Holiday Pirates survey finds widespread ignorance over passenger rights

Holiday Pirates survey finds widespread ignorance over passenger rights

British travellers do not know their passenger rights, a Holiday Pirates and Flightright survey has found.

The study found that almost 75% out of the 6,600 travellers surveyed claimed know their rights in regard to delays, cancellations and overbooked flights.

But only 9% knew they have six years to claim compensation and 25% were unaware of their right to claim a refund after a delay of three hours or more.

A third of British holidaymakers have claimed a refund, but 30% say they never received the  compensation they attempted to claim back from the airline.

The survey found 87% of respondents believed they can get compensation if the pilot is sick, however sickness of a crew member in the UK is considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ exempting airlines from liability

Of the 6,600 respondents, 1,200 were from the UK.

More than 7.4 million UK travellers were affected by travel delays and cancellations in 2019.


About half of the business travellers surveyed did not know that when delayed during a business trip, compensation goes to the passenger, not the employer, because it is given to the person who has suffered a delay at the airport. This rule also applies to organised trips.

The survey also showed that passengers consider Emirates and easyJet the most punctual airlines followed by Ryanair, British Airways, and Jet2.

In addition it found 40% of holidaymakers surveyed book long-haul flights six to eight months in advance with 17% booking over a year before the departure date.

David Armstrong, Holiday Pirates chief executive officer, said: “In the midst of all the summer chaos, of flight cancellations and delays, it’s definitely best if passengers don’t need to rely on the busy airlines or airports to receive compensation or know what to do next.

“We partnered with Flightright to help show that, while most people think they know what they should do in such a situation, they usually don’t. Sure enough, this survey showed a lot, such that 73% do not know that they can receive food and drink after a two-hour delay.

“Our hope is that this survey will serve as a wake-up call and will help make sure that passengers do their homework before embarking on their next flight.”

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