Tightening up on those who are slow compensation payers

By | Category: Travel rumblings

One of the claims companies that assists passengers seeking compensation when flights are delayed or cancelled – AirHelp – suggests that Americans flying into or out of Europe in 2017 are owed hundreds of millions. Under EU261 there is a supposedly straightforward claims procedure.

But AirHelp says that more than 2,200 departing flights to the EU were disrupted at the 10 largest United States airports last year. Overall it says that passengers – not just Americans – are owed more than €5 billion by airlines, a staggering sum. Some of this will be due to people not claiming but some is certainly due to a slow response from airlines and tour operators.

It is known amongst firms of solicitors and claims agents that some airlines/tour operators are slower than others in paying out but a liability still exists. Some claims agents have even used alternative dispute resolution companies to try and obtain legitimately claimed sums. Others are resorting to court action. W hy should that be necessary?

Airlines will say that there are some bogus claims and they need to be checked. But this shouldn’t take weeks. Airlines and tour operators have lists of passengers and could check quite easily whether a claimant checked in and flew. It shouldn’t require a boarding pass or some evidence of flying since who keeps these stubs anymore in an electronic age?

To us at Just about travel, it looks as though some airlines and tour operators are shirking their duties or holding onto their money until either the time expiry for claiming is over or so that the funds can sit in  their bank accounts for as long as possible.

It is time that more publically quoted companies listed in their annual report and accounts their potential liabilities under EU261. It is time the CAA dealt more strongly with airlines flying into and out of the UK (and the same applies to their equivalents in all EU countries) and it is time the EU considered stronger measures against companies who don’t pay up within a certain period of time. The ultimate answer would be for the EU to make the process automatic and mandatory on all airlines flying into and out of EU states.

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