Amsterdam – A Dutch group of students had the flight of a lifetime. On their outbound trip to Hong Kong, they experienced a five-hour delay, which also caused them to miss their connecting flight. One student decided to file a damage claim. Much to her surprise, she was able to give her fellow students some very good news three months later: airline Cathay Pacific Airways had transferred 14,400 euros to her bank account.
The 24 economy students, all between the ages of 20 and 25, were travelling to Vietnam for a university study project. But their flight schedule was seriously disrupted by a delay at Amsterdam airport. “The Cathay Pacific Airways staff made sure we were cared for,” says student Martijn Maatman. “They gave us 15-euro vouchers each for refreshments.” Justly so, as European Regulation states airlines must provide care to passengers delayed in excess of two hours. Some of the students were also aware of the fact that delayed passengers can claim for financial compensation. But they didn’t really expect to receive thousands of euros in cash from the airline.
Right to compensation
After mediation, the students received an amount of 600 euros per person (520 GBP), amounting to a whopping total of 14,400 euros (12,540 GBP). This mediation was conducted by Flight-delayed.co.uk, who initiator Serena Kuiper (22) hired. Flight-delayed.co.uk is a company that represents passengers in their battle for compensation against airlines. In the students’ case, the claim was won rather quickly. The entire group is now very grateful to Serena, who literally made a golden move.
The good news reached the group three months after their flight delay, just before the end of their study project. “While on our trip home, we found out that we had gotten the compensation. We were all cheering in the hotel lobby,” says Martijn. “We were all ecstatic because we hadn’t expected to actually succeed.” “An amount as high as 14,000 euros for a travel group is exceptional, even for us,” says Raymond Veldkamp, spokesperson for Flight-delayed.co.uk. “And we receive claims from air passengers from all of Europe every day. The average amount for claims filed with us is 1,000 euros, meaning this is 14 times the average. It’s nice to know our help led to such a positive conclusion of this study trip.”