Thousands of Brits jetting off on city breaks this weekend could be faced with flight delays to popular European destinations.
Travellers seeking sun during the school half-term or planning a long weekend over the upcoming Bank Holiday are likely to be delayed on journeys to popular tourist spots including Barcelona, Mallorca and Rome*.
Over a third of flights to the big cities in Spain and Italy are likely to be delayed this May and other southern European destinations don’t fare much better, with 32% of flights to Milan and 31% of flights to Rhodes* possibly facing delays.
Passengers heading to destinations slightly closer to home could also have their time away cut short, including Amsterdam (21%) and Paris (22%)*, albeit with a slightly lesser chance of a hold up.
Warnings come from the team behind the UK’s first flight delay compensation app airFair, which has made these predictions based on flight data from May 2016*, and is highlighting the importance of passengers knowing their rights when it comes to claiming compensation.
Steven Bell, managing director at airFair, said: “A lot of people do not realise that they are entitled to claim compensation for delayed flights and therefore miss out on money that they are rightfully entitled to. Airlines set money aside for paying out compensation, so if passengers don't claim following a delay then that money just sits there.
“While it is always extremely frustrating when faced with a delayed flight, unfortunately this does happen, so it’s important to be prepared as possible and know your compensation rights. With the airFair app passengers can start their claim process whilst they are still in the airport, simply with their booking reference or flight number.”
Research has shown that 95% of people who are entitled to compensation due to a delayed flight don’t claim it**.
EU regulation states that passengers are entitled to compensation if a flight is delayed by more than three hours from an airport which resides in the European Union or was en-route to an EU member state.
The compensation passengers are owed is fixed, regardless of the flight cost. While the amount depends on the length of the delay and distance of the flight, passengers could be entitled to as much as €600 (around £480).
Top five delayed destinations in May 2016 (percentage of flights delayed):
1. Barcelona - 34%
2. Mallorca - 33%
3. Rome - 33%
4. Milan - 32%
5. Rhodes - 31%