Technology is available to address this issue. Real-time data on delays is easily-obtained and with the use of artificial intelligence comes the ability to predict the risk of delay, identify when this has happened, and automatically compensate consumers.

"By offering personalised insurance with automated claims, airlines can create a delightful customer experience and generate a new source for ancillary revenues."

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  • Not surprised

    When airlines (like Thomas Cook) don't apparently allow for ANY delays, the knock-on effects cause very significant delays later in the day. We experienced this on both outbound and return flights (a fortnight apart) where probably third destination of the day for that particular aircraft resulted in delays, which was apparently routine.

    By Peter Mannell, Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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