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Schools out but Brits beware here are the worst airlines

by LLB Reporter
22nd Jul 19 2:17 pm

Hundreds of thousands of Brits heading on their summer holidays should prepare for flight disruption at the hands of popular airlines, reveals Bott and Co, the leading flight delay compensation law firm in the UK.

The firm is warning passengers after 2018’s record year for summer holiday flight chaos, which saw an increase of 33% for flights cancelled or delayed over three hours compared to the previous year, when only 1.31% of flights were affected.

Out of the ten worst offending air carriers for delays in 2018, seven were UK-based airlines.

Reasons for the spike in delays last year included an upsurge in cabin crew strikes, reoccurring drone chaos, tightly packed flight schedules and uncertainty over the looming Brexit fiasco.

According to data provided by Lennoc Flight Intelligence, Ryanair passengers suffered the most disruption with 1,000 delayed flights, an average of 11 per day departing over three hours late from and into the UK. easyJet had the second largest number of interruptions within peak holiday season with 907 delays. Passengers of the British low-cost airline experienced an upturn in delays compared to 2017.

British Airways ranked third with 598 delays, a figure set to rise this year with the flag carrier’s pilots set to strike in the midst of the 2019 school holidays.  The firm is encouraging holidaymakers to be aware of their rights to compensation before taking to the skies, under a law known as EU Regulation 261/2004.

Coby Benson, Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor at Bott and Co said, “While many delays are due to factors beyond the airlines’ control, last year’s data shows airlines simply aren’t doing enough to alleviate disruption for passengers.

“The law entitles passengers to compensation of up to 600 Euros each for delays over three hours and cancellations that are not caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’. Airlines do not have a valid defence when flights are affected by factors which are considered inherent in the day to day running of an air carrier or where reasonable measures could have been put in place to limit or avoid disruption. We would therefore encourage people to look into the nature of the delay and how the airline managed it, even if it is extraordinary circumstances.”

Airlines with most delays summer 2018
Rank Airline Delays
1 Ryanair 1000
2 EasyJet 907
3 British Airways 598
4 Fly BE 444
5 Thomson Airways 261
6 Thomas Cook Airlines 243
7 Jet 2 200
8 Vueling 135
9 Wizzair 131
10 Norwegian International 103


When comparing the summer of 2018 to that of the previous year, Vueling Airways saw the biggest year on year increase for flight delays.

Jet2, which came seventh for delays in 2018 fared worse in comparison to 2017, with an increase of 125%. Ryanair, the worst performer for 2018 came third when looking at the year earlier.

The top three culprits for 2018 doubled in the number of delays compared to 2017.

Flybe seems to have the most stable operation. Although they ranked fourth for number of flights disrupted last year, there was only a 1% increase compared to the previous summer.

Airlines ranked by increase in delays

summer 2018 compared to summer 2017

Rank Airline Delays 2018 Delays 2017  % Increase
1 Vueling 135 55 145%
2 Jet 2 200 89 125%
3 Ryanair 1000 447 124%
4 Wizzair 131 67 96%
5 Thomson Airways 261 143 83%
6 British Airways 598 403 48%
7 Thomas Cook Airlines 243 174 40%
8 Easyjet 907 752 21%
9 Norwegian International 103 92 12%
10 Fly BE 444 441 1%


Thomas Cook had a 40% increase in the number of flights that were delayed year on year. This airline was responsible for the longest delayed flight of summer 2018. On 13 June 2018, Thomas Cook flight MT431 from Antalya Airport, Turkey to London Gatwick was delayed for 40 hours and 41 minutes.

Thomas Cook was responsible for four out of five of the longest delays throughout holiday season 2018.

Longest delays summer 2018
Rank Airline and flight number Date From To Delay length
1 Thomas Cook MT431 13 June 2018 Antalya, Turkey London Gatwick, UK 40 hours and 41 minutes
2 Thomas Cook MT1472 28 August 2018 Bristol, UK Crete, Greece 39 hours and 50 minutes
3 Thomas Cook MT2605 10 August 2018 Orlando, USA Manchester, UK 39 hours and 37 minutes
4 Thomas Cook MT2651 20 July 2018 Orlando, USA Glasgow, UK 33 hours and 45 minutes
5 Thomson (TUI) TOM1527 01 June 2018 Corfu, Greece Belfast, UK 33 hours and 35 minutes


Benson added, “The law was put in place to protect air travellers and to make sure that airlines are doing all that they can to limit passenger inconvenience. Bott and Co looks at each case individually to determine whether the operating air carrier has done enough to avoid the disruption occurring.

“Our in-house database shows that technical faults are the most common reason for delays. This reason is covered by the regulation along with staff strikes, weather that is not considered ‘freak’ or out of the ordinary and denied boarding. Passengers whose flights are affected by any of these circumstances are protected by EU Regulation 261/2004 and passengers should be entitled to compensation.

“The regulation says that airlines are exempt from paying compensation for situations classed as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and where there was nothing reasonable they could have done to limit or stop the delay or cancellation from happening. Examples of extraordinary circumstances are security risks, hidden manufacturing defects, air traffic control decisions and strikes unrelated to the airline.

“The regulation also sets out to ensure airlines are looking after their customers who have been delayed for more than two hours. Food and drink vouchers should be given along with a telephone call or an email. Accommodation must be arranged if passengers are delayed overnight and transport to and from the accommodation and the airport must also be provided.”

Bott and Co has successfully recovered over £55 million in compensation for 180,000 clients, often where airlines had previously rejected claims. The firm has brought the most high profile EU flight delay law cases to the UK, having taken two flight delay cases to the Supreme Court and won.

Passengers who’ve suffered a delayed or cancelled flight within the last six years departing the UK on ANY airline or arriving back into the UK on an EU airline can claim by visiting Bott and Co’s website. The firm provides legal advice for passengers worldwide.

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