2014 has been an awful year for air travel, with the disappearance of Malaysia Airways flight MH370 as well as the three fatal plane crashes that occurred last month many people have been put off flying. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared off the face of the earth in March, then 3 months later another Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot out of the sky by a missile. The general public have been so terrified by these two accidents somewhat linked to Malaysia Airlines that the company have even considered re branding their name. Although, when you look at the statistics it is completely irrational to avoid air travel because of these accidents as it is extremely unlikely to happen again. If you look at 2013 for example, the global airline safety report shows that there were 90 commercial airplane accidents, but only 9 of them involved fatalities.A total of 173 people were killed in 2013, which may seem like a high figure, but when you look at the bigger picture;there were approximately 32 million departures in 2013. This means that 9 flights from a total 32 million were fatal. Therefore all passengers flying in 2013 would have had a one in three million chance of being in a fatal plane crash. The chances are incredibly small.
Passengers should be more worried about being delayed than being shot out of the sky or disappearing over the Indian Ocean. Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) found that on average 1.5% of flights to/from UK airports are delayed by more than three hours each year. Approximately 220 million passengers use UK airports per year, therefore 3.3 million of these people will be delayed for three hours or more. According to EC regulation, passengers are entitled to claim back compensation if they have been subject to a delay of three hours or more. The airline has to be fully responsible for the delay, so unfortunately if the delay was due to an extraordinary circumstance such as bad weather or political unrest it invalidates the compensation claim. Most delays are in fact due to a ‘knock-on effect’, where delays that occurred at the start of the day have a knock-on effect to the scheduled flights that follow. In the event of a knock-on effect, passengers are well within their rights to claim flight delay compensation as airlines should have contingency plans in place to cope with such situations.
Blueway Limited is a flight delay refunds company based in the UK that represents passengers from all across the globe in order to help reclaim flight delay compensation. It is an extremely tedious process, as airlines are often unresponsive. Blueway will issue legal letters to airlines that do not respond, adding significant pressure onto them. If the airlines reject the compensation claim made against them, Blueway will then take them to court. If the airline is fully responsible for the delay then there should be no dispute in court. EC regulation 261/2004 is the binding law which outlines passenger rights when it comes to flight delays or cancellations. It also outlines clearly the compensation that is carefully calculated based on the flight length and the delay itself.