An investigation by consumer rights group, Which?, has claimed that passengers who had their flights delayed are not being paid the compensation they are owed. The owed figure has been suggested to run into the millions.
Their research suggests that over 37 million passenger journeys were delayed by fifteen minutes or more, either going to or from the UK, between June 2014 and May 2015. Which? estimated that almost one million people could have claimed compensation but under 40% actually did.
If you suffer a delay of three of more hours, you are entitled to compensation of up £422 (or Ä600). To be covered by the “Denied Boarding Regulation” you must be travelling with an EU-based airline or from an EU airport.
Which? director of campaigns Alex Neill told BBC 5 live: “We want people to assert their rights and hold their airline to account for those delays and claim the compensation that they are owed.”
The group stated that there are 9,000 flights every year that are delayed for three or more hours. These flights had, on average, 97 passengers.
Which? carried out a survey that asked over 7,000 subscribers to talk about their flying experiences.
Only 38% of people surveyed said that they had ever claimed compensation when they were delayed. A further 50% of people said that they were not given any information or guidance about the delay.
Simon Calder, a travel expert, stated that regulations regarding compensation were “very, very complicated”, meaning that claiming is never as easy as it should be. He went on to say that airlines would do “everything to fight it if they believe there’s a chance they’re not responsible”.
He gave his reason for why he believes so few claim:
“It’s partly because people don’t know. The airlines aren’t very good at telling you your rights and I think lots of people simply give up.”
He also said that people could go to a legal service if the airlines don’t “play ball” but these services can often charge up to a third of the compensation received.