6 in 10 flight compensation claims mistakenly rejected

According to a new study, airlines incorrectly reject 58% of valid flight delay and cancellation compensation claims.

passenger delayed flight

Under EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, air passengers are entitled to up to €600 in compensation if a flight is cancelled or delayed by more than 3 hours and the airline is directly responsible for the disruption.

The study has revealed that many Irish and UK-based airlines reject claims wrongfully, with Ryanair doing this the most.

After analysing hundreds of thousands of claims, it was revealed that Ryanair rejected nearly 99% of valid claims for compensation in 2019, which is 8% higher than in 2018. Also, Easyjet rejected 87% and Virgin Atlantic rejected 74% of valid claims. Furthermore, British Airways rejected 67% of valid claims – an increase of 42% compared to 2018, while Flybe rejected 31%.

The analysis has shown that things are not much different outside the UK and Ireland, with Tunisair, Vueling and Ernest Airlines rejecting 99% of valid claims.

The study has revealed that a common reason for rejecting claims relates to airline staff strikes that airlines say aren’t under their control. However, following a ruling in 2018, airlines are responsible for the actions of their staff and cannot cite airline staff strikes as an extraordinary circumstance.

Research has shown that airlines treat claimants unfairly, so it’s no wonder why two-in-three passengers give up after an airline rejected their initial claim. On average, airlines have rejected 30% more claims in 2019, than the previous year.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 is designed to help air passengers, but nearly 85% of UK passengers are not aware that they have certain rights when they fly.

If you think an airline rejected your valid claim wrongfully, not all is lost. Seek legal assistance using a claims management company and get the compensation you’re entitled to.