24 August, 2023

British holidaymakers see red after delays of just over an hour new research finds.

UK holidaymakers say it takes a delay of just 64 minutes to make them see red, according to research commissioned by travel technology specialist IBS Software. As many as 71% of British people who have travelled abroad in the last year had a flight either delayed or cancelled, with a further 45% admitting they worry future travel plans will be disrupted.

This latest research seems to indicate that transparent and timely communications from airlines are vital in minimising the impact of flight disruption for passengers. 58% that's nearly six in ten of those affected by delays have struggled to find out why their plans have been thrown into turmoil, while 16% head straight to social media to bemoan the airlines.

Sixty-one per cent of the respondents don’t always feel flight delays or cancellations are explained properly to passengers and forty-five per cent become frustrated because they haven’t been informed about how the issues the airlines are experiencing will be resolved.

The knock-on impact of flight delays is also now causing holidaymakers to reconsider their travel plans. UK travellers said that if their flights were badly disrupted again this summer, they would reconsider the airline they use 26%, be more likely to opt for a staycation that didn’t require air travel 18% and they’d consider alternative modes of transport 16%. 

The research indicated 31% of passengers who have experienced flight delays or cancellations have received compensation for the problems they incurred. However, of those who have, more than half - 53% said it didn’t make up for missing out on the precious holiday time lost.

Philip Hinton, SVP at IBS Software, added: “Adverse weather, secondary delays and other operational issues are a daily challenge for airlines, but the industry can help regain confidence with passengers by using advanced technology to reduce the impact of disruptions in a faster and more effective way and to communicate clearly with the passengers. 

The research shows a significant number of passengers would be more understanding with a delay if they were just kept in the loop. Too often the legacy IT systems that many airlines use can exacerbate delays.” 

84 per cent of holidaymakers would be more understanding when it comes to delays or cancellations if the airlines were transparent about the issues they are encountering.

It should be noted that the research was carried out by OnePoll, which specializes in creating PR survey, surveying just 1,330 UK adults who have flown abroad in the last 12 months, between 15th and 21st August 2023.