After a few years of not being able to arrange holidays properly, our plans are now thrown into a different sort of disarray. Not a day goes past without the news talking about flights cancelled at the last minute, huge queues, delays and holidaymakers being out of pocket. Even though we can’t help you completely avoid those flight cancellations, we can help you be better prepared and know what your rights are when it comes to pre-booked cheap airport parking. Here we answer all your pressing questions on flight cancellations, delays and how to make sure you’re not out of pocket with that airport parking reservation.
How Do I Find Out if My Flight Has Been Cancelled?
As well as checking on your flight using the airline and airport websites, there are also a number of other apps and sites that check flight statuses for you, such as Air Advisor. However, with flights being cancelled at the very last minute, checking in a few weeks beforehand might not give you much peace of mind. One other method you can try is to search for your flight on a travel search engine as few days before you are due to depart, as if you were looking to book a seat on it. If your flight does not show up when you search, this may be an indication that it has been slated for cancellation before the airline has contacted you. If this is the case, you can then contact your airline directly to get as much information as you can, as early as possible.
What Happens if My Flight is Cancelled?
Your rights for certain flight cancellation conditions are protected under UK law, but there are some exemptions such as extreme weather conditions. The BBC have a comprehensive list of options available to you if your flight was supposed to be leaving from the UK, including the right to claim a refund or an alternative flight (even if it’s with a different airline). They also advise to keep all your receipts if you are buying refreshments at the airport while you wait, as there is a good chance you can claim this money back too.
Why Are Flights Being Cancelled?
One of the main reasons why flights are being cancelled is staff shortage. With many trained airport staff losing their jobs during the pandemic and now not wanting to return to this industry, airlines are struggling to fill vacancies. And because many of the vacant roles required skilled staff that have security clearance, this process takes time and new staff cannot be hired at short notice.
What Airport Has the Most Delays?
The most recent figures relate to cancellations rather than delays, and this puts Gatwick Airport as the main culprit with the highest rate in the UK so far as of 10th July 2022. It has cancelled 3.2% of total flights compared to the next worst performing, Glasgow Airport, at 2.6%. Stansted Airport has the least cancellations in 2022, currently standing at 0.3%. It’s difficult to get up to the minute information on delays, but the most recent 2021 figures have now been published, and Birmingham comes in the worst with an average wait of 12 minutes 24 seconds, followed by Southampton, then Heathrow and Exeter. However, it’s worth stressing that there is very little difference in these average figures and it’s probably not an accurate reflection of the state of play for airport delays in 2022, as last year had significantly fewer flights scheduled due to the effects of the pandemic. If you are considering flying from your local airport, we suggest checking the local news and airport site for the latest information on queues, delays and cancellations as the situation there may not be as bad as some of the larger, busier airports.
Are Flight Cancellations Expected to Continue?
New staff are being recruited, but it is an unavoidably slow process. Some airlines such as British Airways and EasyJet have now taken measures to pre-emptively cancel some flights right up until October, so at least some holidaymakers have been given more notice. So although the situation is far from resolved, it’s possible the issues are quite as bad as those experienced by passengers over the Easter holidays.
Which Airline Has the Most Cancellations?
According to very recent figures, British Airways is currently the worst performing UK airline when it comes to UK flight cancellations, with a rate of 3.5%. This is 12 times worse than the best-performing Ryanair, which has cancelled 0.3% of its 2022 flights.
What Happens With Airport Parking if My Flight is Delayed?
There are many different parking providers out there, and some of them have grace periods depending on how delayed your flight may be, or you may be charged an hourly overstay tariff. It’s best to check the terms and conditions before you book so you know where you stand. And if your return flight is delayed, please contact your parking provider ASAP to let them know.
Can I Get a Refund on My Airport Parking if My Flight is Cancelled?
Again, different parking providers have different terms and conditions when it comes to cancellation policies. The good news is that many now offer flexible bookings that means you can get most or all of your money back if your flight is cancelled. However, be aware that if you are tempted by lower ‘Super Saver’ type airport parking deals, these usually come with the drawback that you can’t claim your money back if you cancel. In all cases, please do check the small print before you book. Low airport parking prices are great for obvious reasons, but if you do think there’s a chance your flight may be cancelled, you could be better off paying a little bit extra for a flexible reservation. And even on these more expensive packages, you can still get a lower rate by using an airport parking discount code or similar saving.
Although the situation looks to be improving slightly, there are a few ways you can protect the cost of your airport parking if your flight is cancelled. Firstly, check the small print before you book, especially if you are going for the cheapest quote. Secondly, check the grace period if your flight is delayed and if they charge an overstay tariff. And lastly, do consider opting for a flexible airport parking package that may not protect you if you have to cancel, but also let you change your dates if need be.