Customers who had their flight cancelled last minute aren’t receiving the compensation they’re entitled to – it’s just one reason we’re demanding auto-compensation for all air passengers.
As soon as ‘delayed’ was displayed on the board for my recent Ryanair flight to Dublin, I started my mental stopwatch.
After more than an hour wasting time around duty-free, the flight was finally given a gate and soon after started boarding.
But once when everyone was buckled up with tray-tables stowed away, our chipper pilot announced there was an engine part apparently missing and we would have to wait another 45 minutes.
Without air-conditioning, the plane quickly started heating up and passengers started to get frustrated.
What’s worse, we ended up leaving 1:55 after our scheduled departure – meaning no compensation. At least we still got there that evening.
In April, TAP Air Portugal flight to Heathrow was cancelled last minute. Many were forced to spend the night in the terminal, others had to arrange their own accommodation and pay for it out of their own pocked.
This is not the treatment the passengers were entitled to under the Denied Boarding EU Regulation (Regulation 261/2004 EC).
All the passengers ended up getting back to London well after the four hours they were meant to, meaning they’re each owed €400 under that same regulation.
Fast forward four months and some passengers have received compensation, others offered flight vouchers but some who have filed claims for more than €1,000 have heard absolutely nothing from the airline.
It wasn’t until we contacted TAP Air Portugal to ask why these passengers’ rights had not been upheld that those who’ve not heard anything back were finally contacted by the airline.
We got in touch with the airline on their behalf to ask why the passengers’ rights hadn’t been upheld and within hours they emailed the passengers named in the story.
A spokesman from TAP Air Portugal told me that he could confirm ‘all the passengers affected had been contacted and offered compensation in the form of a voucher or cash’.
And that while reimbursement in vouchers was ‘optional’, the value would be an increase of up to 100% of that of the compensation under the Regulation.
He said: ‘TAP would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.’
Experiences like these are exactly why we’re calling on the Government to bring in automatic compensation.
This will eliminate the hassle of claiming and remove the risk that an airline will inconsistently pay out compensation, ensuring all passengers get the money they’re entitled to.
Have you ever struggled to get the compensation you’re owed from an airline or battled to get your money reimbursed for a flight or accommodation you’ve had to book yourself? Or have you ever had your rights ignored by an airline?