More than 770,000 passengers’ flights cancelled, delayed in September

  • Lusa
  • 21 October 2022

According to a statement released by AirHelp, over 770,000 of the 1.9 million passengers who departed from Portugal in September were affected by cancellations or flight delays.

Over 770,000 of the 1.9 million passengers who departed from Portugal in September were affected by cancellations or flight delays, with 84,000 entitled to some kind of compensation, according to AirHelp.

In a statement issued on Friday, the organisation that defends the rights of air passengers said that “in Europe, more than 18 million people saw their flights cancelled or delayed, resulting in one million European passengers being entitled to compensation or 34% of the total number of passengers who suffered disruptions”.

In September alone, more than 53 million people travelled in Europe, it added.

Analysing this year’s summer period, Airhelp said that “it was intense with regard to flight disruptions, a situation caused mainly by strikes called by airline workers”.

“From May to August this year, a total of 7.4 million passengers flew from Portugal. Of these, 2.8 million saw their flight cancelled or delayed, making 267,000 passengers eligible for economic compensation, meaning 38% of all passengers who suffered flight disruptions are entitled to compensation,” it said.

“310 million people travelled in Europe, of which eight million are eligible for compensation”.

“This is a high number even when we compare it to the same pre-pandemic period (2019) in which the number of those affected amounted to 6 million passengers,” highlights Airhelp’s lawyer specialising in travellers’ rights Pedro Miguel Madaleno, quoted in the statement.

In order to “inform and make air passengers aware of their rights when their flights are delayed, cancelled or overbooked”, AirHelp launched the ‘Air Passengers’ Rights Guide’.

According to Pedro Madaleno, “passengers whose flights are cancelled or delayed for three hours or more, as well as passengers who are denied boarding without justifiable reason”, have rights that they should claim.

They have the “right to re-routing to their final destination at the earliest opportunity or reimbursement of the ticket price of the unused flight” and “in cases where a connecting flight is missed, they have, as an alternative, the right to a return flight to the first point of departure”.

Passengers are also entitled to “free assistance, including meals and refreshments during delays, hotel accommodation if an overnight stay of one or more nights is necessary, and transport between accommodation and the airport” and to “access to communications, including two telephone calls and the possibility of sending telex messages, faxes or emails”.

Finally, they are “entitled to compensation of up to €600 per passenger depending on the distance between the place of departure and the final destination of the journey (regardless of the number of flights), the delay in arrival and whether the flight is within or outside the European Union”.

Affected passengers may claim compensation up to three years after the date of their flight.

And if “exceptional situations, such as adverse weather conditions or medical emergencies, may exempt the airline from the obligation of compensation”, the “strikes, both announced and unannounced, are not part of these exceptions”, said Airhelp.