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Flight Delays and Cancellations from Scotland: What To Do

Flight Delays and Cancellations from Scotland: What To Do

Amy Lancelotte
Written By Amy Lancelotte
Last Updated: May 13, 2024

In 2023, Scotland airports welcomed nearly 26 million passengers. Of those, 15.9 million were from abroad and 9.98 million were domestic. Now that’s a lot of air traffic and the potential for delays or cancellations.

We analyzed the Civil Aviation Authority data from 2023 on delayed Scotland flights. We found that Scotland’s top 3 busiest airports, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, had:

  • 0.7% to 2.4% of flights delayed by 3 to 6 hours.
  • 0.1% to 1.1% of flights delayed by more than 6 hours.

Additionally, out of the 286,471 total flights in the country in 2023, 6,492 were cancelled. This means that cancelled flights in Scotland that year accounted for 2.2% of scheduled flights.

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Whether you’re interested in learning about your rights related to Scotland flight interruptions or advice on how to claim the maximum payout, you’re in the right place. We’ve assisted passengers like you since 2017 and 92% of our clients would happily recommend our services.

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Here’s what you’ll discover in this post:

  • Regulation UK261 is what dictates passenger compensation for delays and cancelled flights in Scotland.
  • The minimum delay for a payout is 3 hours.
  • Cancellations must be communicated by the airline in less than 2 weeks to qualify.
  • Flight delay compensation Scotland ranges from £220 to £520.
  • Extraordinary circumstances negate the airline’s liability.
  • Passengers can claim with the airline up to 6 years after the disruption.
  • AirAdvisor is always the ideal partner for fast and easy claims.

Scotland Passenger Rights - UK261

If you’re a ticketed passenger on a flight from Scotland, and in certain cases to Scotland, you have rights under regulation UK261. What does that mean?

  1. Scotland flight delays are eligible for compensation as long as the delay upon arrival is at least 3 hours.
  2. Passengers who experience a Scotland flight cancellation and are not notified at least 2 weeks before the flight are also eligible.
  3. Compensation amounts vary by the distance of your flight. The shorter the flight, the lower the compensation amount.
  4. Any flight that leaves from Scotland (or the UK) is covered. But for flights that land in the UK, you need to fly with a UK-based airline. If your route doesn’t involve Scotland or the UK, the regulation does not apply.
Still trying to decide if your Scotland cancelled flight qualifies for compensation?

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Flight Delay Compensation Scotland

As we mentioned, when your flight is 3+ hours late at your destination, you can file a claim for flight delay compensation. This breakdown will show you how your flight distance impacts your maximum payout:



Destination Delay Time

Total Distance

Flights less than 1,500 km

Flights from 1,500km to 3,500km 

Flights over 3,500km

Under 3 hours

 £0

3 hours +

 £220

 £350

 £520*

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* Note that airlines may attempt to cut this compensation in half for short delays. At AirAdvisor, you can count on us to always push for the full amount.

Which Scotland Delayed Flights Are Covered?

Examples often best illustrate a point, so here are a few to show you which flights fall under UK261 and which ones don’t. Plus, we’ll explain why.

Edinburgh to New York

Passengers can get direct flights from Edinburgh Airport to New York’s JFK Airport. The flight distance is 5,200km. So, let’s assume you arrive in New York at least 3 hours late, and because the route departs from Scotland, UK261 would apply. You would be able to file a claim with the airline for up to £520 as the distance exceeds 3,500km.

On your return journey from New York to Edinburgh, assuming the delay threshold is met, you would only qualify for compensation if you fly with a UK-based airline. 

Passengers at London Heathrow Airport

London to Glasgow

For this trip, we know that the airline doesn’t matter because the route is entirely within the UK. In this scenario, you’re travelling between London Heathrow and Glasgow Airport, which is a flight distance of 555km. What if you’re only delayed in Glasgow by 2.5 hours? Unfortunately, you would not be eligible for any payout. If the delay is 3 hours or more, then you would qualify for £220 in compensation, regardless of the airline.

Barcelona to Edinburgh

In this example, we’ll examine the route between Barcelona-El Prat Airport and Edinburgh Airport. Assuming that the delay time at Edinburgh is 4 hours, this flight distance is 1,665km, so passengers should qualify for up to £350. This applies regardless of the airline because the EU has a similar regulation called EC261/2004, so you would also be entitled to compensation under this umbrella since you’re departing from the EU.

Are you still a bit confused? The easiest way to verify your eligibility is by using our free flight checker. It will take the guesswork out of your situation.

How Often Are Scotland Flights Delayed?

As we mentioned, Scotland's top 3 airports had up to 2.4% of flights significantly delayed (enough to qualify for compensation) in 2023. Here is the breakdown and the total flights that were eligible for delay compensation.

Percentage of Late Scotland Flights in 2023

Airport

Type of Flight

Delay between 181 minutes and 360 minutes

Delay of 360 minutes or more

Total Annual Flights

Number of Delayed Flights (360 minutes +)

Edinburgh

Chartered

2.5%

1.1%

606

6

Scheduled

0.7%

0.1%

102,597

102

Glasgow

Chartered

2.4%

0.5%

2664

13

Scheduled

1.2%

0.1%

58,056

58

Aberdeen

Chartered

1.1%

1.6%

607

9

Scheduled

0.8%

0.1%

26,754

26

Source: https://www.caa.co.uk

From this data, we can conclude that chartered flights are delayed more than scheduled flights, but the sheer volume of scheduled flights means they see higher raw numbers of delays. If you imagine that each flight that was delayed at least 6 hours has 100 passengers, the opportunities to claim Scotland flight delay compensation are abundant.

Empty runway at Edinburgh airport due to Scotland flights cancelled

Cancelled Flights Scotland - The Details

Due to the inconvenience of having your Scotland flights cancelled without sufficient notice (14 days), passengers can claim anywhere from £100 to £520. What amount you qualify for depends on how delayed your new flight is compared to the cancelled one. 

The lowest compensation (£100) is reserved for flights less than 1,500km that are delayed less than 2 hours. On the other hand, for maximum compensation (£520), your cancelled Scotland flight must have a route of over 3,500km and arrive at least 4 hours after the originally scheduled flight. 

With cancelled flights in Scotland, airlines are also responsible for your care. This includes things like phone calls to rearrange plans, drinks, food, and even a hotel stay and airport transfer if the interruption is long enough. Unsurprisingly, the time limits for refreshments depend on distance. Here’s the scoop:

Flight Travel Distance

Flights Less Than 1,500km

Flights From 1,500km to 3,500km

Flights More Than 3,500km

Airport Wait Time

2 hours or more

3 hours or more

4 hours or more

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How Often Are There Scotland Flight Cancellations?

Also using data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, we compiled a Scotland-only table to demonstrate the number of cancelled flights the country has annually.

Airport

Total 2023 Flights

2023 Cancellations

Percentage Cancelled

Aberdeen

58,049

1,553

2.68%

Barra

1,383

188

13.6%

Benbecula

2007

106

5.3%

Campbelltown

1,057

101

9.55%

Dundee

1,655

94

5.68%

Edinburgh

111,335

1,748

1.57%

Glasgow

63,878

1,574

2.46%

Inverness

12,269

313

2.6%

Islay

1,355

14

1.03%

Kirkwall

10,320

521

5.05%

Prestwick

3,849

8

0.2%

Stornoway

5,131

266

5.2%

Sumburgh

11,763

312

2.65%

Tingwall

867

0

0%

Tiree

1,553

163

10.5%

Wick John O Groats

1,128

60

5.32%

Luckily, for passengers using the busiest Scotland airports, their cancellation percentages aren’t too bad. Edinburgh, the busiest, actually scores the best of the 3. The other 2 were only slightly above the country’s average of 2.2%.

Extraordinary Circumstances - The Caveat

We already know that not every delayed or cancelled flight in Scotland fits the parameters of UK261. But, there’s one other exception to be aware of and that’s something called extraordinary circumstances.

The cause of the flight interruption is important for compensation. If it’s the result of extraordinary circumstances, generally something that is outside the airline’s control, compensation does not apply.

Examples of Extraordinary Circumstances

  • Political unrest
  • Security threats
  • Sabotage
  • Manufacturer defects
  • Poor weather
  • Bird strikes.

For compensation purposes, if your flight is disrupted due to any of these, you can file a claim:

Flight cancellations with Scotland’s airline - Loganair

Loganair Flight Interruptions

While there are many UK-based airlines, Loganair is the main Scotland-based carrier. In fact, it’s the biggest regional UK airline and operates a primary hub out of Glasgow Airport.

In the course of compiling our ratings for the Top UK Airlines, we reviewed Loganair’s reliability with data from the Civil Aviation Authority. We found that in 2022, Loganair had an on-time percentage of 71.58% and a cancellation percentage of 5.11%. These numbers were definitely below average. As a result, your chances of encountering a Loganair disruption are higher than with more reliable airlines like Virgin Atlantic or easyJet.

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If you’re among the nearly 30% of passengers whose Scotland flight was delayed, file a claim on our website ASAP!

Cancelled Flights Scotland - Make Your Claim

When you opt to partner with AirAdvisor, the same system allows you to file a claim for either flight cancellations or delays. Here are the easy steps:

  1. Start at our website to get valuable assistance from airline compensation experts.
  2. Give us your flight details and your personal details (so that we can contact you).
  3. Attach whatever supporting documentation you have.
  4. Leave the claim to us and will follow up directly with the airline if required.

To use the convenient AirAdvisor process for a cancellation or flight delay compensation claim, we only charge you a small percentage if your claim results in a payout. No payout means you aren’t charged anything.

Flight Delay Compensation Scotland - The Time Limit

In Scotland, passengers can claim flight disruption compensation up to 6 years after the incident. It can be worth going back over your previous flights if you’re only just becoming aware of UK261 and your rights. 

For any newer flights, just file a claim with us or the airline once you get home so that you don’t forget to do it altogether.

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FAQs

What’s the minimum delay time in Scotland to be eligible for compensation?

Under regulation UK 261, to qualify for anywhere between £220 and £520 in compensation, your flight delay must be at least 3 hours. This is calculated compared to the originally scheduled arrival time at your destination.

Are all Scotland flight delays covered by UK261?

Unfortunately, no. You must be delayed by 3 hours. Provided you meet this requirement, only flights that depart from the UK are covered without exception. If your flight only lands at a UK airport, compensation would only apply for routes operated by UK-based carriers.

What’s the time limit for Scotland flight delay claims?

It’s quite generous - you have 6 years to file your flight delay compensation in Scotland claim. Don’t wait too long, though. Will you really remember the details 2 years later? Or will you forget about the claim entirely? The best practice is to make your claim as soon as you get home as up to 42% of passengers never actually claim.

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