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Flight Delays - Your Rights and Travel Insurance

In the light of the publication of the latest airline punctuality league tables we're looking at which airline is most likely to get you there on time. Plus, if you do suffer a delay what assistance can you get from your airline and your travel insurance.

 

The airline league tables, which are produced by Flightontime.info using arrival and departure data from the CAA, rank airlines that fly into and out of the 10 reporting UK airports including Gatwick, Heathrow, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

 

The average delay in minutes looks relatively low, with even the lowest ranked airline reporting an average delay of 26.7 minutes. But remember these are averages, within these times there could be lots of flights on schedule, and the odd one delayed for a very long time.

Airline Punctuality League Table - Jan to Jun 2012

Airline

Rank

Average delay (min)

% within 15 mins

% delay over 1 hour

bmi Regional

1st

3.9

94.5

1.7

CityJet (incl VLM)

2nd

5.9

89.9

2.2

Eastern Airways

3rd

6

90.4

2.3

Aer Lingus

4th

6.6

87.3

2.2

KLM

5th

6.8

88.6

1.8

BA CityFlyer

6th

7.7

86.1

2.8

Scandinavian SAS

7th

7.7

85

2.5

Loganair

8th

7.9

89.7

3.5

bmi baby

9th

8.2

87.1

2.9

Norwegian Air Shuttle

10th

8.3

84.9

2.7

Brussels Airlines

11th

8.6

83.3

2.8

Air France

12th

8.6

82.3

1.8

easyJet

13th

8.8

85.5

3

Alitalia

14th

8.8

81.4

2.7

Ryanair

15th

8.9

83.5

1.9

Germanwings

16th

9.6

80.4

2.5

Aurigny

17th

9.7

85.7

3.5

Swiss Airlines

18th

10.1

79.3

2.9

bmi British Midland

19th

10.7

80.2

3.5

Flybe

20th

10.9

83.5

4.4

Lufthansa

21st

11

77.1

3.1

Delta Air Lines

22nd

11.4

79.7

3.7

Aer Arann

23rd

12.5

82.7

5.4

British Airways

24th

13

76.8

4.5

Wizz Air

25th

14.4

75.8

4.6

American Airlines

26th

15.1

73.3

5.1

TAP Air Portugal

27th

16.5

71.6

7.5

Virgin Atlantic

28th

16.8

76.6

6.2

Emirates

29th

17.3

62.4

4.6

Jet2

30th

17.6

72.3

5.8

United / Continental

31st

18.3

69.2

7.5

Iberia

32nd

20

57

6.2

THY Turkish

33rd

22.2

58.3

9.1

Air Canada

34th

25

60.6

8.7

Monarch Scheduled

35th

26.7

61.4

10.5

2012 Ranking by Jan-Jun average delay (ascending). Analysis includes arrivals and departures at UK reporting airports. Data obtained from www.flightontime.info.

Flight delay: Your rights & how travel insurance can help

If your flight is delayed your airline has a duty to look after you whilst you wait at the airport, you may also be able to claim further help from your travel insurance.

Travel insurance and flight delays

In addition to your airline being obliged by law to look after you, most travel insurance policies provide cover for travel delay, which becomes applicable if you are delayed by more than 12 hours due to strikes or industrial action, adverse weather or mechanical breakdown.

With most travel insurance, travel delay cover is generally a fixed benefit to help you cover additional expenses such as food and drink whilst you wait at the airport.

After a long delay your travel insurance may also have cover to 'abandon' your holiday and make a claim to recoup the cost of unused flights and accommodation.

Flight delays: Your rights with your airline

Departing from an EU airport, or entering the EU on an European airline

If your flight has been delayed by more than a specified amount of time (two to four hours depending on the length of flight) your airline has a duty to provide you with food, drinks, communications and accommodation if you are delayed overnight.

You are entitled to this assistance regardless of the cause of delay and your airline must look after you until you are able to depart on your flight.

If your flight is delayed for more than five hours and you no longer wish to travel as your trip no longer has a purpose, you are entitled to have the cost of your flight refunded if you choose to. This covers any part of your flight you've already completed and any unused parts, but it doesn't include accommodation or other holiday expenses. Remember, that if you want to buy a replacement ticket using the refund from your delayed flight, it may cost you more at short notice.

Flight delays outside the EU on non-EU airlines

Your rights will vary and depend on the terms and conditions of the airline. Some airlines will provide refreshments for you others won't. If they don't you should be able to buy your own refreshments and make a claim for reimbursement under the Montreal Convention. Remember to keep receipts and only buy what is necessary.

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