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UK air passengers hit by 13,000 ‘severe’ flight delays

Flight board

More than 13,000 UK flights suffered delays of at least three hours affecting more than 1.3 million passengers during a 12-month period.

Analysis from consumer body Which? found Norwegian had the highest percentage of long-haul delays with 2.4% of flights being affected by delays of more than three hours, during the year up to June 2018. Tour operators Thomas Cook and TUI were in second and third place when it came to the highest proportion of long-haul delays.

For short-haul flights, the airlines with the highest proportion of “severe” delays were Icelandair at 1.7% of all services followed by Channel Islands operator Aurigny at 1.6% - Icelandair saw its proportion of delays more than treble compared with the previous year.

The most three hour-plus delays were experienced by Easyjet passengers with 2,618 flights being delayed by at least three hours during the year, followed by Ryanair with 1,868 delays and British Airways with 1,668 delayed flights. Although, these airlines’ overall proportion of delays was “close to the industry average”, according to Which?

Under EU rules, passengers are entitled to receive between £220 and £360 in compensation on delayed short-haul flights, and up to £535 for long-haul flights, depending on the length of delay.

Alex Neill, Which?’s managing director of home products and services, said: “Passengers are often entitled to compensation when airlines get it wrong. 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.”

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