AirHelp, the world's largest air passenger rights organisation, reveals that 9 million passengers across the UK suffered from disruptions when travelling on a plane between November 2022 and February this year. With over 179,500 registered flights departing from the UK, 30.9 million people planned a trip during this period; either for leisure during the Christmas period or for other reasons such as work. 

Taking a closer look at AirHelp's data uncovers that approximately 29% of travellers suffered from a disruption to their flight. Whilst most of the UK passengers faced delays under 3 hours, meaning they were not eligible for financial compensation, over 554,400 people had the right to claim and receive financial compensation from their airline. What's more, over 463,000 travellers had their trips cancelled altogether.

During the winter season, Heathrow Airport was found to have the highest disruption rate of 34%, affecting passengers travelling on over 22,900 flights. Manchester Airport follows this with 29% of flights disrupted between November and February. On the other hand, the most punctual airport during this period was Belfast Aldergrove with only 16% of flights disrupted, closely followed by Wick Airport at 17%. 

When looking at the most disrupted routes from UK airports, such as Manchester Airport to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, nearly 95% of these flights were disrupted during the winter period, with 10% of these flights delayed over two hours. Unsurprisingly, routes from Heathrow Airport take the second, third and fifth spot on the ranking - with its route to Accra (Ghana) Kotoka Airport having a disruption rate of 84%. 

On the other hand, the luckiest passengers were those who travelled from Manchester International Airport to Dusseldorf International Airport, with over 97% of the flights taking place between November and February departing on time. Birmingham International Airport to Dusseldorf International Airport and Cardiff to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport are the other routes with the highest percentage of punctuality at 96% and 94% respectively. 

"AirHelp has one of the most reliable and accurate collections of flight data in the world. This allows us to provide holidaymakers and business travellers with an in-depth look at how airports are performing. The winter season proved that those based in the UK have significant opportunities for improvement in terms of flight disruptions and cancellations, to ensure the service they are providing to passengers is as punctual as possible," explains Tomasz Pawliszyn, CEO of AirHelp.

According to the UK's air passenger rights laws, travellers are entitled to compensation for delays of more than 3 hours, cancellation of their flight or denied boarding. Air passengers who have experienced interruptions have a period of 3 years to claim, being able to check their eligibility for compensation for free and file a claim in a matter of minutes through the form at