ALMOST all of us have one or more complaints about airports and airline companies including extraordinary prices for airport food, paying for excess baggage, or the previous scandal to hit was the duty-free tax dodge of which airline passengers never received the savings.
These days though, it is the controversial EU regulation 261/2004 that is making headline news.
This law states that every passenger flying from an EU airport, who is delayed for more than three hours, or has their flight cancelled, is entitled to monetary compensation. The problem is though, not every airline wants to pay up.
Some may argue this is the fault of the airlines who deliberately withheld the information, (although sites like Thomas Cook do give full details) while others accuse the airlines of much more than simply keeping quiet.
An article in the Daily Mail in June of 2015, reported airlines were bending or dodging rules to prevent paying out monetary compensation. A few examples include…
- Insisting voucher compensation is adequate
- Referring passengers to their travel insurance company
- Asking for boarding passes
- Denying technical faults and instead blaming them on manufacturing defects
Ryanair took one compensation request to court on the grounds that technical faults were extraordinary circumstances and even though the court ruled in favour of passengers, Ryanair say they will appeal.
The UK Company Air Delay, which is currently assisting many people with claims for delayed or cancelled flights to Turkish airports, says people should prevail against tactics like insisting every member of a family claim separately, or letters filled to the brim with legal jargon.
They add that this scenario is not a free-for-all because the only flights eligible for compensation is when the airline could have adequately prevented the delay such as over booking, or understaffing of crew members.
In the meantime the Civil Aviation Authority has been inundated with complaints by passengers who insist airlines are simply refusing to enter into correspondence with them.
Alex from Air Delay UK says the high number of complaints is simply due to passengers becoming more aware of their rights.
The fact that flyers can claim back up to six years if they departed from a UK airport and five years for Scottish airports mean the airlines are looking at massive financial pay-outs but these rules have been in place for many years so if they had been adhered to from the start, a backlog of complaints wouldn’t have happened.
More information is available on the Air Delay website regarding flight delay situations that may be eligible for compensation but in the meantime, hopefully airlines will start to adhere to this law and stop using tricks to prevent passengers receiving compensation that they are rightly entitled to.