So, you’ve decided to go on a vacation. Well, that often involves booking flight tickets. But, like a lot of things, air travel is plagued with a range of problems which can affect you. During such situations, it’s always helpful to know what your rights are.
In fact, it’s important to be informed now more than ever before, thanks to the proliferation of package holidays that are offered by air carriers themselves. With everybody making the most of such packages, chaos in the airways is a given. So, Air Delays and Cancellations are more common than ever owing to the sheer number of people.
The Full Picture
Of all the types of complaints that are generated during the holiday period, air travel related complaints account for the lion’s share. For example, in Ireland, the ECC had to deal with 285 cases in the year 2015 alone. That’s 41% of the overall number of cases, which is estimated to be around 695. In fact, the ECC was asked to play an active role in sorting out these cases.
Among the air travel related complaints, flight cancellations and delays, not so surprisingly, occupy the top spot.
So, what are the solutions offered to passengers who are affected by such delays and cancellations?
Well, the general regulation implemented by the EU require air carriers to pay compensation to passengers who have been forced to wait for 3 hours or more. As for canceled flights, passengers are entitled to compensation if the cancellation occurred in less than 15 days prior to the actual travel date. Also, the compensation amount tends to vary based on whether the passenger chose a complete refund or the re-route option.
Typically speaking, you can get in touch with legal firms in the UK that offer claims service. However, if your airline happens to be RyanAir, you are now required to seek the services of an Irish firm as a new UK ruling made it compulsory for Ryanair’s cases to be handled only by Irish courts.
The other option would be to approach the airline directly, especially considering the fact that the operator allows appeal winners to hold the entire compensation amount. Legal firms will deduct their fees. For instance, some of these firms offer what is known as a “no-win, no-fee ‘claims chaser”, which requires clients to pay 1/3rd of the compensated amount as fees.
According to RyanAir, the carrier’s annual compensation payouts cost as much as 100 million euros.
Apart from delays and compensations, air travelers also have the issue of dealing with the policies imposed by airlines and lost/damaged luggage. Most of them either have a hard time understanding the policies or end up remaining ignorant of their rights.
So, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the policies regarding luggage loss/damage and the Process to Claim Compensation. Most airlines have specific procedures in place for this and they are all fairly effective.