Management / Customers miss out on millions in airline compensation

Customers miss out on millions in airline compensation

Airline customers could be entitled to claim up to £422 in individual compensation depending on the length of flight and delay, meaning airlines could owe consumers millions of pounds.

Airport delay

A potential 900,000 airline customers are missing out on compensation from flights delayed by three hours or more.

Research by consumer rights group Which? found that approximately 9,000 flights around Europe had faced significant delays over the last year, but only 38 per cent of those affected claimed compensation.

The research showed that airlines omitted information regarding compensation entitlement, and were slow to act when it came to payouts.

Amongst the worst short-haul offenders were Vueling, Monarch and Thomas Cook, which together accounted for 68,000 passenger journeys and more than 700 delays.

For long-haul flights, Pakistan International Airlines, Air India or American Airlines made up a combined 40,500 delayed passenger journeys.

Gatwick Airport was found to be the worst UK airport for long delays, with 2,134 flights affected since May 2014.

Many of the Which?’s survey respondents said that they “received no support or information about the delay from their airline”.

Customers were also unaware of protections provided by the Denied Boarding Regulation, which applies to EU-based airlines and flights which pass through EU airports.

Alex Neill, Which?’s director of campaigns, encouraged passengers who had experienced significant delays to claim compensation.

“We want people to assert their rights and hold their airline to account for those delays and claim the compensation that they are owed,” he told BBC 5 Live on Saturday.

Photo © Hernán Piñera (CC BY-SA 2.0). Cropped.

Click here to catch up on our coverage of Customer Focus Live 2015.


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