Holidaymakers from Britain who’ve sent in claims for flight delay compensations will be forced to wait much longer than expected.
If reports from a recent investigation are to be believed, around 4 million Pounds in compensation money is yet to be paid by airlines. The payments have been left pending despite a court order to do so.
Among the many airlines, TUI, formerly known as Thomson, owes around 2.4 million pounds to 5000 passengers.
A holiday curse
Holidaymakers already have a tough time with flight delays and cancellations, which is quite common during the vacation season. However, there is some respite in the form of compensation laws. Passengers are entitled to almost 529 pounds in delay compensation if their arrival is delayed by 3 hours or more.
Even so, the actual handing out of compensations is rarely a simple process. In an earlier investigation by The Sun, it was found that over 10,000 holidaymakers were still to receive their cancellation/delay compensation.
EasyJet, for instance, is believed to have accumulated over 1.5 million in owed compensations (to around 3000 flyers). However, the carrier rejects the allegations.
The rest of the cases are mostly made up of relatively smaller claims against other operators.
An EasyJet spokesperson spoke to the media, stating that the carrier took its duties, with regard to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, very seriously, implying that it always paid compensations.
The spokesperson went on to state that the carrier was also looking at several options in terms of processes that would simplify the way passengers could apply and receive compensations owed to them. The carrier is considering a more direct approach that would see claimants receive their entire compensation rather than lose it to third-party organisations that collect fees.
According to the spokesperson, EasyJet pays compensations more often than not, even when they have good reasons to defend their position. He/she added that the current court records do not represent unpaid claims and, instead, indicate claims that are yet to be processed.
Claims that are yet to be administered are not removed from court registers even after judgement.
Passengers ignored by TUI
TUI, the investigation found, has denied paying compensation to passengers in the past quite extensively. As a result, many of the claimants have had to look for assistance.
Though legal assistance can be of great help and increase the chances of securing compensation, flyers end up paying high fee amounts as legal charges. This is usually around 40% of the actual compensation amount.
One legal firm stated that out of 3000 of their compensation-related cases against TUI, last year, 73% ended up in the court.
So far, TUI is yet to offer an explanation.
RyanAir made the headlines recently for simplifying their compensation claims process. The process is now more direct, requiring passengers to carry out most of the “paperwork” through the carrier’s website. The airline hopes that this will lead to a trend of improved compensation processes within the entire industry.