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6 reasons for not claiming flight compensation on your own

Friday, August 10, 2018

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The claiming compensation procedure is not as simple and straightforward as you probably want it to be. It is necessary to have an adequate knowledge of European legislation, of the permitted procedures and of the timescales associated with them. Airlines invite passengers to file complaints through their websites and then hide behind excuses and subterfuges to avoid paying what they owe their passengers. 

In fact, that is why we are here to help. Here at Flight-Delayed we try to make the whole process as painless and convenient as possible for the passengers. We take care of everything, from drafting the first letter to initiating and seeing the legal proceedings through. We will make sure that the airline does not get away with not paying you your compensation.

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Our databases and expertise will certainly increase the chance of claims getting paid out and we will also take over the correspondence with the airline. Passengers can sit back and we will work tirelessly in the background.

As industry experts, we also understand clearly how the process of claiming on your own works and why it's such an advantage to claim through a specialised service. So, without further ado, here are 6 of the most common and unpleasant situations in which passengers can find themselves whilst claiming for themselves:

1. Improper refusal of the claim due to extraordinary circumstances

More often than not, passengers receive a letter of rebuttal stating that the original cause for the delay was an extraordinary circumstance. That’s it, no more information. The passenger is then unable to check and review the answer and will be deprived of the compensation to which he is entitled. Thus, in addition to the damage caused to the passenger by the airline's inefficiency, the passenger is also mocked by being refused compensation for non-existent reasons.

This situation occurs mainly because the airlines are aware that most passengers do not posses the tools necessary to corroborate the information that may determine if an extraordinary circumstance has occurred. So they believe that merely utilising the words “extraordinary” and “circumstance” together shall exonerate them from paying compensation to their passengers. Very frequently, a prolonged exchange of e-mails is necessary just for the airline to clarify to which type of extraordinary circumstance they are referring. For example: bad weather conditions, ATC restrictions, a security threat to the airport, political unrest, etc. If a clear answer is finally achieved, most passengers won’t have the time or necessary information to corroborate the airline’s argument and they will give up their claim.

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2. Offering vouchers in lieu of financial compensation

Offering vouchers instead of financial compensation is an old trick, but one that still claims many victims. When a passenger who has been delayed or cancelled accepts vouchers, he or she effectively forgoes his right to monetary compensation, the amount of which is laid down in European Regulation EC 261/2004:

It is easy to accept travel vouchers. They may even be of a greater value than what a passenger would be entitled. However, they can only be used to travel with the same airline and, of course, they expire. Frequently, some passengers accept vouchers and never end up using them.

3. Confusion between refund and compensation

Most passengers who make a complaint do not understand the difference between reimbursement of their ticket and compensation for their disruption. They are also unaware of the different circumstances in which they can be claimed. The first term is intended only to reimburse the ticket already paid, while the second is intended to compensate passengers for the financial damage caused to them by the loss of time established by European legislation. Sometimes, however, the two terms are misused as synonyms by passengers.

The problem with this misunderstanding is that the passenger often asks only for compensation or only for reimbursement. In many cases there may be a right to both. Flight cancellations are just some of the special situations in which reimbursement and compensation can both be requested. All this does not take into account the additional costs that can be added in the request to the airline, if they meet certain conditions.

incorrect amount of compensation for flight delay or cancellation

4. Incorrect amount of compensation paid by the airline

Another trick that airlines use, in order to minimise the total amount of money that they pay as compensation, is to offer incorrect amounts. These incorrect amounts are almost always less than what the passenger is in fact entitled to. Passengers frequently accept the amount without knowing that they are giving up hundreds of euros.

A service like Flight-Delayed will make sure that you receive the exact amount that you are owed. We will also claim your refund, when applicable, and the expenses you incurred in due to the disruption.

5. Assistance received in lieu of compensation

In the case of a delay, cancellation or denied boarding, passengers have the right to receive care and assistance even if the incident was caused by extraordinary circumstances. Food and drinks must be offered to passengers, as well as the possibility of making phone calls or sending e-mails. If necessary, the airline must provide hotel accommodations and the subsequent transport to and from the airport. If you do not receive this assistance and are forced to incur in such expenses yourself, you are entitled to be reimbursed.

Assistance should be given to the passengers in addition to, and not as a substitute for, reimbursement and/or compensation in the event of a disruption. However, the airline often implies that this type of provision should be considered as compensation for the damage caused to its customers and feels relieved from the duty of informing their passengers about their rights and, of course, to pay compensation.

Airline no answer compensation claim

6. No Reply from the airline when claiming your compensation

The last of the six most common reasons why passengers are advised not to claim on their own but to rely on professionals, concerns the absolute lack of response and consideration by the airline for the complaints being made. If the original complaint is submitted in the name of the single passenger, the chances of being ignored are high. If the complaint is sent on behalf of the passenger, but with the name of a specialist company such as Green Claim on the side, it is difficult that the request can be ignored.

When it comes to your rights, therefore, it is always better to rely on competent people who know how to enforce them and how to deal equally with the misconduct of airlines.

Have you already been mistreated by an airline or has your flight been delayed or cancelled and you do not want to go through the troublesome process of trying to claim the compensation you may be entitled to? Then we can take the work right off from your hands and we’ll make sure you get paid what you are owed!

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