, 12 June 2019

HolidayPirates and Flightright survey finds that the majority of British passengers do not know their rights

The Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 is a regulation in EU law establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or long delays of flights.

In more detail…

Only 9% realise that they have up to six years to claim compensation Due to the applicability of the statute of limitations in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, in case you want to drag an airline to the court to get your compensation, you can do so for flight delay claims to date back only to six years. In Scotland, this period is only five years.

25% are unaware of their right to claim a refund after a flight delay of three hours (or more) If your flight is delayed for more than three hours or if it is cancelled, then the EU rule 261/2004 entitles you to a compensation amount ranging from a minimum of €250, which may clock up to €600.

You can file for flight delay claims if there is a technical problem due to component failures or general wear and tear of aircraft parts, a cancelled flight due to under-booking, or if it is proved that the cause of the delay was the carelessness of the airline company to submit all the necessary documentation in time.

73% do not know that they are entitled to receive food and drinks after a two-hour delay Your airline must look after you once you have been delayed by more than two hours. This means they must provide a reasonable amount of food and drink (often provided in the form of vouchers), a means for you to communicate (often by refunding the cost of your calls), accommodation, if you’re delayed overnight (usually in a nearby hotel), and transport to and from the accommodation (or your home, if you are able to return there).

87% think that they are entitled to compensation if the pilot is sick Airlines will often argue that the sickness of a crewmember is an ‘extraordinary circumstance’, which it is not, as a member of staff falling ill is a natural element of running an airline. Unexpected staff illness is inherent in any business that employs human beings for that very reason and therefore does not make it extraordinary.

That being said, the definition of an extraordinary circumstance is decided on by the UK courts who, unlike the rest of Europe, will often rule that crew sickness is an extraordinary circumstance, and therefore passengers will not receive compensation.

More than half (55%) of British holidaymakers also know that, in case of a cancellation, passengers should be warned 14 days before the flight is due to take off. If you were informed of the flight cancellation less than 14 days prior to departure, you are entitled to a compensatory claim of between €250 and €600 per person, depending on the flight distance and the actual departure time or arrival time of the replacement flight. If your flight is brought forward, this is considered to be the same as a cancellation and as such you are entitled to claim compensation.

48% do not know that when delayed during a business trip, compensation goes to the passenger, not the employer. If you suffered a flight cancellation while travelling on business you’ll be the one who receives the compensation, not your employer. Likewise, if you’re travelling as a state official, the EU regulation states that you’ll be the one owed compensation from the airline. It is the individual passenger who endured the inconvenience of the delay who receives the benefit - not the person who paid for the ticket. This stands no matter the ticket price.

More information can be found here and here.

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About HolidayPirates Group

The HolidayPirates group is one of the fastest growing travel companies in Europe. The business has websites in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. Prospective customers will find the best travel deals collated from numerous third party sites. The multi-award-winning website is updated numerous times on a daily basis and covers flights, package holidays, car hire and the hotel sector. In addition, there is information on special promotional campaigns as well as train and bus travel. Each of the travel portals belonging to the HolidayPirates group works completely independently of the relevant operators and partners. In 2016 the portal won a British Travel Award in the section “Best Travel Deals Provider”, a “Momentum Award”, “Best and Most Popular Website of the Year” in the travel and leisure category, as well as the “Rising Brand of the Year” by Travolution Awards.

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Marjolaine Bavoux
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