Gatwick Airport Second Most Delayed in Europe

A man with a luggage case stands in front of the air departure board
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Oct 18, 2023
3 minutes read

Suffering from a delayed flight is never enjoyable, especially because it’s outside of your control. The hours of waiting around, eagerly awaiting updates from airline staff and trying to keep children occupied is no one’s idea of fun. Even though you can receive compensation for a delay that was the fault of the airline, it’s interesting to know which airports suffer from delays the most.

Data from FlightsFinder has revealed the worst affected airports across Europe, and London Gatwick has come out in second place. At least 41% of flights at the beginning of August arrived late, which is a staggering amount. In first place, with almost half of flights cancelled, was Frankfurt International Airport at 49%. London Heathrow came in at sixth, with just over 1 in 4 flights delayed (28%).

You can see how the other worst performing airports compared in the interactive graph below.

Despite being at the bottom, both Vienna International and Pôle Caraïbes (PTP) suffered a 26% delay rate for their flights. That’s over ¼ of all planned flights leaving the airport late. On the other end of the scale, Frankfurt International almost had twice as many flights delayed than this.

One of the main issues is that there are more flights taking off now than there have been before. As well as the aviation industry recovering after the pandemic, staff numbers haven’t been keeping up with higher demand, creating a perfect storm for delays. Many staff members were made redundant during the pandemic and retrained for other jobs, not necessarily returning to the industry after flights started taking off again.

Suffering from a flight delay causes all sorts of problems. The airline has a duty of care to look after you if a flight is delayed by at least two hours, but this depends on how long the flight distance is. In the following scenarios, the airline has to give you vouchers for food and drink:

  • Under 1,500km: 2 hours

  • 1,500km to 3,500km: 3 hours

  • Over 3,500km: 4 hours

If no one from the airline is offering vouchers, ask them directly. Alternatively, if no one can help, you can pay for your meal and try to claim back the funds later. Keep your receipts with you, but bear in mind that only “reasonable” costs will be covered. Alcohol, expensive meals or luxury hotels will be exempt.

What to Do If My Flight’s Delayed

A delay for more than three hours can entitle you to compensation, if the fault lies with the airline. Just like the duties of care outlined above, compensation is based on the length of the flight and the hours it’s delayed.

A short flight less than 1,500km that’s delayed for 3 hours entitles you to £220 from the airline. A much longer flight longer than 3,500km that’s delayed for 4 hours entitles you to £520 in compensation. Any delays that are longer than this can be refunded in full.

You can read more about flight delays and compensation on our website, or find out how much you could receive by clicking on the button below. If you flew from Gatwick, chances are you may be entitled to something.