Press Release

For immediate release

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

Travellers warned to take cover for delays

  • Over 1 in 5 domestic flights cancelled or delayed impacting over 20 million travellers last year
  • Call for more compensation provided by airlines, but travellers need to protect themselves with insurance
  • Tips on how to kill time if stuck at the airport

MAY 21, 2014, SYDNEY - One of Australia’s biggest comparison websites finder.com.au is calling for airlines to follow Europe’s lead and compensate passengers, following concerning findings that over one in five domestic flights are delayed or cancelled every month.

Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) analysed by finder.com.au found about 22 percent of domestic flights were delayed or cancelled last year – that’s over 125,000 flights, and over 20 million passengers estimated to be affected in 2013.

There were also more than 16,000 disrupted domestic flights in March 2014 alone, according to the finder.com.au research.

Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com.au/travel-insurance said flight delays are a serious and widespread problem in Australia.

“With more than 60 million people travelling domestically on airlines across Australia last year alone, it’s shocking to find that about 22 percent of flights – or potentially more than 20 million travellers – experienced some sort of disruption. Many of these travellers were hit with cancelled flights or delays before they even left the ground.

“Most of the cost hits the passengers themselves. Lost time, missed connections, food and accommodation expenses all add up for the disgruntled flyer.

“This level of service could be tightened if airlines were more accountable and were forced to payout for travel delays. Compensation laws in Europe for instance, see passengers who are delayed by more than five hours are eligible for a full refund,” she said.

According to BITRE, Qantas was the most punctual airline in March, with 88.5 percent of domestic flights departing and 87.2 percent of flights on time. Tigerair was the worst performer – departing on time just 76.0 percent and arriving 71.2 percent of scheduled flights.

Newman airport in Western Australia was in top spot for departures, with 96.3 percent of flights departing on time, while Port Headland also in WA was the best performing airport for arrivals at 97.7 percent.

With Australian airlines not currently offering delay compensation, Mrs Hutchison said travel insurance is vital when it comes to making sure travellers are covered for delays.

“Flight disruptions are clearly a significant burden on travellers, with almost one in five (17 percent) complaints received by the Airline Customer Advocate last year were concerning flight delays or cancellations.

“Flight disruptions are clearly a significant burden on travellers, with almost one in five (17 percent) complaints received by the Airline Customer Advocate last year were concerning flight delays or cancellations.

“Flight disruptions are clearly a significant burden on travellers, with almost one in five (17 percent) complaints received by the Airline Customer Advocate last year were concerning flight delays or cancellations.

What travellers can do if they're stuck at the airport:

  • Duty Free Shopping: If you have a few hours to kill, check out the retail offering. Most airports in Australia, particularly international departure terminals, have an extensive range of retailers and you can save 10 percent by purchasing duty-free. Just ensure you stay within the limit per person, or you’ll be charged full price for all duty-free purchases.
  • Sneak into the first class lounge We’re not suggesting you jump the fence, but many airlines will ensure their customers remain happy, so why not ask politely? You never know your luck!
  • Find a free meal: Airlines may offer free food or drinks to those inconvenienced, and if the delay is severe enough, accommodation may also be provided.
  • Kill time online:Most airports have free wifi services or even complimentary computers for their customers. You can be productive and get those niggling work tasks done, or just skim music videos and check in on Facebook – it’s up to you.
  • Go Exploring: This one is particularly useful when little kids are involved. Use the glass walls and long walkways to your advantage! The excitement of travelling paired with the new environment creates the perfect place for little ones to emanate some energy before the long, seated flight.

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For further information

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About finder.com.au:

finder.com.au is one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites and has helped over 4.8 million Australians find better credit cards, home loans, life insurance, shopping deals and more since 2006. finder.com.au compares 250 credit and debit cards from 31 providers, over 300 home loan products, and information from 13 life insurance providers as well as online shopping promo codes, mobile phone plans, travel insurance and more. One Australian every five minutes is using finder.com.au or creditcardfinder.com.au to find better (Source: Google Analytics).

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