Passenger – Never settle for a coupon
According to Juho Eloranta, airline passengers are eligible for at least €250 compensation if the flight is delayed by at least 3 hours.
Has your flight ever been delayed, cancelled or overbooked? In these circumstances it’s the clients’ own responsibility to apply for compensation as the airline won’t grant it automatically.
When a flight is delayed, airlines usually try to appease their customers with sandwich vouchers and gift cards. For clients sake it’s not profitable to settle only to these ”bribes” if the flight has departed from inside the EU or it’s operated by an airline that is based in the EU. If the flight’s delay has exceeded the time limit passenger is also eligible for a monetary compensation.
“EU directive states that the fixed compensation is 250, 400 or 600 euros per passenger” says Juho Eloranta who works as a Country Manager in a Swedish startup-company ETAL & Partners. The company’s task is to help their customers fight against the airlines unwilling to pay these compensations.
According to Eloranta, it’s also in the clients own responsibility to ask for vouchers or a hotel room if the flight is delayed so badly that it’s necessary to spend a night on the location. These benefits won’t deny or redeem the fixed compensation.
Exception proves the rule
How much the flight has to be delayed then in order to be eligible for the compensation? Juho Eloranta states that the flight has to be late by at least three hours in it’s destination for the compensation rule to be applied. –If we are talking about continuation flights, also they have to be bought from the same airline as one entity or trip.
Exceptions to the liability to compensate for the airlines are eg. weather related reasons, strike or terrorism. These circumstances are out of the airlines field of liability. In those cases where it’s required to wait for departure overnight or for even multiple days, passenger is entitled to care on behalf of the airline. This means that the airline has to investigate all the means necessary for the passengers to arrive on their destination on time. If this isn’t possible, under the rule of providing care to passengers airline has to provide accommodation for time being.
Compensations are often hard to get
ETAL & Partners has already expanded from Sweden to Finland and next is the Norway’s turn. There is already plenty of customers outside these countries also. According to Eloranta, passengers are turning to us from a variety of reasons other than trying to seek compensation on their own.
“It would be great to see us unnecessary and airlines would pay these compensations. Not alone the first obstacle is that the form in order to apply for these compensations is well hidden on the airlines websites. This is only the first minor obstacle. The second huge barrier is that the airlines won’t simply pay these compensations” – Juho Eloranta
Eloranta insists that most often airlines don’t have any legal reason to deny the compensation.
“The key reason why we are so needed in this process is that airlines are handling these claims by discriminating ordinary clients. The sad truth is that ordinary clients are seldom going to take these cases forward after denial. The airline will tell the clients a phoney juridical reason for the denial and then clients believe it and won’t argue any further.”
Read full interview here.