Scotland

Edinburgh Airport 'most likely' for delays

Edinburgh Airport
Image caption More than a quarter of all flights to and from Edinburgh were delayed

Scottish holidaymakers are most likely to face flight delays if they travel to or from Edinburgh Airport, according to consumer rights group Which?.

Civil Aviation Authority data showed that of more than 110,000 flights to or from Edinburgh in the past year, 27% were delayed by at least 15 minutes.

The figure was up from 22% in 2015-16.

Glasgow, the country's second busiest airport, saw 25% of nearly 85,000 flights taking off or landing at least 15 minutes later than scheduled.

Aberdeen ranked third, with 22% of more than 45,000 flights in 2016-17 recorded as late.

Both airports saw the number of delays increase on the previous year, rising two percentage points for Glasgow and three for Aberdeen.

'Compensation is available'

Which? said that further analysis showed that more than 1,200 flights to or from Scotland's three busiest airports were delayed by at least three hours in the last year.

It means thousands of passengers could be entitled to compensation.

Under current EU regulations, passengers are entitled to compensation if delayed by more than three hours.

Holidaymakers flying short-haul would potentially be able to claim 250 euros if they are delayed by more than three hours. Long-haul passengers could claim 300 euros if their plane landed between three or four hours late, or 600 euros if their flight was at least four hours behind schedule.

Which? is now calling for airlines to start automatically compensating eligible passengers who have experienced a severe delay to their journey.

The group said this would "both simplify the existing claims process and also ensure that passengers are not pushed into the arms of claims management companies".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Which? wants passengers who face long delays to get the compensation they are entitled to

Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services, said: "If you're unlucky enough to experience a severe delay, compensation is available. We think it's time for airlines to start automatically compensating eligible passengers, but until they step up and do this, we urge people to check what they are entitled to."

The airports said flight delays happened for a variety of reasons, often beyond their control.

An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: "On-time performance is important to our passengers and is a measure that we monitor very closely.

"Frustratingly, it is mainly affected by factors outwith the airport's control.

"We continue to work with our airline and aviation partners to make sure our collective performance is as good as it can be and that we are in the best position to deal with the external issues that affect us."

A spokesman for AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, said: "Aircraft delays can be caused by a number of factors including weather issues, air traffic congestion, delayed arrivals or technical issues with aircraft.

"In saying that, on-time performance will always be an area of focus and we will continue to work with our airline partners and their handling agents to improve overall levels of efficiency."

More on this story