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What to do if your flight is delayed

FLIGHT DELAY GUIDE: What to do if your flight is delayed



So I used to be part of a team at a London Airport that handled and reduced airport delays, they are so frequent and inevitable and part of airport life, on a very good day only 70% of flights leave on time. Meaning at least 30% of flights will be delayed.


Summer 2024 will be the busiest summer on record so expect lots of congestion at airport and flight delays!



What to do if your flight is delayed


What causes flight delays?

Their are so may ways flights can be delayed,

congestion, air traffic control restrictions, weather, lack of resources, technical issues with aircraft, the list goes on and on, flight delays are inevitable and part of travelling by aircraft.




Can I do anything if my flight is delayed?


Yes come up with a plan, don’t stress, if your at the airport, go and have a sit down somewhere quiet and do some research and create a plan of action, if your with your partner, communicate and work together! Theirs really no point in letting it trigger stress and emotion! I know this is easier said then done! I would probably also have a melt down!



What to do if your flight is delayed

Check out my FLIGHT DELAY 3 POINT ACTION PLAN

FLIGHT DELAY GUIDE: What to do if your flight is delayed

How long does a flight need to be delayed for compensation?

From 3 hours, so remember, this is 3 hour delays from your scheduled time of arrival,

so lets say you take off 3 hours late, but they have a quick flight time, shaving 20 minutes off the scheduled flight time, then you won't be entitled to a flight delay claim.


  • A flight starts the moment it pushes back from the gate, not from take off, if it pushes back up to 15 minutes within its scheduled, this is ON TIME.

  • Your flight arrives the moment it is on the stand, not from when it lands,



Expect Delays

Around 1 in 3 flights will be delayed this summer! But don’t lose hope—did you know you may be able to claim up to £520 in flight delay compensation if your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours? Here's everything you need to know to ensure you're prepared and can claim what you're entitled to.


FLIGHT DELAY 3 POINT ACTION PLAN

FLIGHT DELAY GUIDE: What to do if your flight is delayed



  1. TAKE RECEIPTS

  2. BE PREPARED

  3. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS




What to do if your flight is delayed


1. Take Receipts

As soon as you see a delay:

  • Document Everything: Take screenshots of the departure board and note the times—every minute counts!

  • Expenses: Keep receipts for any expenses at the airport and scan them into your phone.

  • Communication: Note what the airline staff say about the delay, including who you spoke to and when. Airlines often cite "extraordinary circumstances" to avoid compensating, so detailed records are essential.

2. Be Prepared

Always be ready for things to go wrong:

  • Snacks: Pack extra snacks to keep hunger at bay.

  • Medications: Ensure you have extra medication if needed.

  • For Kids: Bring additional activities, blankets, charged power banks, and nappies if traveling with children.



3. Know Your Rights

According to EU regulation 261/2004, if your flight is delayed by over 3 hours, cancelled, overbooked, or if you're denied boarding, you may be entitled to compensation. This regulation applies to flights departing from or arriving in EU countries, as well as some others like Turkey.


Check if you can make a claim here


How to Claim Compensation

  1. Eligibility Check: Ensure your delay meets the criteria (over 3 hours, departing from or arriving in an EU country, etc.). You can check here

  2. Gather Evidence: Use your documented evidence (receipts, notes, screenshots) to support your claim.

  3. Submit a Claim: Contact the airline to submit your claim. If they refuse, consider seeking legal advice or using a compensation claim service.


Air Help have assited over 2.5 million people in claiming back compansation from airlines, they are the experts in handling compensation claims with airlines that typically drag their heels!




How can I avoid delays?

My advice is to book yourself on an early flights, this is known as first wave,

flights usually leave the base after arriving in from a flight the previous evening, delays happen during the aircrafts rotations throughout the day. So your less likely to get a delay from a flight early in the morning.


How do I avoid being bumped off a flight?

Airlines regurarly over sell flights, if theirs been flight disruption this can cause lots of oversold flights due to the back log of displaced passengers.

Check in as early as possible, its normally whoever checked in last that gets bumped off!


Which airline oversell flights?

Vueling do this alot! If your on a Vueling flight check in for the flight as soon as check in opens, I wrote an article all about Vueling its here

Ryanair don't seem to oversell flight which is quite surprising!



According to Which, this is a list of airlines by their longest average delayss


  1. Wizz Air 46 minutes and 18 seconds

  2. TUI 40 minutes and 18 seconds

  3. Qatar Airways 31 minutes and 48 seconds

  4. Turkish Airlines 29 minutes and 30 seconds

  5. Pegasus Airlines 27 minutes and 18 seconds

  6. The now defunct airline Flybe

  7. Tap Air Portugal 25 minutes and 48 seconds

  8. Air Canada 25 minutes and 18 seconds

  9. British Airways 23 minutes

  10. Vueling 22 minutes and 12 seconds


What is Air Help Plus?





Air Help offer a disruption insurance, after all delays are inevitable!


they have two levels of cover starting at just £2.92 per month!


Smart

Perfect for up to 3 trips per year


  • Perfect for most travelers

  • Protection for 3 trips

  • €100 when your flight’s disrupted

  • €100 for a lost or delayed bag

  • Lounge access during a disruption

  • Annual support

  • No-fee compensation service

  • Dedicated 24/7 support

  • Flight status updates

  • Travel perks

  • Save on eSIMs, car rental, and more


this is only £34.99 per year! More info here


or


Pro

For up to 9 trips per year, so great if your a frequent flyer


  • Protection for 9 trips

  • €100 when your flight’s disrupted

  • €100 for a lost or delayed bag

  • Lounge access during a disruption

  • Annual support

  • No-fee compensation service

  • Dedicated 24/7 support

  • Flight status updates

  • Travel perks

  • Save on eSIMs, car rental, and more


Great value at £84.99 check it out here





Share Your Experiences


If you've experienced a delayed or cancelled flight, let me know in the comments. I can help guide you through the process to get up to £520 per person!

By staying informed and prepared, you can turn a frustrating flight delay into an opportunity to claim compensation. Save this guide and refer to it the next time you face an unexpected delay. Safe travels!







flight delay guide

Hello I’m Paul a Travel and flight expert, I spent most of my career working in and around planes with 15 years providing top-notch service with a London-based airline. I became an expert in travel after soaring across the Atlantic up to 10 times a month!


I’m now, producing travel content, reaching millions of viewers monthly. Reporting on travel news, sharing travel tips, reviews, and deals with a sprinkle of humour and a whole lot of authenticity!


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