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Belfast International Airport

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Belfast Airport Delay - Trouble with Airlines

About the Airport

Belfast International Airport is the busiest airport in the whole of Northern Ireland, with visitor numbers, in Ireland, only surpassed by those of Dublin Airport. The airport is situated just over 13 miles to the northwest of Belfast city centre.
Figures showed that over 4 million passengers used Belfast International Airport in 2013, which was a slight decrease in passenger numbers from the previous year. The relatively remote location of Belfast International Airport, unlike Belfast's other major airport, Belfast City, means that the airport is open every day of the year, 24 hours a day. Owned by Abertis, Belfast International Airport can also be used for flight training purposes.
Among the airlines operating from Belfast International Airport are Jet2, easyJet, and United Airlines. Lufthansa and Air Canada also run a long haul flight to Newark, New Jersey. In April, 2013, the airport was also used by several Aer Lingus, British Airways and Ryanair planes bound for Dublin, after heavy winds caused the planes to be diverted north. Another development in April, 2013, was the announcement made by Jet2 that it was halting its flights to and from the airport, after it deemed the current runway unsafe. The matter was quickly resolved, with Jet2 choosing to use an alternative runway, while work was carried out on the runway the airline normally used. Jet2, in an online statement, apologised for the "inconvenience" that the runway dispute had caused passengers.

Almost 100 Years of Airport History

As with a number of major airports in the British Isles, Belfast International Airport can date its origins back to World War One when it was known as Aldergrove Airport. In 1917, the Royal Flying Corps selected the site for training purposes, and it was still used by the RAF after the conflict. In the early 1920s the site began being used for civil flights, though a regular service didn't begin for another decade. Some of the early destinations included Liverpool, Glasgow and London. During the Second World War, Aldergrove Airport was again used by the RAF, with changes made to the size of the existing runways, and they have remained unchanged.

Now known as the George Best Belfast City Airport, Nutts Corner Airport was the major civil airport in Northern Ireland in the first few years after World war Two. A rapid increase in civil flights however led to Aldergrove being increasingly utilized to take the strain off Nutts Corner. In the 1960s Aldergrove saw extensive improvements, and it became a major airport in its own right, with passenger jets flying from the airport from the mid-1960s onwards. By the end of the decade, flights were going as far as New York City. In 1983 Aldergrove was renamed Belfast International Airport, and the airport was privatised in 1994.

Recent Delays and your Right to Receive Compensation

The average delay time for easyJet flights from London to Belfast in 2012 was nearly 7 minutes, but only 2.49% of their flights had been late by over one hour. Of the flight delays at Belfast International Airport in the early spring of 2013, the majority included flights by Jet2 and easyJet, with the latter airline cancelling several flights completely. In terms of possible monetary compensation for passengers affected by a delay, an example would be of a Jet2 flight from Belfast to Leeds. If this flight had been delayed for at least 3 hours because of boarding issues, it could result in compensation of up to £480 (600€) for each passenger. Flightright is a company who helps passengers claim their compensation.

What rights do I have?

Under EU law, you can get up to 480£ compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation or overbooking of your flight.
This is true regardless of the ticket price and up to 6 years retrospectively.

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS

What to do when delayed?

  • gather information
  • Take photos
  • You are entitled to vouchers
  • Keep documents from the airline, such as letters, tickets, vouchers
250 €
Up to 1,500 KM
2H Delay
400 €
1.500 KM - 3.500KM
3H Delay
600 €
Mer än 3500 km
6H Delay
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