By Stefaan Ghijs

Flight Delay Trends in 2018

Year after year, flight delays and cancellations become an increasing worry for passengers but also for airlines and aviation institutions across the world. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like it will be changing any time soon.

Eurocontrol has found an average increase in flight delay time of 2 minutes per flight during Q1 of 2018 across Europe, compared to Q1 2017. This brings the ever increasing average delay time up to 12,3 minutes per flight. Interestingly enough, most of these delays have been observed to be caused by the airline itself and their corresponding operations. What are your rights as a passenger subject to these delays and cancellations?

The European regulation No 261/2004 is not well known amongst passengers aboard European flights. Only a very low number of airline passengers subjected to these delays and cancellations actually know and request a compensation, which is their common right according to the EU its regulations. Unfortunately, the airlines take great care in making this process as ambiguous and time consuming as possible, which is of course in their best interest. In order to inform you and facilitate this process, we have created the following chart and attached a pre-written form to help you get the compensation that is rightfully yours, proportional to the time you have lost waiting for your flight.

The compensation scheme applies only in the following conditions :

    1. Your flight is cancelled, delayed or you are denied boarding due to overbooking.
    2. Your flight has for origin or destination an airport inside the European Union and is operated by an established European airline company, for example Ryanair, Easyjet, Air France-KLM. The European Union  concerns the 28 EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
    3. The cause of the delay is due to the airline and not to extraordinary circumstances such as ATC strikes, extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, acts of terrorism etc.

Compensation in case of Delay

The table underneath project the compensations according to the flight delay times.  The flight delay times mentioned underneath should be based on your estimated arrival times, stated on your boarding pass. The passenger is also eligible for compensation according to the distance of the voyage.

Flight delays

*Distances measured with “great circle route” method

If the airline is able to re-route its passengers to their final destination via another flight in a respectable time window, the compensation can be reduced to 50% of its initial value (cf. art.7 sect.2 of the European regulation).

Right of Care

For flights delayed for 2 or more hours, the airline has the obligation to take proper “care” of its passengers. They must comply with the “right to care” regulations which include:

  • Delivering food and drinks depending on the time of day and the delay time.
  • In case of cancellation, provide an alternate hotel room and travel tickets to and from the accommodation.
  • Provide access to free phone calls and emails, so alternative arrangements can be made.

Compensation in case of Cancellation

Along with the “right of care” regulations, 2 options are available to the passenger according to Art.5 : Rerouting the following day or Reimbursement. These apply if the airline did not inform the passenger of the change at least 2 weeks prior to the cancellation and if the flight is scheduled 2 hours after the initial departure time.

In order to speed up the process to obtain your compensation, hereby a link to the compensation form required by the European Regulations. This form must be sent to the respective airline compensation claim department who processes the claim and starts the compensation procedure.

Flight Delay

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