Flight delayed? Don't waste money paying to claim compensation
A couple of years ago I had a pop at Ryanair (who hasn’t) for its sneaky tactics over paying compensation for flight delays.
Since then, things appear to have changed, and big time.
Fast forward to last week and the same thing happened – over three hours delay getting home from Turin.
This time, though, when you look up ‘Ryanair flight delay compensation’ (or any other airline and those same words), you’ll see a whole load of ads from claims management companies.
“Had a delay in the last six years? You could be entitled to up to €600”, and so on.
My advice is to think more than twice about filling in the online forms, or you could find a simple inquiry to see what pay-out you might get turns into a contract for which you’ll be charged a big percentage.
More importantly, you don’t actually need to pay a penny to get your money because airlines seem to have really sharpened up their acts.
This year I filled in a simple online form on the Ryanair site, and within 24 hours back came a promise of €250 compensation per passenger, which will be paid into my bank account within 10 days.
(That’s as much as the return tickets cost, as a matter of fact!)
Other passengers, too, had the exact same experience.
Still playing games
OK, so Ryanair doesn’t contact you to explain what you’re entitled to.
And they still implied in a text that I should claim on my travel insurance, rather than with them.
But they have been prompt in saying they’ll pay up. And the text they sent did confirm the exact length of the delay, which was useful proof.
All you need to know are your rights.
Easyjet and other airlines also now have simple-to-follow instructions to make your claim on their sites. No hassle.
So, forget claims management companies – they’ll charge you a fortune and you don’t need them!
You just need a booking reference, flight number and your bank details.
And you need to know your rights.
Do you know yours?
Here's our guide, which explains exactly what you can claim for each length and type of delay.
Bear in mind one key piece of info, though – how you measure a delay.
It’s not about the time you take off. It's the time you arrive – and how long that is after the scheduled time of arrival.
And arrival time is not the time you touch down. It’s officially measured by the moment the plane’s doors are opened at the arrival airport.
What if the airline won’t pay up?
The EU rules are now very clear and if you’re in the right, all airlines will eventually have to pay – they know this, and they know they’ll attract unwanted attention from the regulatory authorities if they don’t.
But some may be less prompt than others.
The typical problem with airlines is that they claim ‘extraordinary circumstances’ caused the delayed and refuse to pay out.
But this term only applies to events that are truly outside an airline’s control.
They might include:
Acts of terrorism or sabotage, extreme weather conditions, political or civil unrest, hidden manufacturing defects, or strikes not related to the airline’s staff, like baggage handlers or air traffic controllers.
They DO NOT include:
Problems with airline staff, like crew turning up late or not at all, bad weather affecting a previous flight that then delayed yours, overbooking and technical problems with the aircraft other than hidden manufacturing defects.
Still having trouble?
If you're having trouble with an airline, the Civil Aviation Authority might be able to help – but only for flights delayed in the UK.
To get the CAA’s help, fill out their online form. You can speak to them on 020 7453 6888.
If you have a valid claim, they will contact the airline on your behalf.
Or you can contact us here at ASpokesmanSaid.com. We'll fight your corner, and it won't cost you a penny!
But DON’T hand over a huge chunk of your compensation to a claims management company you don’t need!
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