The International Airline Group (IAG) have proposed to pay €700 million to its shareholders. This announcement comes at a time where an ever-increasing number of passengers are angry and frustrated by how they are being treated by their airlines.
Last year IAG received a net profit to the tune of €2 billion, this was a significant increase from the year before. According to the CEO of Flight-Delayed.co.uk, Tom van Bokhoven, the dividend announcement only seeks to reinforce the public’s perception of the airline industry as a profit-driven entity who is uninterested in passenger care.
“I believe airlines don’t care about their passengers, they care about their margins which is unfortunate as it comes at the cost of poor customer service, price hikes, and overbooked flights. Airlines are behaving with impunity and with this announcement we can expect more dissatisfied passengers”, said van Bokhoven.
Enid Heenk, who is the Head of Legal at Flight-Delayed.co.uk, confirms that they are in fact representing many passengers who are owed compensation from IAG. “More than 6,400 passengers are owed an average of €339 by IAG Airlines. To put this in perspective, if the airlines had paid out their passengers in full the impact it would have on their dividends would not even reach 0.32 per cent!”, said Ms Heenk.
There are currently over 200 court litigious suits pending throughout Europe and Flight-Delayed.co.uk has been at the forefront of these cases. Airlines from the IAG consortium, such as British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus, Air Nostrum, and Iberia Express, have failed to compensate passengers for issues that range from denied boarding, to flight delays, and cancellations.
The total costs of claims that IAG owes to their disgruntled passengers amount to €2.2 million. Flight-Delayed.co.uk, an Amsterdam based legal firm which acts on behalf of passengers to sue airlines, have thus far succeeded in getting airlines to pay up.
Mr van Bokhoven believes the IAG should set an example before the next shareholders meeting by committing to paying off their passengers who are legally entitled to compensation. “We know that these airlines have the money to pay them as is evident by their proposed offer to their shareholders, but we also know that it is only a question of when they will do so not if. Here at Flight-Delayed.co.uk, we are always on the side of our passengers because we believe in the protection of passengers rights”, said van Bokhoven.
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