New research released by leading personal finance portal MoneySmart has revealed the top airlines for flight delay and cancellation according to Singaporean travellers. Whilst air travel can be notoriously chaotic, travellers have seen an even greater increase in flight disruptions in recent years. In the past 12 months alone, the number of Singaporeans searching for ‘travel insurance claim’ online has risen by 401%¹.
To understand the issues travellers have experienced with flight disruptions, MoneySmart surveyed over 1,700 Singaporeans who have flown in the past year (May 2022-23) and uncovered the top 12 airlines with the most flight delays and cancellations, according to Sinaporean travellers.
Of those surveyed, Air India topped the list, with almost 4 in 5 (78%) of the airline’s customers reporting a delay, while 71% reported a cancellation. MoneySmart uncovers the airlines Singaporean travellers say they’ve experienced the most disruptions with and how this affected their travel experiences:
The airlines with the most flight delays, as reported by survey respondents
According to the customer survey, Air India emerged as the top airline with the highest number of delays, as reported by almost 4 in 5 (78%) respondents who had flown with them:
- Air China was second, with 7 in 10 (70%) of respondents reporting a delay with them.
- Cebu Pacific Air closely followed in third place, with 69% of respondents encountering delays while flying with the airline.
- Singapore Airlines, the national carrier, was reported to have caused delays for almost 2 in 5 (38%) of the respondents who flew with them in the past year. However, they ranked ninth among the top 12 airlines in terms of reported delays.
The most common duration of delays reported by survey respondents was 1 to 3 hours, accounting for 40% of respondents. Nearly two-fifths (38%) of travellers reported experiencing delays exceeding 4 hours.
The airlines with the most flight cancellations, as reported by survey respondents
Excluding flight cancellations due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Air India took the top spot again, with 71% of survey respondents who had flown with the airline reporting experiencing a cancellation.
- Cebu Pacific Air followed, with 65% who had flown with the airline reporting a cancellation with them.
- Air China claimed the third spot, with over two-thirds (64%) of respondents reporting cancelled flights.
- The survey reveals that the most common wait time for a replacement flight was 1 to 3 hours (27% of respondents).
Compensation for disruption
When it comes to compensation for disrupted air travel, the survey findings shed light on the following key insights:
Compensation for delayed flights:
- On average, 42% of respondents who had experienced delays reported notreceiving direct compensation from the airline.
- Scoot, the low-cost airline owned by the Singapore Airlines group, compensated only around 23% of the surveyed respondents who experienced delays. This places Scoot as the airline least likely to provide compensationfor flight delays, leaving 77% of the affected passengers to bear the financial cost.
Compensation for cancelled flights:
- 32% reported notreceiving direct compensation from the airline for cancelled flights.
- However, survey responses indicated that Air India – the airline with the highest rate of both delays and cancellations – was least likely to compensatefor flight cancellations, with 43% of passengers receiving some.
According to respondents who experienced disruptions, the result of flight delays and cancellations has appeared to have a longer-term impact on travel behaviours:
- 65% now always pre-arrange travel insurance to safeguard against travel disruptions, emphasising the growing recognition of its importance.
- 62% found their experience to be stressful, substantiating the emotional toll such incidents can have on travellers.
- 58% now frequently worry