- Ryanair, easyJet, Thomas Cook and Aer Lingus among airlines asked to re-open passenger compensation claims after rejecting them in the first instance
LONDON, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Over half of the compensation claims made to UK & Ireland airlines following a flight delay or cancellation have to be re-opened, according to global passenger rights organisation, AirHelp.
Figures are revealed following a comprehensive study¹ of its own claims submitted to the 46 biggest airlines globally.
Around 1 million Brits each year are eligible to claim compensation under European legislation (EC261) following flight disruption but over half (54%) of claims against UK & Ireland airlines made between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2018, were denied by airlines and had to be re-opened by AirHelp.
AirHelp re-opened 96% of easyJet claims on behalf of passengers which were rejected in the first instance, 95% of Ryanair claims and over half of the valid compensation claims made to Thomas Cook and Aer Lingus.
In the UK, 1.1 million people are eligible to claim compensation under EC261 following flight delays and cancellations in 2018, up from 900,000 the previous year.
Paloma Salmeron, air passenger rights advocate for AirHelp, comments: "The number of disrupted flights is increasing and many passengers are being denied the compensation they are owed following their first claim. Our own research shows that one in three UK passengers feel mistreated by airlines²."
Two in five recent flyers who made a complaint sought expert assistance and escalated their claim to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. Claims can be taken to court, meaning passengers can also face legal costs when fighting their case.
How many cases are reopened?
UK & Ireland
Global ranking for
(out of 46
Thomas Cook Airlines
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Data from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018
"The reality is that thousands of passengers are experiencing denial of their first compensation claim and therefore the money that they are entitled to. If a passenger is embroiled in a legal battle with an airline, they may face costs to hire a lawyer to push through their claim, which makes gaining the compensation that is rightfully theirs, almost impossible," comments Paloma.
- In case of a delay of more than three hours or a cancelled flight, and in instances of denied boarding, air passengers may be entitled to financial compensation of up to €600 per person in certain circumstances. Departure airports must be based within the EU; in case of arrivals, the carrier airline must be based in the EU. The reason for the disruption in flight operations must be caused by the airline.
- In April 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that airlines must also compensate their passengers for flight delays and cancellations caused by a strike by airline staff, applying to all previous airline strikes and new ones.
- Under EU law, passengers generally have up to three years to claim compensation following a disrupted flight.
- If you are stranded at an airport for more than two hours, airlines are also obliged to provide passengers with meals, drinks, access to communication and even accommodation, if needed.
- However, airlines are exempt from the obligation to compensate air passengers in extraordinary circumstances, such as storms or medical emergencies.
AirHelp is the world's largest organisation specialising in air passenger rights, helping travellers get compensation for delayed or cancelled flights and in instances of denied boarding. The company also takes legal and political action to support the growth and enforcement of air passenger rights worldwide. AirHelp has aided more than 10 million people, is available in 30 countries and has more than 600 employees.
¹AirHelp analysed hundreds of thousands of its own claims submitted to the 46 biggest airlines globally from 1.1.2016 - 31.12.18
²Data provided by YouGov Deutschland GmbH. 7,103, January 31, 2018 and February 06, 2018.
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