Were you lucky enough to jump on a plane this year? I said ‘jump on a plane’ not off it, though you may have wanted to do the latter with all the delays holiday goers endured this year.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed that both charter and scheduled flights suffered more and longer delays this year.
Only 63% of charter flights, the ones that come with your packaged holidays, were on time between July and October 2010. That’s compared to 74% in 2009.
As for scheduled flights, 72% were on time in 2010, compared to 80% last year. Yes, there are a lot of percentages flying around in this Conversation, but there’s one obvious trend – fewer flights were on time this year.
Just how long were flights delayed?
But how late were they? Well, the CAA defines a flight as delayed if it’s behind by just 15 minutes. Now, that’s not too long is it? Plus, the average delay for scheduled flights turned out to be only 16 minutes.
However, as we all know, an average doesn’t tell the whole story – many of those flight delays must have been much longer. And for Which? Conversation commenter Justin, it’s not about how long the delay is, it’s about the lack of information when there is one:
‘It is often the case that after arriving at an airport and checking in etc. information is scarce when there are delays. Staff (if they can be located) are unhelpful – especially at foreign airports,’ he argued.
So what should you do if your holiday flight has been delayed? Sadly you’ll just have to sit it out with a magazine if it’s only 15 minutes, but if it’s much longer, Which? Holiday’s Head of Research, Rochelle Turner, has these words of wisdom:
‘These figures show delays are unfortunately on the increase. But remember your rights if your flight is delayed by three hours or more.
‘If you’re flying with an EU-based airline or from an EU airport, you should be entitled to food, drink and free phone calls once the delay reaches three hours. If your flight is delayed to the point that you require an overnight stay, your airline will have to pay for that as well.’
Were you hit by a delayed flight this year? If so, was it longer than you could bear?