Delayed flights are a bane for any passenger. However, passengers from all over the world experience them frequently due to several reasons. Flyers are protected from such vagaries by the EC Regulation 261/2004. The regulation was introduced in 2004 and sets out the flight delay compensation claims that passengers can get from airlines in the event of their flight being delayed.
The EU 261 regulation is applicable to all flights taking off from any airport within the European Union. It is also applicable to the flights, which land in the European Union if operated by EU carriers.
You can claim directly from the airline
You can claim flight delay Compensation on your own. You simply have to contact the customer service department of the airline. Write to the designated recipient with your flight details and delay. You can also add in any extra cost you may have incurred as a consequence of the delay.
It is recommended that you should not submit any kind of original documentation. It is also advisable to maintain complete records of any communication or letters from the airline. They can be helpful to prove your point in court.
You can claim via the CAA
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is an organisation funded by airlines. It has not been given any power of enforcing EU 261 regulation on the airlines, however it can help you to a certain extent. It can recommend your case to the concerned airline. However, you will be paid compensation only if the airline finds your claims to be credible and valid. Do keep in mind that the airline has every right to disregard the advice given by the CAA.
The CAA has a considerable outstanding claims backlog. So the time taken to complete the refunds process could be long. You may have to wait for months before you get a call from the CAA. You can check out CAA’s webpage for additional information about the claims process.
You can represent yourself
If you have already tried the above two options, but to no avail, it is possible for you to drag the airline to the Small Claims Court. You must however, research case laws, and make yourself conversant with the needed legal processes before you file the claim in the court.
Do be aware that you will have to spend a considerable amount of money to file a claim. Large law firms usually represent airlines, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer fighting for you.
You can use a solicitor
Solicitors have won the maximum number of cases on behalf of their clients. Solicitors usually takes the pain and the legwork off their clients. The claims process also seems simpler when you have professionals to assist you. Give your flight details and all the required information to your solicitor, who will try to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.