Report reveals most complained about British & Irish airlines

Flight compensation company EUclaim has released internal data showing what it claims is the most complained about British and Irish airlines for the first half of 2016.

The data reveals that the number of people seeking compensation against Irish budget airline Ryanair has more than doubled in the last year. During the period January – June 2015, some 1,879 Ryanair passengers sought advice from EUclaim, but in the same period this year, that number more than doubled with 4,781 passengers getting in touch with the company to seek recompense for their delayed or cancelled flight.

Ryanair is not alone however. Fellow budget carrier easyJet has seen the number of cases through EUclaim increase every year for the last three years. The airline also has the dubious honour of topping the EUclaim ‘Carriers of Shame’ list for the first half of 2016, with 5,641 claims being processed against them by the flight compensation company.

The ‘Carriers of Shame’ list reveals for the first time, how many claims EUclaim processed against each airline in the first half of 2016. Passengers may be surprised to hear that it isn’t just the budget carriers on the list. British Airways features in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and what is more, like Ryanair, the number of claims against the flagship British carrier has actually increased year on year.

Not all airlines have fared so badly, with the leisure airlines doing better every year since 2013 despite low-cost airlines doing worse than ever. Monarch has been steadily improving its services, reducing the 2,599 claims made against it in 2014 to 2,001 in the same period in 2015. Monarch’s services have improved so much that it has fallen out of the 2016 top ‘Carriers of Shame’ list completely.

Top 5: Carriers of Shame (2016 H1 Results)

1 easyJet 5641
2 Ryanair 4781
3 Thomas Cook 3807
4 British Airways 3423
5 Thomson 2422

EUclaim has estimated that in 2016 airlines could owe a total of €699,667,500 in compensation due to delays of more than three hours and cancellations.

Adeline Noorderhaven, UK manager for EUclaim said: “The number of complaints in 2016 has been sky-high. It is likely that a prolonged period of bad weather toward the end of March, as well as a wash-out June played a part, but by far and away the biggest contributing factor has been the consistent strike action in France and Italy, which has led to flight misery for passengers as cancellations and delays shot through the roof.

“While strike action and bad weather can be considered extraordinary circumstances, airlines need to take more responsibility to ensure that customers are looked after and properly compensated for their loss. We are seeing that with the tight crew planning the airlines are not able to deal with these incidents and are allowing their whole rotation to be affected, sometimes even days after the incident.”

EUclaim data exposes Norwich Airport as the most likely airport in the country for passengers to suffer a flight delay or cancellation. In 2015 EUclaim processed 67 claims against airlines departing or arriving at the regional minnow, but in 2016 that number shot up to 175, a 161% increase on claim enquiries.

Top 10: Airports of Shame (2016 H1 Results)

Rank Airport 2015 2016 Total increase in cancelled and delayed flights as a percentage


Cancelled Delayed(for more than three hours) TOTAL Cancelled Delayed

(for more than three hours)

1 Norwich 40 27 67 111 64 175 161%
2 London Gatwick 600 763 1,363 1,107 1,308 2,415 77%
3 Newcastle 138 84 222 271 85 356 60%
4 Edinburgh 358 195 553 499 222 721 30%
5 Birmingham 320 155 475 437 169 606 28%
6 Leeds 148 76 224 179 103 282 26%
7 London Heathrow 1,869 1,145 3,014 2,467 1,233 3,700 23%
8 Glasgow 406 222 628 486 183 669 7%
9 Manchester 634 526 1,160 652 527 1,179 2%
10 Southampton 277 77 354 237 105 342 -3%



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