In the UK each year there is an estimated £300 million pounds of compensation due from airlines to their passengers who have suffered from flight delays or cancellations. However as much as 90% of this goes unclaimed as the general public remains unaware of their rights.
Airlines are, obviously, not incentivised to make their passengers aware of this and in several cases airlines actually ignore passengers who have made claims - the most notable of these are Thomson (as can be seen here - Flimsy Excuses) and Vueling (seen here -Inquiry Required!).
Even the larger flag carriers are not innocent of behaviour like this.
Where does this money come from?
Well basically the EU decided a few years ago that there were too many delayed and cancelled flights so it decided that passengers needed some more support. In came the legislation! And down came the number of delays and cancellations from airlines.
The legislation is known in the industry as EC Regulation 261 and if you really want you can read the actual legislation on our site here. Though really... who wants to read that? We have and it put us to sleep! (well not all of us... our legal team actually like that sort of thing!!!!!!)
The legislation holds the airlines to account if they had a problem that results in a delay to their passengers journey of over 3 hours.
So how can you work out if some of this money is yours?
- Well firstly you've got to remember if you suffered from a delay to your travels of over 3 hours! If so... Proceed to next point!
- Was this flight departing from an EU (or Norwegian, Icelandic or Swiss) airport?
- Or was the flight on an EU (or Norway, Iceland or Switzerland) domiciled airline? If you answered yes to either of these please proceed to the next point.
- Was it within the last 4 years (or 6 years in UK)?
- If yes then congratulations you could be eligible to claim a portion of the annual £300m a year!
There are some other caveats to this legislation.... The delay has to be the airlines fault. So that means any volcanic ash clouds, storms, bird strikes or strikes by French Air Traffic Control (AGAIN???) are not eligible for compensation.
Certain technical problems, staffing issues and operational problems are all covered by the legislation and you'd be surprised how often they are the reason for delays or cancellations.
If you'd like us to help you claim back your compensation then let us know. It is what we are here for! But if you want to approach the airlines yourself go for it! We wish you all the best. Just let us know if they are being difficult!!!!