Why won’t TUI and easyJet pay up?

By | Category: Travel news

TUI could help you recover your smile if they paid up on legitimate claims instead of dragging their feet

Yesterday’s Radio 4 midday consumer show, You & Yours, ran a story about travel and flight delays.  (You can hear the show by clicking here and signing in.) Nothing special about that you might think since there shouldn’t be many people left who haven’t heard of EU261 and the statutory rights to compensation airline passengers have if a plane is delayed or cancelled.

What they were highlighting was that some airlines are slow to pay despite, in some cases, there being county court judgements against them for not paying up. The programme looked at the outstanding judgements only to find there were so many that the  government website that records judgements crashed? It said that TUI was notching up about twenty new county court judgements every day!

In some cases bailiffs had been sent in by passengers and firms of solicitors to obtain the monies legitimately owed. In one case that the programme mentioned, bailiffs walked onto a plane that was due to leave in an attempt to stop the plane flying until a the bill had been paid. (In this instance the plane belonged to neither TUI nor easyJet.)

And itv seems easyJet doesn’t make getting compensation easy

Why are these two very large companies not honouring what they are legally bound to do? This underlying question was certainly posed during the programme segment yet was never really answered. easyJet was quoted as saying that it is changing its policies about claims, whilst TUI Airways told the programme, “We’re extremely concerned and disappointed by the volume of these [judgements].” That answer rather suggests that who ever issued the press statement didn’t realise the volume of the claims. “Concern” and “disappointment” doesn’t necessarily mean that TUI will change its ways and pay up in a faster manner.

Why did it take a radio consumer programme to cause these two companies to come to heel?

It has been known in the travel industry that TUI has been dragging its feet in payment. We sent an e-mail to the CAA asking for clarification but never received a reply. We also know that claims agents have resorted to using ADR (alternative dispute resolution) appointed companies to obtain client monies because, they claim, TUI often took no notice of them. One claims company that I spoke to was of the view that TUI in particular was slow because they wanted to wait until the timeline for some of the older cases to expire due to the time deadline of six years.

If we knew why didn’t the CAA or ABTA act in reminding the two of their obligations? It could be that both did but it still seems to have taken a radio programme to bring about change.

Once people have forgotten this story it will be interesting to see what – if any – changes TUI and easyJet announce. And whether they will start paying up

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