Fun, sun and flight delays: The impending Easter problem

Posted: 19 January 2017 | International Airport Review | No comments yet

Bad news if you’re going to Corfu or flying with Vueling. Here are the flights most prone to delays this Easter…


Holidaymakers jetting off to Corfu or Ibiza this Easter may have their time in the sun cut short – as half of all flights to the popular tourist spots are likely to be delayed.

As well as busy airports and long queues, 50 per cent of the passengers heading to the top Mediterranean holiday spots are likely to face delays.

And sun-seekers heading towards Lanzarote in the Canary Islands are unlikely to fare any better – with one third of all Easter flights also likely to be delayed.

A table of the worst Easter holiday destinations for delays was compiled by researchers from

They studied flight data from 2016 concerning the top ten Easter and summer destinations for Brits.

The study found that flights to Corfu were delayed by an average of 23 minutes while passengers off to Ibiza were left waiting for 41 minutes.

And these hold-ups didn’t just impact a handful people – travel association ABTA estimated that over 2 million Brits went abroad over the Easter weekend last year.

The worst airlines for delays over the March weekend were Vueling Airlines – which saw 50 per cent of its flights delayed – followed by Norwegian Air Shuttle with 41 per cent of departures failing to set off on time.

According to, sun-seekers heading for the Greek island of Crete at Easter are the most likely to get there on time.

However, 40 per cent of 1,500 flights to Heraklion airport on the island between July and August were delayed – making it the worst summer destination.

The last thing you want when you’re setting off on holiday is to be hit by a flight delay, but British airports seem to be getting worse when it comes to getting passengers from A to B on time.

Gatwick airport was the worst culprit for delays – with 33 per cent of flights failing to take off when scheduled last summer.

However, 40 per cent of 1,500 flights to Heraklion airport on the island between July and August were delayed.

And figures analysed last year revealed delays at UK airports reached a five-year-high between July to September in 2015.

Over 78 million passengers passed through British airports that summer but more than one in four flights failed to take off when scheduled.

Steve Phillips, at flight compensation expert, said: “We always encourage passengers to prepare thoroughly for their flight by arriving at the airport early and having their documentation ready, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop a flight delay or cancellation.

“Our advice is to make sure you know your rights when flying, and to keep copies of all your documentation which might help you file your claim.”

Vickie Sheriff, Which? director of campaigns and communications, said: “Arriving at the airport to discover your flight has been delayed is incredibly frustrating, and something thousands of holidaymakers encounters.

“Passengers on late-running flights should claim the compensation if it’s due and we encourage people to claim what they’re rightly entitled to.”

Most Delayed Destinations over Easter Period 2016

  1. Corfu 50 per cent
  2. Ibiza 50 per cent
  3. Lanzarote/Gran Canaria Las Palmas 36 per cent
  4. Albufeira FAro 35 per cent
  5. Majorca Palma de Mallorca 33 per cent

Most Delayed Airlines over Easter Period 2016

  1. Vueling 50 per cent
  2. Norwegian 41 per cent
  3. Turkish 39 per cent
  4. Wizz Air 37 per cent
  5. EasyJet 36 per cent

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