AirHelp reveals that over 45 million UK passengers faced disruptions in 2023

AirHelp reveals that over 45 million UK passengers faced disruptions in 2023

Last updated on 15 January 2024
  • 34% of air passengers suffered disruptions when travelling from UK airports last year

  • More than 3.8 million passengers had their flights cancelled 

  • London Gatwick was ranked as the most unpunctual airport

London – 15 January 2024 – AirHelp, the world's largest air passenger rights organisation, reveals that 45 million passengers across the UK suffered disruptions when travelling on a plane in 2023. With over 865,000 registered flights departing from the UK and 131 million passengers travelling last year, air travel is nearing pre-pandemic levels which indicates that 2024 is going to be a pivot point for the travel industry.

Taking a closer look at AirHelp’s data uncovers that whilst most of the UK passengers faced delays under 3 hours, meaning they were not eligible for financial compensation, over 3.7 million people had the right to claim and receive financial compensation from their airline. What’s more, 3.8 million people had their flights cancelled altogether.

In 2023, London Gatwick was found to have the highest disruption rate of 42%, affecting over 8.2 million passengers. London Southend Airport follows this with 39% of passengers disrupted last year. Meanwhile, the most punctual airport during 2023 was Durham Tees Valley Airport with only 19% of flights disrupted.

When looking at the most disrupted routes from UK airports, with more than 20,000 passengers, London Gatwick to Jeddah Saudi Arabia ranked the highest with over 91% of flights disrupted last year. Routes from Heathrow Airport take the second and third spot on the ranking - with its routes to Portland International Airport and Bermuda Airport having a disruption rate of 73% and 71% respectively. In fourth place is Birmingham International Airport to Jeddah Saudi Arabia, with 71% of passengers facing delays or cancellations. 

On the other hand, the luckiest passengers last year were those who travelled from Edinburgh Airport to Dusseldorf International Airport, with over 94% of the flights departing on time. London Heathrow Airport to Tan Son Nhat International Airport comes in second place at 93%. London Heathrow Airport to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and London Luton to Lublin Airport are the other routes with the highest percentage of punctuality at 92%.

Tomasz Pawliszyn, CEO of AirHelp commented: “Last year was unprecedented for the travel industry; ongoing strikes across Europe, extreme weather conditions and air traffic control outages were just some of the challenges we faced. As air travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels, now is the time for airlines and airports to consider how to take this year’s travel chaos and turn it into opportunity. At AirHelp, we are committed to helping passengers receive the best customer experience now and in the future.”

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AirHelp is a part of the Association of Passenger Rights Advocates (APRA) whose mission is to promote and protect passengers’ rights.


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