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By: Joanna Medina

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October 27th, 2016

13 Airlines With the Most Flight Delays or Cancellations Within Europe

Flight Delays and Cancellations | European Travel

Travelers wanting to explore Europe have a fair bit of research to do in preparation for their trip. How’s the exchange rate? Where are the safest or most affordable hotels? How am I getting around to different cities and countries? But perhaps the biggest question is; which airline should I take to travel in Europe?

There are many factors to consider. For most travelers, the two biggest concerns are price of airfare, and length of flight. For others, they may be on the lookout for a more family friendly airline. One thing that should be on everyone’s list of priorities is whether or not your airline is reliable.

As it turns out, some of the busiest airlines traveling within Europe are also the ones with the most delays or cancellations. How bad is the situation? Let’s take a look at 13 of the worst offenders.



This Irish carrier advertises itself as a budget airline, meaning many travelers looking to stretch their vacation funds as far as possible might find this airline appealing. Unfortunately, it appears that the airline is able to get you where you’re going so cheaply because they cut corners anywhere they can. From small annoyances like no seatback pockets, to larger ones such as overbooked flights, or managing errors leading to long delays and cancellations.


It may actually be difficult to find a good review of this Singapore based carrier. Frustrated passengers report chaotic and confusing boarding processes, and massive delays due to logistical issues with the airline. This is another budget airline, and they seem to make up for their low fares by charging for any extras onboard. Naturally, passengers are not happy to discover this when they finally get on their plane hours after they were supposed to.


SmartWings is an Eastern European airline based out of Prague in the Czech Republic. They offer budget pricing which many passengers appreciate, but something that is universally not appreciated by anyone is spontaneous flight cancellations. It seems that many passengers report cancelled flights about 1 week prior to their departure time, and no option to rebook. This can really leave some travelers stranded.

Pegasus Airlines

Pegasus Airlines is a low cost airline based out of Turkey, and this appears to be yet another example of “you get what you pay for.” Frequent delays and cancellations plague this airline, and what’s worse, passengers report having a terrible time getting through to customer service whenever a problem arises.

Bulgaria Air

This is a smaller airline based out of Sofia, and it is plagued by frequent delays. Some of these are understandable, such as the times when there are several planes in line waiting to take off. Other times, these delays are due to late arriving aircraft, late departures, mismanaged lines, etc. Many passengers report that they missed their connecting flights.


With nearly 7,000 delays in a 12 month period, it’s plain to see that an EasyJet flight may be a bit of a gamble. This UK based airline offers low cost airfare in and around Europe, but from as the stats plainly show, there is a good chance they won’t get you there on time.

British Airways

This is one of the first non-budget airlines on this list. As one of the largest carriers in Europe, you might think that British Airways would have its act together better than it does. In a 12-month period, over 4200 flights were delayed. Of course, this airline has a bigger fleet than the budget airlines, and more planes means more opportunities for delayed flights. Still, passengers expect to see a better record than this.


Flybe specializes in short hop flights to many of the smaller cities in the U.K. It has become a very popular airline for this reason, because they can often get you to where you’re going for less than a car rental. However, the airline may be having trouble keeping up with the demand. Over 1700 flights were delayed last year, and another 300+ were cancelled outright. Those are big numbers for a small airline.

Air France

Another huge carrier, Air France is based out of Paris, and operates flights all over the world. With a schedule that busy, it leaves plenty of opportunities for delays and cancellations to sneak in. With only 42 of their thousands of flights cancelled, that may seem like a great track record, but then again, there were over 3300 delays last year.


Lufthansa is a German airline that also boasts a busy flight schedule, and many popular destinations. Their state of the art planes make them a desirable booking for many travelers, but their cancellation rate topped the charts last year. 4380 flights were cancelled, with another 4000+ being delayed. That means thousands upon thousands of customers were affected by this poor performance.

Turkish Airlines

This Eastern European airline also experienced thousands of delays last year; 3449 to be exact, with another flights cancelled. Flights in and out of Istanbul were recently affected by the political unrest in the area, which may account for many of these delays and cancellations, but that still isn’t the fault of the many passengers who were inconvenienced or stranded.


Loganair is based out of the Glasgow airport, and has had a rough couple of years. In 2014 and 2015 the airline was cited as having poor performance and reliability. They are restructuring management now and making some changes to improve the situation. That’s good news, but they may not be entirely out of the woods just yet.


SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)

The flag carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, SAS operates flights all over the globe. Unfortunately, not all of them are on time. Last year, 2048 flights were delayed and another 166 cancelled.

There are simply no guarantees when it comes to air travel. So many things can cause delays or cancellations, from the weather to poor airport management. Some of these delays are unavoidable, such as those caused by icy conditions, but others are unnecessary. Passengers should know that they have certain rights when it comes to European travel, and that they may be entitled to compensation, should their flights be affected. To find out more about European flight delay compensation, click here.

flight cancelled or delayed

Image Credit : Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock.com

About Joanna Medina

Born and raised in San Diego, California. I am a writer, dreamer, traveler and all around Truth seeker. I have a passion and desire to help others and truly enjoy seeing people thrive. I have been partnering with Flightbucks since January, 2016 to educate travelers about their rights and have the added perk of sharing travel insights through our blog.