Delayed flights and your rights

12/09/16 Every day, the UK’s airports help to ferry hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers all around the world.

Flight Delays

Has your flight been delayed? Raise your issue via Resolver for free now

While we all hope for a smooth start and end to our time away, sadly some peoples’ plans do get hit by late flights.

In fact, recent research by consumer group Which? found that almost a quarter of flights out of UK airports are delayed by 15 minutes or more. But what happens if you are lumbered with a late flight? And who is going to sort you out most effectively if the worst happens?

BA problems

This week, tens of thousands of British Airways passengers were left in the lurch after their global check-in system failed. It is incredibly frustrating when you experience a delayed or cancelled flight, as it can disrupt your travel plans horrendously, whether you're flying for business or coming back from a late summer holiday.

The knock-on consequences can be serious - you can miss connecting flights, transfers, crucial business meetings or be late back to start work, school or university. That's why this strict system of compensation for delays and cancellations exists.

The check-in failure shows just how reliant we are on technology working properly, especially for a globally-renowned brand on whom so many travellers rely.

Dealing with delays

Using unique insights from the tens of thousands of airline customers who raise their flight delay complaints via resolver.co.uk every month, we've looked at which airlines you’re most likely to complain about, and which will sort your issues out most effectively if you do…

The most commonly complained about airlines (Figures for YTD)

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Company
Ryanair
British Airways
Thomson Airways
easyJet
Thomas Cook Airlines
Flybe
Jet2
Norwegian Air
Vueling Airlines
Monarch

(Figures for YTD)

The best airlines at dealing with your delays (Figures for YTD)

Company Satisfaction after complaint resolution (Average out of 10)
Monarch 7
British Airways 7
Virgin Atlantic 7
Thomson Airways 7
Flybe 7
KLM Royal Dutch 7
Emirates 6
Jet2 6
Qatar Airways 6
Air France 6

The worst airlines at dealing with your delays (Figures for YTD)

Company Satisfaction after complaint resolution (Average out of 10)
Vueling Airlines 4
Turkish Airlines 4
Norwegian Air 4
Etihad Airways 4
Wizz Air 5
Lufthansa 5
easyJet 5
Ryanair 5
American Airlines 5
Delta Airlines 5

When can you claim?

There are some basic rules:
• Rule 1: the flight must be delayed by more than three hours, and the delay has to be compared to the time the flight is meant to arrive and not the time that it takes off (oh, and ‘arrival’ counts as the point at which the cabin crew open the doors… not when the plane touches down)
• Rule 2: the flight must take off from the UK or European Union. If it’s a long-haul flight into the UK/EU, it must be via a UK or European airline and the flight must be longer than 3,500km
• Rule 3: the issue must be ‘within the control of the airline’ (so bad weather or air-traffic control disputes are going to leave you without any compensation)

How much can you claim for?

• If the flight is less than 1,500km and the flight is more than three hours late, then you can claim €250
• If the flight is between 1,500 and 3,000Km and the flight is more than three hours late, then you can claim €400
• If the flight is more than 3,000km and leaving the EU, or is an EU airline flying into the UK and is between three and four hours late, then you could get back €300. (If it is more than four hours late, then you could expect up to €600.

Resolver's Top Tips: Flight Delays/Cancellations

- Make sure your flight is covered by EU rules - see http://www.resolver.co.uk/consumer-rights/flights-delayed-complaints
- Make sure you know precisely how long your delay is - you could keep a record to send with your claim by taking pictures on your smartphone
- Don't take no for an answer - if you believe the airline is obliged to pay out under EU261, take it to the regulator involved. You can escalate this for free atresolver.co.uk
- You might be offered compensation as miles or vouchers - you don't have to accept these as you are entitled to any compensation in cash

For more information, see our page on Flight Delays.

Has your flight been delayed? Raise your issue via Resolver for free now

Let James help you complain @resolvercouk and via resolver.co.uk

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