Lonely Planet Writer

£130 million in flight compensation won't be claimed by British holidaymakers

British travellers could be missing out on almost £130 million in unclaimed compensation, following a disappointing summer where 4500 flights throughout Europe were either cancelled or delayed, some due to freak weather. According to flight compensation company EUclaim, British holidaymakers are failing to cash-in on compensation owed to them by airlines, even though passengers due to fly on three-quarters of these flights would be entitled to it.

Passengers wait at Stansted Airport.
Passengers wait at Stansted Airport. Image by PA

The company found that this summer has been the worst for airline passengers since 2014. Delayed and cancelled flights were blamed on several factors including bad weather and striking French air traffic controllers. The worst day was 11 July with 125 incidents being reported, the majority of which were attributed to ‘freak weather’ by airlines.

Summer airport queues may not be down to just an increase in numbers.
Summer airport queues may not be down to just an increase in numbers. Image by (Koji Harada/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT

It wasn’t as bad as  28 July 2014 though, as 400 incidents were registered on that day alone and the culprit cited was a ‘summer-storm.’ By contrast, 14 August this year was the best day for travellers with only 26 incidents recorded. EUClaim suggests that as airlines will never proactively offer compensation, the EU should examine whether they are doing enough by the consumer and operating within the spirit of the existing regulations.

Flight delay or cancellations will be taken on for unhappy passengers by the new Ombudsman Service when it gets up and running next year
Flight delay or cancellations will be taken on for unhappy passengers by the new Ombudsman Service when it gets up and running next year Image by son Tester Guerilla Future / CC BY-SA 2.0

Those who are entitled to compensation would be advised not to delay in claiming it, as the situation for the UK could be less clear going forward in the wake of Brexit. Current compensation legislation is enshrined in European law under Denied Boarding Regulation, and it broadly applies to any passenger departing from an EU member state, or travelling to an airport in an EU member state, on an airline based in a member state.