Airlines could sit on £112m of flight compensation this summer, as 70 per cent of customers won't claim back for delays

 
Francesca Washtell
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Gales and Heavy Rain Threaten The Festive Getaway
Almost half a million customers could face flight delays this summer (Source: Getty)

UK flyers could lose out on £112m in flight delay compensation this summer, according to new research from comparison website Money.co.uk.

Seven in 10 UK travellers are unlikely to claim compensation from their airline this summer for delays to their journeys. However, this could be because consumer believe they will receive just £176 if they make a claim, less than half of the maximum £460 they could actually be owed.

Of those who do claim, Money.co.uk found, more than one in four will do so via a claims management firm, which can cost up to £552 for a family of four.

Read more: These are the strangest items Londoners have tried to take on flights in the last year

Almost half a million flyers are expected to be delayed for more than three hours during the summer months alone, while many travellers’ schedules have already been disrupted by cancellations due to strikes in France.

Despite the option to claim for delays of over three hours or more under European Union regulation being in place for a decade, a third of people were unaware they could.

With the EU referendum a week away, the ability to claim back compensation be among the many regulations that could fall into question if the UK votes for Brexit.

Read more: Air travel body reports slowdown in passenger demand for flights

Last year, more than seven in ten (71 per cent) of those who made claims directly to their airline were successful, with nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of these customers receiving payment from the airline, although seven per cent had to escalate their claim to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA received almost nine thousand complaints in the last 12 months, of which 87 per cent were ultimately successful.

Although airlines frequently suffer from poor timekeeping, crackdowns on tardy customers have also begun.

EasyJet announced at the end of May that passengers who go through airport security with less than 30 minutes before takeoff could be prevented from boarding their flights. This could cost passengers up to £80 in “rescue fees” to switch to a different flight, the Independent reported.

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