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The latest report by the European Travel Commission (ETC) reveals a strong, pent-up demand to resume travel, with 54% of Europeans aiming to make a trip before the end of July 2021. Airlines and travel agencies indicate that the booking rate for summer holidays has been rapidly increasing, as the vaccine distribution rolls out.
The world’s biggest flight compensation company, AirHelp, provides data on the most delayed and cancelled routes and airports from the UK, to make sure that passengers who decide to book their trip now are equipped with all the information they need for a smooth trip this year.
Half of Europeans plan next trip for May-July
Confidence in air travel continues to gradually improve, as the ETC’s report shows that more Europeans (54%) are willing to take a plane, compared to September 2020 (49%). Tour operator TUI reported a 500% increase in bookings overnight, airline EasyJet also announced a 630% increase in holiday bookings.
Booking data from TUI reveals that the most popular destinations this summer are the Spanish coast cities, including Malaga, Alicante, and Mallorca, but also the Portuguese Algarve and Greek island of Crete. Eurowings recently announced that they expect to see 80% of their planes up in the air again this summer.
2.5 millions could be affected by long delays
As more and more Europeans decide to book their summer travels, AirHelp warns that overall as much as 34,6 million passengers could face a flight delay of over 15 minutes or a cancellation this summer. Christian Nielsen, chief legal officer at AirHelp says: “Looking at our database with the recent Eurocontrol summer predictions in mind, we estimate that as many as 1.5 million passengers planning to fly between May to July this summer could be faced with a cancellation. In addition, another 1 million travellers might experience an extreme flight delay greater than 3 hours. We advise all of these passengers to check whether their flight problem entitles them to financial compensation under EU law.”
He adds: “You’ll be entitled to this compensation when the airline is the cause behind the long delay or cancellation. Unlike Covid-19, incidents such as technical issues with the aircraft or crew shortages are cases that allow for compensation from the airline. Therefore, it’s extremely important to establish the reason for your flight problem. If in doubt, you can check your flight for free on airhelp.com”
These are passengers’ rights
Brexit did not affect the rights of UK passengers. In fact, the rules of the EC 261 legislation are still in effect. It means that passengers who experienced lengthy flight delays, cancellations, or were denied boarding, may seek financial compensation between EUR 250 and EUR 600 per person. The amount of compensation that a passenger receives is decided by the flight distance and not the ticket price.
Passengers may claim compensation as long as the airline is responsible for the flight problems (e.g. technical issues, airline crew strikes, or crew shortages). Situations deemed as extraordinary circumstances, such as storms or medical emergencies, mean that the operating airline is exempt from the obligation to compensate passengers. In other words, extraordinary circumstances do not qualify for flight compensation.
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