When your holiday starts with a delayed flight

Delayed flight

Most flights take off without a hitch. They depart on schedule and the passengers are delivered to their destination when they expected to be. Given that on any one day, between 50,000 and 100,000 separate flights take off around the world, it’s pretty impressive that so many run on time. However, there are occasions when it doesn’t go to plan. Sometimes scheduled departures can get delayed.


There are many reasons a flight may be delayed. These include natural events, such as the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano that grounded flights in 2010, weather conditions such as heavy snow, or mechanical problems with the aircraft.


There are European laws that related to delayed flight compensation. If any flight from an EU airport is delayed by four hours you are usually entitled to compensation, unless the airline can prove that the delay is due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’. These circumstances can include political instability, strikes or freak weather events. This includes free food and drink, free accommodation and transfers if an overnight stay is required. If the flight is delayed over five hours you can opt not to travel and get a refund on your ticket.

Keep calm

The main thing to do if your journey is delayed is keep calm. While it can be incredibly frustrating if you are going on holiday, getting wound up won’t help matters. Stay calm and think about who you need to contact to inform them of the delay to your flight, be they family, friends or your holiday accommodation agent. Talk to the airline staff about any connecting flights you have, and make yourself as comfortable as you can in the airport while you wait for information.

If you are unfortunate enough to experience a flight delay, you will undoubtedly feel frustrated. However, by keeping calm and approaching the situation logically, you will be much better placed to deal with it. And almost always, you’ll get to your destination eventually.

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