With so many cancellations on account of staff shortages at airlines and airports, flying can feel like a lottery. So it pays to know where you possibly can expect the least possible disruption and what exactly are your rights if things go flawed.
Travel data corporations report that Stansted has the fewest cancellations, with Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds Bradford also performing well. In London, Heathrow has done higher than Gatwick. The most effective airlines, with fewest cancellations, are Jet2.com and Ryanair.
In Europe, the countries with the fewest cancellations/delays come out as Malta, Croatia and Iceland, with Spain, Germany and France the worst. Here’s our guide to flying off this summer…
Travel data corporations report that Stansted has the fewest cancellations, with Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds Bradford also performing well. In London, Heathrow has done higher than Gatwick. The most effective airlines, with fewest cancellations, are Jet2.com and Ryanair
PICK OF THE BUNCH: JET2
Of the mainstream airlines, Jet2.com has performed remarkably well, with a mere 11 departures cancelled inside 72 hours of travel out of a complete of 9,299 for the reason that starting of May — making it a great selection for a summer getaway.
Compensation procedure: Go to the ‘Delays and Disruptions’ page of Jet2.com and complete the shape.
Jet2 said: ‘We took motion to recruit well ahead of the bounce back… you simply have to take a look at our fully-staffed check-in desks to see the difference between ourselves and other airlines’
Future cancellations: Only two cancellations are planned for the remainder of the summer and these are all the way down to ‘routine review purposes’.
What the airline says: ‘We took motion to recruit well ahead of the bounce back… you simply have to take a look at our fully-staffed check-in desks to see the difference between ourselves and other airlines.’
DOING WELL: RYANAIR
Ryanair said that full flight schedules will operate this summer ‘unlike at many other airlines, which have did not plan adequately for the return of travel post Covid’
Given the scale of its operation, with some 134.5 million passengers a 12 months, Ryanair has handled the crisis well, with only 56 cancelled departures inside 72 hours out of a whopping 23,600 flights for the reason that start of May. That is the perfect of the budget airlines.
Compensation procedure: The ‘EU-261 Passenger Rights’ page of help.ryanair.com has details; customers affected must be contacted by the airline about making a claim.
Future cancellations: None scheduled, although staff strikes may very well be a difficulty in Spain on July 12-15, July 18-21 and July 25-28.
What the airline says: Full flight schedules will operate this summer ‘unlike at many other airlines, which have did not plan adequately for the return of travel post Covid’. It predicts ‘minimal disruption’ in Spain on account of strikes.
SOME TURBULENCE: TUI
Tui said that each one ‘planned’ cancellations were communicated in May. Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Ireland, said: ‘Last-minute flight delays and cancellations are all the time deeply regrettable’
TUI has not been flawless, with 34 cancellations for the reason that starting of May affecting around 6,000 customers. All ‘planned’ cancellations were communicated in May. This doesn’t, nonetheless, rule out ‘unplanned’ ones that will come on the last minute.
Compensation procedure: The airline says it informs customers who’re due compensation under the European Union rule 261.
Future cancellations: None are scheduled. Plans to operate a full service.
What the airline says: Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK and Ireland, said: ‘Last-minute flight delays and cancellations are all the time deeply regrettable and disappointing for purchasers… we’re confident we’ve got the staff we want to get customers away on their well-deserved holidays.’
COULD DO BETTER: WIZZ AIR
Wizz Air has cancelled at short notice 146 flights, affecting around 22,000 people, since May – not a great record
There have been worrying stories of last-minute cancellations at Wizz Air, with some passengers being turned back on the boarding gate. To have cancelled at short notice 146 flights, affecting around 22,000 people, since May shouldn’t be a great record.
Compensation procedure: Go to the ‘Refunds and Cancellations’ page of wizz.com, then click through on the ‘Claim Form’ at the underside.
Future cancellations: The airline has cancelled over half its flights to and from Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Details of services at other airports unavailable.
What the airline says: ‘Wizz Air always reviews its flight schedule to make sure it’s deliverable, and recognising the impact of continued supply chain issues, has already implemented nearly all of its summer schedule adjustments.’
POOR: BRITISH AIRWAYS
BA has cancelled, for the reason that starting of May, 670 flights, affecting as many as 110,000 people
Last-minute cancellations (inside three days of travel) have been commonplace at BA for the reason that starting of May: 670 cancellations in total, affecting as many as 110,000 people. Having estimated that 10 per cent of flights throughout the fundamental holiday period were being cancelled, the airline recently upped this by 3 per cent to 13 per cent.
Compensation procedure: Go to the ‘Complaints and Claims’ page of ba.com to follow links to make a claim. BA couldn’t say whether it contacts customers.
Future cancellations: 13 per cent of flights cancelled from April to October; around 30,000 in total, with as many as 4.5 million passengers affected.
What the airline says: Additional recent cancellations of flights at the tip of June were ‘regrettable’, and most passengers with cancelled flights are being informed way prematurely.
EasyJet cabin crews in Spain are on account of strike on July 15-17 and July 29-31. See the airline’s ‘Delays and Cancellations’ webpage for details
It’s estimated that 172,000 EasyJet passengers have suffered cancellations inside 72 hours of departure for the reason that starting of May. This covers 1,144 flights, and at 3.6 per cent of all flights is the worst performance in our chart.
Compensation procedure: The ‘Compensation Claim Form’ page at easyjet.com is a minimum of clear and user-friendly.
Future cancellations: Be careful as EasyJet cabin crews in Spain are on account of strike on July 15-17 and July 29-31. See the airline’s ‘Delays and Cancellations’ webpage for details. It is believed that as many as 10,000 flights may very well be cancelled between July and September, affecting 1.5 million people.
What the airline says: ‘We now have accomplished the pre-emptive cancellation programme, so customers may have been notified.’
Flight from Lisbon to London cancelled on the day, a £1.50-a-minute helpline and ‘no support to get me home’: Passenger reveals why she’ll ‘never use Wizz Air again’
By Ted Thornhill
A British holidaymaker has vowed never to make use of Wizz Air again after the airline cancelled her flight from Portugal to London with just eight hours’ notice – and was unable to assist with rebooking an alternate flight or finding hotel accommodation.
The passenger, Alicia Fellowes, was on account of fly from Lisbon to London Luton together with her boyfriend, Oliver, on Sunday, June 26, at 10pm – flight W9 4494 – but received a text message at 2pm informing her that the flight was cancelled, together with a link for a refund or ‘Wizz Credit’ that did not work.
The pair needed to return for work commitments the next day – but the subsequent Wizz Air flight was three days later. Consequently, they were forced to spend nearly £700 on a flight to Manchester with Air Portugal that landed that evening and £144 on an airport hotel. Alicia spent £33 on a train to London the next day, while Oliver paid £154 for a flight from Manchester to Inverness as an alternative of from Luton as planned.
Holidaymaker Alicia Fellowes has revealed how her flight from Lisbon Airport (above) with Wizz Air was cancelled on the day – and says the airline offered no support to get her back to London. She was forced to fly together with her boyfriend to Manchester with Air Portugal and catch a train to the capital from there
Alicia, 25, summed up the experience to MailOnline Travel as ‘horrendous’.
When a flight is cancelled inside 14 days of departure, the airline the passenger booked with is legally obliged to get them home and must offer free phone calls and accommodation.
Alicia revealed that none of this was forthcoming – and in truth spent over 50 minutes on the phone to Wizz Air while at Lisbon Airport at a price of £1.50 per minute.
The Budapest-based airline has a ‘live chat’ service, but Alicia said that did not work.
She said: ‘We got no explanation as to why the flight was cancelled or any support following the cancellation – there have been no Wizz Air ground staff at Lisbon Airport and no guidance offered as to how best to get home. We were offered no financial support to book one other flight.
‘On the airport we were told to go to a help desk where an agent could speak to us on behalf of the airline. Nonetheless, the agent made it very clear that as they didn’t work for the airline there was little or no they may do. They gave us a Wizz Air cancellation form that highlights the compensation you might be entitled to.
Alicia revealed that she spent over 50 minutes on the phone to Wizz Air while at Lisbon Airport (above) at a price of £1.50 per minute
‘In addition they told us the subsequent flight wasn’t for 3 days so suggested we either discover a hotel for the subsequent three days in Lisbon – they couldn’t book this for us and offer us spending money for the three days so that will need to be a further cost – after which fly home, or call the Wizz Air helpline to see in the event that they would cover one other flight home with one other airline.’
So Alicia rang the Wizz Air helpline.
After three denied calls by Wizz Air, having been on hold for over quarter-hour in total, she got through to an operator ‘who seemed very unsure what Wizz Air could offer by way of compensation’.
Alicia continued: ‘I discussed that we had found a flight to Manchester and asked if the airline would book the flight for us or cover the price. She said she thought they’d cover that together with transport back to London but couldn’t book it themselves and said it could be unlikely that the airline would cover the price of an airport hotel, despite the fact that we had to remain in Manchester because the flight landed so late.
‘I informed her of the numerous costs of the flight, and he or she said it must be advantageous so long as we weren’t flying premium economy or above.
‘I felt positive at this point, but then she began to backtrack, saying she couldn’t send us an email confirmation confirming approval of those expenses directly and said we’d just need to submit a claim and hope.’
At this point, Alicia and Oliver booked the flight to Manchester after which decided to call Wizz Air again ‘to see if someone could confirm a refund/expenses via email’.
‘I actually began to feel anxious concerning the money we spent,’ said Alicia, ‘and this woman was even less reassuring, saying she would hope the airline would give me a refund, but couldn’t promise anything.’
Alicia, who lives in London, said: ‘We feel scammed and really offended at how badly [Wizz Air] could treat paying customers’
When Alicia discovered these calls cost £1.50 a minute, she decided to avoid using the helpline.
Wizz Air has since refunded Alicia and Oliver £119, but that also leaves them nearly £1,000 out of pocket.
Alicia, who lives in London, added: ‘We feel scammed and really offended at how badly they may treat paying customers. I won’t ever ever use them again and have told others not to make use of them either.’
Unfortunately, her experience with Wizz Air might be all too familiar for some.
And MailOnline Travel heard from Wizz Air passenger Fenella Barrons, who claims that she has been left over £1,000 out of pocket after the airline overbooked a flight to Montenegro and cancelled the return service.
The 25-year-old said: ‘On May 29, 2022, my five friends and I travelled to Gatwick Airport for a Wizz Air flight to Montenegro. Although we had attempted check within the night prior, upon arrival one friend and I were told they’d overbooked the flight and we might be “lucky to get on the flight”.
‘It turned out we weren’t “lucky” and we were denied boarding after two hours of waiting for the delayed flight.
‘We subsequently needed to rebook a flight for the next day from Heathrow, arriving at our destination over 24 hours later. This cost us over £400.
‘On Saturday, June 4, once we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it was time to fly home with Wizz Air. Wizz Air sent us an email two hours before check-in time saying the flight was cancelled. Following this, I received no correspondence or advice from Wizz Air to assist with the situation I discovered myself in and felt completely abandoned abroad.
I won’t ever ever use Wizz Air again and have told others not to make use of them either
Holidaymaker Alicia Fellowes
‘No advice was given on the provision of different travel options, when the subsequent Wizz Air flight is likely to be, or any useful information to assist me through this stressful situation.
‘Given we needed to get back for work on the Monday, we took it upon ourselves to book flights to Paris, which then resulted in us getting a train across France and an overnight ferry from France to Portsmouth. Again, this cost us roughly £400 each.
‘Since then, we’ve always been attempting to pay money for Wizz Air for the compensation we’re due. I actually have personally had no response from the corporate. My friend has had a response denying the claim, saying she is due only 70 euros for the inconvenience once we are each over £1,000 out of pocket. This has caused me an enormous amount of stress and anxiety. I actually have needed to take day off work to take care of the stress it has caused me and I’m now living cautiously with little to no spare money.’
Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, clarified what passengers who experience flight cancellations should expect by way of support.
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘When a flight is cancelled inside 14 days of departure, passengers are entitled to a minimum of £220 compensation, depending on the length of the flight. Importantly, the airline you booked with is legally obliged to get you home, using other carriers if crucial. Be wary of accepting a refund, as when you achieve this, the airline has no legal duty of care to you.
‘If you happen to are left with no selection aside from to pay for flights, accommodation or food from your individual pocket then you need to keep receipts and claim them back from the airline. It is vital to keep in mind that expenses have to be deemed “reasonable” to qualify for reimbursement.
‘When a flight is cancelled or delayed on account of a unprecedented circumstance, your airline shouldn’t be obliged to supply compensation. Nonetheless, in case you decide to be rerouted they have to still offer assistance in the shape of two free phone calls, faxes or emails, free meals and refreshments appropriate to the delay, and free accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required, because it was in Alicia’s case.
‘Extraordinary circumstances apply to events that are outside the airline’s control. While operational issues on the airport may very well be classified as a unprecedented circumstance, you might be entitled to appeal their decision and apply for compensation in case you disagree with the explanation given. In the event that they reject the claim, they have to provide clear evidence of the explanation for the cancellation.
‘If at this point you might be still dissatisfied with the airline’s decision, you possibly can register your criticism with an alternate dispute resolution scheme – the Civil Aviation Authority holds a listing of approved providers and which airlines they cover. You furthermore may have the correct to take an airline to the small claims court in case you feel it’s unfairly refusing to pay you compensation. If you happen to determine to take this route, it is suggested to hunt legal advice.’
Wizz Air said: ‘Wizz Air has looked into the problems raised in these customer cases and located that their claims were rejected on account of an internal error. Wizz Air sincerely apologises for this. Ms Fellowes might be reimbursed consistent with the expense claims submitted in addition to for the difference in cost between the unique Wizz Air flight and the alternative flight.
‘The 2 affected passengers under Ms Barrons’ booking might be reimbursed consistent with the expenses claims submitted, and might be compensated based on EC 261 regulation. The shopper service team is resolving each of those cases as a matter of priority.’