Another delay at London Gatwick Airport?
Situated 3 miles north of Crawley, West Sussex, London Gatwick Airport is the second largest international airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow. It is also the second busiest, with only Heathrow having more passengers on an annual basis. Gatwick also boasts a single-use runway that exceeds anything else in the world regarding traffic volume. Passenger figures have remained steady around the 30 million a year mark in the last decade. In 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority reports that Gatwick had 35,428,548 passengers, compared to a 2012 figure of 34,235,982, an increase of approximately 3.5%. The airlines that operate from Gatwick include British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Flybe, Monarch, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and Air China.
A History of London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport was established in the 1920s, when land close to Gatwick Racecourse was used to build an aerodrome. In August 1930 the aerodrome gained a license and became known as Gatwick Aerodrome. The aerodrome was developed into a base for a flying school two years later. In 1933, the Air Ministry approved commercial flights, and Hillman's Airways became the first airline to operate from Gatwick in 1934, with the first commercial flights to Paris and Belfast.
By the end of the 1930s, the new airline Allied British Airways was created via a merger involving three airlines, including Hillman's, becoming the busiest airline operating from Gatwick. Gatwick Airport's growth led to Gatwick Railway Station being created prior to the outbreak of World War Two. One innovation at Gatwick was The Beehive, which featured a subway with a railway link. During World War Two Gatwick was used by the RAF, mainly as a base for plane maintenance, though some combat missions did take off from the airport.
Following the war and after threats of closure, in 1950, Gatwick was chosen by the then government as the location for London's second airport behind Heathrow. Extensive redevelopment took place at Gatwick in the 1950s, and it became the template for modern airport infrastructure. No other airport had had a direct railway link before Gatwick, and the airport also introduced radical changes to the design of airport terminals. As the 1960s dawned, Gatwick was being used as an airport for flights to Africa and South America, as well as to destinations all over Europe.
Over the next few decades Gatwick grew in prominence, and it was at Gatwick in 1982 that Pope John Paul II landed on British soil for the first time. Gatwick became a base for Freddie Laker's shortlived airline Skytrain in 1977, which started the trend in budget airlines in the UK. Skytrain was used to provide trips to JFK Airport in New York. Gatwick is currently undergoing ongoing an extensive £1billion development.
Delays, Punctuality and How to Get Compensated If Things Go Wrong
A London Gatwick airport delay is much more common than at most other major UK airports, which can be partly put down to the volume of traffic the airport has to deal with. Gatwick came fifth in a survey of eight major British airports, with regard to punctuality in 2012. The average delay time for Gatwick flights was almost 20 minutes. London Luton came top, with Birmingham, London Stansted and Newcastle airports ranking above Gatwick.
Monetary compensation can vary quite widely, but it is regulated by EU laws and thus the same rules apply throughout Europe. As an example, a British Airways flight from Gatwick to St. Helier, Jersey that was delayed for several hours due to check-in issues could result in compensation for each passenger of up to £210. An easyJet flight that has been delayed by three hours, because of similar check-in issues, from Kefalonia, Greece to Gatwick, could result in up to £500 in compensation. Flightright is a company who helps clients to get their compensation.