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If you fly regularly (and with the help of our hints and tips at InsideFlyer UK; we’d like to hope you get to fly more often and in more comfort than you would otherwise!), you know that sooner or later you will encounter the dreaded words on the departures board: Cancelled or Delayed. If you have really bad luck you might even get to encounter the dreaded Involuntary Downgrade or Denied Boarding.
However, what you might not know is that you could be able to claim compensation for this. If the delay is longer than three hours, if your flight is cancelled or if the flight is overbooked, you may be entitled to compensation.
In the InsideFlyer UK spirit of making our reader’s travel life easier, we’re working with Claimingo – who offer a stress-free service to help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to in a straightforward, simple way. This article explores that process for you!
Some Background – What is EU261/2004?
In 2004, this was laid down in European Regulation No. 261 – which covers all flights departing from an EU airport, OR those arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline.
You are entitled to compensation, unless the airline can prove there were “Extraordinary Circumstances”, such as extreme weather conditions or civil unrest. The longer the distance, the larger the amount! This can add up to €600 per person.
How much or who paid for the ticket irrelevant. Even on business travel or a £5 Ryanair bargain, you can still be entitled to compensation!
Obviously with any legislation, the devil is in the detail so it starts to get a little bit complicated in terms of what you’re entitled to when:
|Flight Distance||Delay Threshold||Compensation amount|
|Within the EU>1500km||3hrs||€400|
|Outside the EU>1500km but <3500km||3hrs||€400|
|Outside the EU>3500km||3-4hrs||€300|
|Outside the EU>3500km||4hrs||€600|
On top of these general rules around distance and delay time, there is a whole heap of finer detail in terms of what happens if you are re-routed, downgraded, want a refund, need hotels etc. which I won’t go into here. You can find more information about passenger rights here.
I’m not a lawyer, and don’t have time to argue with the airline!
Not sure what you’re entitled to, or how to claim? Me neither – it’s quite complicated to try and pin down exactly which part of the legislation might cover you, especially when all you are focused on at the airport is trying to get where you were meant to be going.
Airlines are also notoriously slippery when it comes to paying out this kind of compensation. You can kind of understand their dislike of having to pay out €600 per person on a full A380 delayed over 4hrs – that’s €281,400 based on BA‘s configuration without accounting for other costs involved in rerouting – but that’s their problem, not yours! What this does mean though, is it can take many emails, phone calls and possibly even court action to get them to pay up which takes a lot of time and effort on your part if you want to claim directly.
This is where Claimingo comes in. They can answer all your questions and claim the compensation on your behalf. If you don’t want to wait, you can also choose the Claim&Go service and receive a guaranteed amount within a few days!
The Claimingo Process
The process couldn’t really be much simpler. On Claimingo’s homepage, enter your flight number and scheduled date of departure:
Claimingo will then run a quick check against departure records to verify that flight number meets the basic requirements that might be entitled to compensation. If it does, you will see a page like this:
Fill in your personal details and submit – it’s as simple as that for you to submit your claim. Claimingo will then run a few more detailed checks on your claim and may contact you for further details or supporting documents which you can upload through their secure online portal – no messing around with post!
Claimingo Services: Claim&Go or No Cure, No Pay
Claimingo offers two services: Claim&Go or No Cure, No Pay.
Claim&Go is the most straightforward service for delayed flights – Claimingo offers you a fixed payment and then takes over your case. You receive your payment within a week usually. Regardless whether Claimingo is successful in obtaining payment from the airline you keep the money. Simples! The downside is the payment is lower – obviously, Claimingo is taking on more risk as they might not actually get any money back for your claim – this is reflected in the payment amount.
No Cure, No Pay is the other service. Claimingo will carry out the claim on your behalf, including going to court if necessary. The benefit of this is you receive a higher payment as Claimingo only takes a 24% fee of your final payment (or €95 for short-haul EU flights). If you don’t receive a payment, there is no fee. The downside to this is the process can be a long one, especially if it has to go to court – on average 6 to 8 months (can also be much longer) and there is no guarantee you will receive a payment at the end.
Claim&Go and No Cure, No Pay, are also available for cancelled flights, involuntary denied boarding and overbooking.
You don’t have to look far on various internet forums to find long sagas of painful EU261 claims. Airlines have entire teams dedicated to handling these type of claims and it can seem like they try every trick in the book to get out of paying using up your valuable time and effort to battle with them. Other times, they can pay out quickly and quietly – but it seems to be a total gamble.
For the frequent traveller who might encounter multiple delays per year, battling the airlines on multiple fronts can require a significant time investment – Claimingo will take away all this hassle, especially with their Claim & Go service. For short-haul cases especially I think this offers great value, I’d take the €100 and run!
Personally I’ve been really lucky with my travels so far and never been significantly delayed (*touches everything wooden in the room!!!*) – but it’s great to know about services like this should it ever happen; rather than just thinking about adding to the misery of a long delay with the prospect of an 8 month ongoing battle with an airline customer services department!
What are your experiences with claiming compensation? Do you have any questions for us? Let us know in the comment section below.