A recent lawsuit filed by a passenger against an airline for loss of earnings due to a delayed flight has been settled for $8200. This is the first time that a US court has awarded compensation for a delay, and it will be interesting to see how other cases play out in the future.
Passengers who sought compensation for flight delays were awarded $8200 by the airline.
on August 11, 2021 by Gary Leff
Passengers are required to be compensated for flight cancellations and severe delays under EU261. Instead, these Finnair customers were hit with a judgment when the firm they hired to prosecute their claims went bankrupt, and the airline sought payment for its legal fees.
At least in principle, Europe has robust airline consumer protection laws. Even when an airline owes you money for a delay, collecting it may be difficult. Customers have sent bailiffs to airline offices to collect, and airlines have even cancelled flights to avoid having their planes seized for more than $300.
But, in a case originally reported by Australian Frequent Flyer, I’ve never seen a client be trapped by an airline like this – when the airline’s flight is delayed, the customer demands compensation, and the consumers end up paying the airline money.
airline oneworld Finnair’s Airbus A350 took to the skies, however there were numerous delays due to manufacturing flaws with the aircraft. When passengers demanded reimbursement for their delays, the airline argued they were not due anything since a manufacturing fault isn’t just a maintenance issue, but rather “exceptional circumstances.”
While the Finnish Consumer Disputes Board found the airline responsible for compensation, it lacks the authority to implement the decision.
Several consumers have enlisted the help of a third-party business that offers to pursue claims for a portion of the money recovered. IfDelayed filed a lawsuit against Finnair, but lost. Finnair’s legal fees were required to be paid, and they filed bankruptcy.
Finnair went after the passengers for roughly $8200 apiece after they were unable to collect legal costs from the business that sued them. Some of the customers have paid.
What You’re Entitled To If Your Flight Is Delayed in Europe
Flight delays of more than 3 hours, cancellations, and forcible refused boardings owing to overbooking are all covered under EU regulation 261 (2004), which compels airlines to pay customers between €250 and €600 in cash. The amount is determined by the flying distance.
This applies to flights departing from EU nations, as well as flights departing from EU countries on airlines established there. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are also included. It also applies to free tickets as well as paid tickets.
Compensation is available for cancellations made ahead of time, not only on the day of departure. In fact, if a flight is canceled within two weeks of departure, the airline must compensate passengers unless they can arrange transportation that is more than two hours sooner and arrives no more than four hours later than the original timetable. Within a week after departure, the restrictions become increasingly severe.
Taking Care of a Claim by Yourself
You may just write to the airline’s customer care department and say something like,
I’m writing to inquire about flight NUMBER from AAAA to BBBB on [date], with a planned departure time of XX:XX. My ticket number is 0000000000 and my record locator is ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
This flight was TK hours late [or “it was cancelled, and I arrived on flight ABC at XX:XX on Y day.”] As a result, I’m filing a claim under EC Regulation 261/2004.
Because the flight was XYZ kilometers, I’m looking for €[amount].
Thank you so much for your help. I anticipate hearing from you within 14 days.
A Third-Party Purchase Of Your Claim
There are a slew of businesses that will handle the headache of suing an airline for reimbursement. They usually operate on the basis of “you don’t pay anything until they get you money,” and then take a cut of whatever they collect.
Airlines often stonewall and rely on customers to give up in order to save money, but if you persevere long enough, they will typically pay up. When you outsource your claim, you’re paying someone on a contingency fee basis to be persistent on your behalf so you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience.
The Finnair case, on the other hand, is a cautionary story in which you allow a lawsuit to be filed on your behalf. According to a statement given to Australian Frequent Flyer by the airline,
Finnair complies with EU 261 and provides the appropriate compensation. When we think compensation is not due, we prefer to defend our position since compensation-related expenses in the EU are a significant cost item for airlines. While we appreciate that the legal expenses may have come as a shock to people, Finnair’s position was reaffirmed by the court decision in this matter, and we subsequently used our right to collect the costs from IfDelayed’s customers.
Flight delays are usually inconvenient, and sometimes the causes are out of our control, as in this instance. Our first goal in every instance is to ensure that our clients get at their destination as quickly as feasible. Before taking legal action, we always suggest contacting us directly to guarantee open and honest discussion regarding the case’s merits.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
Frequently Asked Questions
Do airlines owe you compensation when they delay you?
Airlines do not owe you compensation when they delay you.
What happens if an airline wont pay compensation?
If you are denied boarding or a refund, then the airline is not legally obligated to pay compensation.
What are the rules for flight delay compensation?
The rules for flight delay compensation vary depending on the airline and destination. However, most airlines offer a range of compensation from food vouchers to flights at no cost.