A fifth of all summer flights delayed with Gatwick the worst offender, report finds

Thousands of holidaymakers were eligible for compensation, according to a consumer group (Picture: Getty Images)

Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers were delayed this summer waiting for flights from British airports, a report shows.

Online consumer group flightright found that Gatwick Airport was the worst offender, accounting for four of the five routes with the longest delays, while passengers heading to Spain from the airport were most likely to have a long wait.

Of the 752,000 outgoing flights from major British airports in June and August, around 161,570 were late – a fifth of all flights.

Flightright’s managing director said many passengers would not aware that they are eligible for as much £475 for delayed flights.

‘Unfortunately, most passengers do not know about their rights,’ said Marek Janetzke.

‘Airlines often leave them without any information about it or don’t mention that customers are entitled to compensation.

A Gatwick Airport spokesman cited external factors as the reason behind many of the delays.

‘There were a number of issues affecting the on-time departure performance of aircraft this summer, including severe weather events and Air Traffic Control strikes across Europe,’ he said.

‘Getting passengers away on time is a key priority for us.’