Flight-delayed: persistant at all times
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
With 7 years of experience in providing legal services to passengers who are struggling to obtain the compensation they are entitled to from airlines, we at Flight-Delayed are well aware of the injustices and frustrations which emerge during the claim process.
We receive claims from passengers who have suffered all sorts of grievances at the hands of the airlines. Delays caused by issues which are not extraordinary are exacerbated by the lack of customer support provided to passengers by the airlines. Passengers often cite stories of being stuck in airports for extended periods of time with no food or water offered. Some passengers end up sleeping overnight in the airports or explain how no assistance was offered to book a replacement flight.
The unsatisfactory service provided by the airline sets a precedent for how they usually deal with claims. While passengers’ concerns are often ignored by airline staff during times of delays and cancellations, similarly, claims for compensation are also often ignored. After submitting a claim, there is a legal response time of 6 weeks before it can be concluded that the airline has not responded to the claim and the next step may be taken. Airlines often allow for the deadline to pass in a bid to delay or avoid paying out compensation. For all of the remaining steps of the claim process (declaring the airline to be in default and debt collection), there are also legal response times which must be adhered to. Often airlines will either ignore or reject valid claims right up to the final stage of the debt collection process. They then advise that if the claim is taken to court, the passenger may be subject to legal fees and therefore it would not be in their interest. Often this is simply a tactic to avoid accepting liability and paying out claims.
Here at Flight Delayed, we are appalled by this injustice. Motivated by empathy for the passengers, we continue to fight the airlines for what is legally and morally due. Despite a lack of cooperation from the airline, we continue to persist and vigorously chase up claims. Satisfied only by a successful outcome or a legitimate cause for the delay which the airline cannot be held accountable for, we do not allow the airlines shy away from their responsibilities and continually put pressure on them.
One example of our success despite the lack of cooperation from the airline was in the case of one client versus Norwegian Air Shuttle. This client experienced a delay on his first flight, causing him to miss his connection flight. It was vital that this client arrived to his final destination on time as he was attending a wedding ceremony in which he was a groomsman. During his experience in the airport, there was not a single Norwegian Air Shuttle employee who could help him with rebooking options. Instead, he was put in the hands of third party contractors who had no access to the booking systems of Norwegian Air Shuttle and consequently, could not provide any assistance to the client. Through the client’s own efforts, he managed to book himself onto a flight which would allow him to arrive at the wedding with a short delay. The only option provided by Norwegian Air Shuttle, was to arrive on the day after the wedding. Upon returning home, the passenger sought our help. During the claim process, the airline continued to prove their disinterest for the rights of its passengers. First they ignored the claim, then they rejected the claim by denying that the passenger ever paid for his delayed flight ticket. Needless to say, this was not the case. Due to the almost incomprehensible lack of cooperation from Norwegian Air Shuttle, we were forced to take the claim to court. Finally, after 2 years of pushing the airline we were successful in enforcing our client’s rights as an air passenger and he was awarded with the compensation that he was legally entitled to.
In the midst of inexcusably dissatisfactory service provided by airlines, we provide passengers with a fair and honest service which prioritises their rights as air travellers.