I've just had a two part flight, Antalya-Istanbul-London Gatwick via Pegasus airlines.

I arrived at the airport early and checked in with plenty of time to spare. The boarding for the first part of the flight, Antalya-Istanbul was 30 minutes late, so the flight also left 30 minutes late, but I don't think this is seen as a delay in Turkey.

This meant that when I finally got off the plane, my next plane was supposedly in the boarding stage (according to my ticket). All I had to do was proceed straight to passport control, but unfortunately, whilst I was queued up and almost through, the systems for passport control went down for a good 20-30 minutes all over Turkey. I was told that nothing could be done about it and that I would most likely miss my flight, which of course I did (if only that flight also left 30 minutes late). Pegasus airlines stuck me on a flight to London Stansted to make up for it (the next London flights would have been a day later), but this was six hours later.

I was offered no food or drink and had to pay for overpriced airport supplies myself, and ended up taking a late night train to crawl home once I did land. As luck would have it, my flight to London Stansted had yet another boarding time that was late by 45 minutes, so the flight was also delayed (again, I'm not sure if Turkey views it as such). I was also wrongly told that my luggage would end up in Gatwick, but the lovely people at Stansted put in some work and found that my luggage was actually taken off the plane and came to Stansted with me.

Is there any compensation that I can claim for this whole thing?

TL;DR: Can I claim compensation for two delayed flights, one missed flight, almost walked away without luggage, and a boatload of stress?

  • 2
    I'm sure this question could improve without the derogatory comments about Turkish view on delays. To be honest, I don't think that's much worst that what you can experience at Heathrow or Gatwick on a busy day. Apr 25, 2016 at 16:12
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    You were lucky not to have to pay full price for a different flight. The airline could just say "not our fault, not our problem".
    – jjrv
    Dec 12, 2017 at 10:29

3 Answers 3


As airline horror stories go, this one is pretty mild. You arrived at your destination city only a few hours late, with luggage.

Moreover (and this is the important point) the reason for all this delay was completely outside the airline's control. They don't control the passport line, or the computer systems. They don't owe you anything, any more than if the bus taking you to the airport had been late. In fact the airline sounds like it did a pretty good job of getting you where you wanted to be as soon as possible.

You could try to ask for the cost of getting from Stanstead to where you wanted to be, if it was more than the cost of getting there from Gatwick, but if you had said you absolutely had to go to Gatwick they would probably have done it, just later. You could try claiming something from the airport, but given you were out of pocket maybe a few currency units, I doubt it would be worth it.

Put it down to experience.

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    The airline is not in control of the passport checking system, but the airport is. Maybe there is some sort of compensation that OP can claim from the firm managing the airport? Apr 24, 2016 at 9:17
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    The airport has no control over the immigration systems; except so far as providing power to the outlets. Apr 24, 2016 at 10:59
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    They were unlikely to be dollars. Apr 24, 2016 at 12:45
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    I think claiming something for being delivered to the wrong location (admittedly one fairly close) is entirely reasonable. If the airline will share that opinion is another matter.
    – CMaster
    Apr 25, 2016 at 9:47
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    It's interesting how this answer and others make reference to the fact that the delay was outside of the control of the airline. This is a common thing with air travel, but this is due to terms and conditions imposed by that specific industry, and not a general legal principle. In the general case, what matters is what the parties have contractually agreed to supply each other, not the reasons for the failure of that supply. This is why there is so often an (not unreasonable, absent knowledge of T&C exclusions) expectation of compensation on the part of customers in these situations.
    – JBentley
    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:47

If you were to claim any damages, who would you blame?

  1. The airline doesn't control the passport systems.
  2. The delay for departure may have to do with incoming aircraft, which may have been delayed due to weather (again, not an airline problem).
  3. The airline offered you a quicker alternate (your choice); which got you to your destination along with your luggage - so can't really blame the airline here.
  4. Airports are generally more expensive than normal retail outlets; so nothing of news here.

Unfortunately this is a mild case of delays; I can relate my own worse airline delay story and you would think yours was a day at the park :-)

As mentioned by others, your only recourse is your normal travel insurance (you may already have coverage if you purchased the tickets via your credit card and purchased goods/services at the airport with your credit card - check your policy).

I would chalk this up to travel experience and move on.

  • 1
    As stated in a comment to another answer, I'd blame the airport. They are the ones that screwed up with their automated passport control system, and did not have a plan B to cover the emergency. Apr 24, 2016 at 9:20
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    You blame the airport but passport control is not an airport matter, it is immigration, and as you mentioned, it was not just that one airport, it was all over the country. A curtesy free drink would have been nice but they did not have to do anything in that respect.
    – Willeke
    Apr 24, 2016 at 10:31
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    The airport is not responsible for the systems; they are the responsibility of the immigration authorities. Apr 24, 2016 at 10:31
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    Note that (2) isn't a valid reason. As a customer you couldn't care less if the aircraft is incoming or if it's a spare one or whatever. If they're deciding to use an incoming aircraft instead of one that's already on the ground, it's their job to make sure they plan accordingly and account for delays, not yours. And in fact, I have received compensation in bad-weather conditions from airlines, so it's definitely wrong.
    – user541686
    Apr 24, 2016 at 21:47
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    @Mehrdad, it is standard in airline tariffs that they are not responsible for what they do not control. So, if an incoming flight is delayed by weather, and that is the plane scheduled for your flight, they are not responsible. If a flight is delayed for mechanical reasons, or because crew didn't show up because they were sick, it is their responsibility. This is standard across the industry. I am interpolating from countless explanations my wife, with 10 years of airline reservation experience with two major international airlines (based in two continents), has made.
    – user19474
    Apr 25, 2016 at 17:43

Sorry, but no. If you have travel insurance they may cover any additional costs you've had - check your policy.

Next time, book a longer connection.

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