Tourism: Caledonian worst for airline delays

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The Independent Online
Caledonian Airways, which experienced major aircraft maintenance problems in 1997, was the worst airline for delays last summer, the Consumers' Association said yesterday. Caledonian had average delays of more than an hour and a half on flights to Athens, Rhodes, Majorca and Dalaman in Turkey, according to the CA's Holiday Which? magazine.

Other poor performers last summer were Airworld Aviation, Sabre Airways and Leisure International, while the airlines with the least delays were Flying Colours, British Airways and Monarch Airlines.

From figures compiled by the Civil Aviation Authority, Holiday Which? published a list of average delays of flights to top holiday destinations from 10 UK airports from May-August 1997.

The longest average delay was one of 3hrs 30mins by Gatwick-based Sabre Airways to Dalaman. In contrast, Flying Colours - the carrier for Sunset Holidays and Club 18-30 - had average delays of just one minute to Corfu, five minutes to Rhodes and to Orlando, and just 10 minutes to Malta.

The magazine also claimed that tourists travelling on their own are being unfairly singled out by holiday companies, with solo travellers facing supplements of up to pounds 17 a night. Some companies even put single supplements on fly-drive holidays where no accommodation was offered.

The biggest complaint from singles was that they paid more and got less - and then ended up in the worst room, the magazine said.