AirHelp, the world’s largest air passenger rights organisation, has revealed that 6.2 million passengers across the UK suffered from disruptions when travelling on a plane between January and March this year.

With over 165,000 registered flights departing from the UK, 22.8 million people planned a trip during this period, compared to 14.6 million air passengers in 2022.

Nearly eight million more passengers flew this year than in 2022, with significantly more disruptions, demonstrating the increasing concerns regarding ongoing air travel challenges ahead of the summer period.

Regions experiencing the most problems

The UK ranks highly among countries with the most delayed air travellers, with over 28% of passengers disrupted in the first quarter of 2023. Other European countries that also didn’t fare well, include Turkey and Germany with 32% and 30% of passengers facing disruptions during this period respectively.

Kosovo, Cyprus and Greece, however, had the fewest delayed air travellers in the first quarter of 2023. In Kosovo, only 16% of all air travellers departed late. Cyprus follows a short distance behind in second place at 17%, with Greece closing out the winner’s podium at 18%.

AirHelp flight disruption comparisons

Taking a closer look at AirHelp’s data reveals that approximately 28% of UK passengers travelling from London Heathrow suffered from a disruption to their flight. In 2022, this figure was significantly lower at 21%, with approximately 3 million passengers disrupted. In second and third place respectively was Manchester International Airport with 26% of passengers facing delays, and London Gatwick Airport at 25%, compared to 14% of flights disrupted last year.

Meanwhile, the most punctual airport during this period was Teesside International Airport with only 10% of flights disrupted, closely followed by Humberside Airport at 12%.

4.5 million passengers in Europe were entitled to compensation

Across Europe, nearly 32 million passengers were delayed in the first quarter of 2023 (28%). A significant deterioration compared with the same period last year, when around 20 million passengers were delayed (18%). While only about 1.8 million passengers were entitled to compensation in the first quarter of 2022, this figure rose to 2.8 million in the same period of 2023. This means that the number of flight disruptions caused by the airlines increased by 56%, compared to 2022.

The countries with the most passengers entitled to compensation in 2023 are Turkey (20,000 passengers), Germany (351,000 passengers) and France (383,000 passengers).
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