Liverpool John Lennon Airport is an international airport which is located within the city of Liverpool in the north west of the UK. The airport was built in the grounds of Speke Hall and was originally known as Speke Airport. It started offering scheduled flights in 1930 which went to Croydon Airport near London via Barton Aerodrome near Eccles and Castle Bromwich Aerodrome in Birmingham. It began to grow in the late 1930’s when there was a demand for Irish Sea crossings and it was therefore expanded to include two hangers, a control tower and passenger terminal.
In 1937 Liverpool City Council leased some of the Speke Estate for their Air Ministry which included use of the airport. During World War II the Royal Air Force requisitioned Speke and it was known as RAF Speke. A nearby factory built many planes and many were also assembled after parts being shipped from the US to Liverpool Docks.
After VE day normal civil airline operations were resumed at the airport and it grew its passengers over the years remaining ahead of those using Manchester airport. However the owners, the Ministry of Aviation made progress slow and so after 1949 Manchester Airport was able to grow more quickly. However, each year Speke Airport hosted an annual air display in aid of Soldiers, Sailors and Air Force Association which was a charity for veterans and they attracted large crowds.
In 1961 the city took over control of the airport and planned for developments which included a new runway in 1966 which is still in use today. This allowed the airport to be open all of the time. The control of the airport changes to Merseyside County Council in the mid-seventies and then ten years later to five Merseyside Councils after the County Council was abolished.
In 1986 a new terminal opened next to the new runway and the old building was closed. The old building was not knocked down and in 2001 it opened as a hotel and it is a Grade II listed building due to its Art Deco style.
In 1990 the airport was privatised and renamed in honour of John Lennon a founding member of The Beatles 21 years after his death. It was the first airport in the UK to be named after an individual. There are some other references to The Beatles with the airport’s motto being ‘Above us, only sky’ which is a line form John Lennon’s song Imagine and is painted on the roof. There is also a bronze statue in the check-in hall, a Yellow Submarine artwork at the entrance and a photographic exhibition of The Beatles in India above retail units in the departure lounge.
In 2005 a new apron was built exclusively for EasyJet and in 2006 the main runway and taxiways were reconstructed which was the first time this had been done since 1966. In 2007 a new multi-level carpark was built and a hotel opened. Then in 2010 Vancouver Airport Services announced that they had agreed to acquire a 65% in the airports owned by The Peel Group which included Liverpool. In 2010 more advanced security was added and more retail units. In 2014 The Peel Group bought back the 65% share that it had sold so it was now the 100% owner again. In 2016 it sold a 20% stake to Liverpool City Council. There are now plans to significantly grow the airport by adding new terminal buildings and permanent long-haul services. It currently has 6 main operators there who are Blue Air, EasyJet, Flybe, Ryanair and Wizz air and they operate a number of domestic, European and worldwide flights.
With so many flights and operators, there is a chance of delayed flights. It is worth knowing that if you are a passenger at the airports you may be able to claim compensation for any delays that you have experienced. The compensation claims are only accepted should they fit certain guidelines set up by the EU regulation 261/2004. This states that the has to be based in the EU and arriving in the EU or departing from an EU airport. If this does not apply then you may be able to claim through a different process. However, this is most likely as the airlines at Liverpool Airport are all EU based.
You can only claim compensation if you get delayed for more than three hours. This means that if you arrive at your destination more than three hours late. How late you leave is irrelevant as the plane could make up time while flying. The compensation needs to be applied for as it will not be paid automatically. The amount that you get will depend on how late you are and the distance that you have flown. You will only get the compensation if the delay is the fault of the airline. This is the same if your flight is cancelled. You will get a refund or an alternative ticket but if that alternative makes you more than three hours late then you can get compensation.
Lastly you can claim if you are bumped off a flight. This happens if a flight is overbooked and the airline need to free up some seats. This may seem odd, but all airlines overbook flights as they assume that there will be some last minute cancellations or no shows. However, sometimes everyone does turn up and they cannot fly them all. If you volunteer to take a later flight then you will not be able claim compensation but you can negotiate with the airline at the time to see if they will give you anything such as vouchers for food or a hotel stay depending on how long you will have to wait for the next flight.