In a recent trend, bailiffs are being sent over to the houses of various airline offices to attend to matters concerning the payment of flight delay compensation.
It is believed that several rulings in favour of compensations to the flyer have been outright ignored by certain air carriers. This includes TUI and EasyJet. When questioned, TUI responded by stating that it was investigating the matter while EasyJet claimed that it was revamping its claims policy.
Now, bailiffs are directly collecting these compensations by heading to the offices. It is believed that staff has been paying the compensations on the spot using credit/debit cards. If there is a failure to pay, the bailiffs have been granted the authority to remove and sell furniture or office equipment.
In fact, in one particular case, the bailiffs had boarded a small aircraft belonging to one of the airlines and refused to let it take off until the operator paid the due compensation.
A sad trend
According to EU laws, all flyers are entitled to cancellation and flight delay compensations if their arrival is delayed by 3 hours or more. Depending on the exact factors, flyers can claim up to 500 Pounds. However, when claims are presented to the airlines, most of them end up being ignored.
This has resulted in many of the claimants seeking out third-party legal assistance, which often ends up in failure as well.
Operators like EasyJet and TUI have received several judgements from the County Court, but have chosen to ignore them.
When official records were reviewed, it was found that there was an extensive number of unpaid court orders against TUI and EasyJet; enough to crash their respective websites.
Around 20 judgements a day are registered against TUI.
Many passengers have hired the assistance of solicitors from various firms. For instance, one popular firm, based in Cheshire, files claims on behalf of its clients and even sends in bailiffs to recover the money. The firm claims that there are about 4 million pounds in pending compensation fees that need to be distributed among 10,000 passengers.
One of the solicitors working here stated that the firm had to issue court proceedings against more than 70% of the cases involving TUI. Around 3000 cases against TUI have been filed by 7000 passengers. Most of them are passengers who have attempted to recover the money directly from the airline but were forced to rely on the firm’s services as a last resort.
The solicitor added that it was unfair for passengers to resort to such methods.
Airlines ignore everything
He also mentioned that airlines ignore all requests. This includes formal letters, court proceedings, and even judgements. He referred to their attitude as a “burying one’s head in the sand” type of approach that wouldn’t solve anybody’s problems.
When questioned, most of the airlines only seem to offer excuses or outright deny the allegations. EasyJet claims that it has paid all of its compensations while TUI calls the allegations unfair.