2018 was one of the most disorderly years for the travel and aviation sector. It was the first time that the industry saw over 10 million passengers becoming eligible for compensation under the European Passenger Law (EC 261).
Now, aviation experts are predicting that the trend will continue in 2019, leading to possible disruptions that will affect 2 billion passengers.
According to the CEO of a compensation claims firm, possible airline strikes, lack of ATC staff and pilots, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the full schedules at most European airports will lead to another year of delays.
The CEO warned passengers and told them to “buckle up” for the year ahead, as 11 million people are expected to become eligible for compensation. The CEO’s goal is to make sure that people are informed about their rights and eligibility for claims.
US passengers to be affected too
In 2018, over 900 million passengers departed from the US. In 2019, this number is predicted to be significantly higher. Estimates indicate that the number may go up to 950 million people. This increase in traffic will likely cause a higher number of flight disruptions, primarily because neither airports or airlines have bothered to implement measures that can help manage the increased traffic and demand.
Most airports will have to work towards improving their services and accommodating new demands. Which should include adding or extending runways, increasing the efficiency with which schedules are managed, adding terminals that cater exclusively to international flights, and speed up passport control and customs processes.
Airlines will also have to start making changes. This could include increasing their workforce, hiring more pilots, and improving the working conditions for cabin crew to prevent more strikes in the future.
According to Boeing, the demand for pilots over the next two decades will grow to 637,000.
The airline industry is failing to meet the needs of its customers. It needs to adapt to the growing demands, especially when it knows that the market is only going to go up. Disappointment currently reigns supreme among passengers.
So, until these “gaps” are addressed or filled, flight disruptions will likely continue. Needless to say, it means that passengers need to update themselves and stay informed about compensation and other rights.
According to one flight delay compensation firm, around 540,000 passengers from the United States will be affected by flight disruptions in 2019. That’s 540,000 passengers every single day. Due to the increase in tourism, this will make around 421,000 passengers (from the US) eligible for compensation claims in the EU.
US passengers, who have had their flights cancelled or delayed, can claim up to $700 as compensation. However, there are conditions, the most significant of them being that the landing/departure airport must be within the EU or the carrier must be EU-based.
Other than that, the delay must also be caused by the airline. As usual, extraordinary circumstances, such as severe weather or medical emergencies, nullify the compensation claim.