There's nothing like a delayed flight to put a damper on your holiday.

After all, it can be frustrating to spend hours waiting in an airport, waiting to find out if you will make it to your destination.

But how much time did the nation actually spend waiting for delayed flights last year?

Travel insurer Columbus Direct analysed data from the Civil Aviation Authority, and unveiled that as a nation, Brits wasted up to 28 million hours waiting for their delayed flights.

That equates to one million days.

The insurance firm revealed that there were a number of factors contributing to the disrupted schedules including industrial action and adverse weather.

Columbus Direct claims that it left millions of passengers delayed, with thousands left out of pocket due to missed connections and transfers.

Amidst the peak travel season in 2019 there could be more disruption in store this summer, with a host of potential UK airport and airline strikes in store.

Of course it's important for passengers to know their rights in case you are affected by delays, so Stuart Lloyd, Travel Expert at Columbus Direct, has shared some top tips on what to do.

You can also find out about your rights to compensation for a delayed flight on the Civil Aviation Authority website.

1. Call your airline if you think your flight is affected

In the event of industrial action, for example, as soon as the strike dates are announced, you should check directly with your airline to find out if your flight is still running. If not, they have a duty to make alternative travel arrangements for you and communicate what these are.

2. Find out what you're eligible for in terms of refunds and/or compensation

It’s important to know your rights when it comes to delayed flights and cancellations. Your flights may be covered under the EU’s Air Passenger Rights regulations – entitling you to a replacement flight, reimbursement and in some cases compensation.  This depends on where you’re flying from and to, and with which airline. You should be able to apply if:

  • Your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • Your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
  • Your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • You have not already received benefits (compensation, re-routing, assistance from the airline) for flight related problems for this journey.

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