Airline compensation rates and claim letter template

How to get compensation when you are delayed or bumped from a flight

Make sure you get the compensation you are due from airlines

It would appear that many airlines like to make it difficult for passengers to claim for compensation and redress for delayed or cancelled flights. Then there are the companies which say they can do the work for you but take a hefty commission.

Well, here’s something from me, for free, which should help to get you your due compensation (See the rest of the post for details of what you need to fill in and other related information). 🙂

Template letter for claiming compensation from an airline

(If flight was cancelled replace the “delay” details with cancellation details below).

Dear xxx

Re : Compensation claim for delayed flight booking reference number

I am writing regarding flight flight number on date from departure airport to arrival airport. The scheduled departure time was departure time. However, the flight arrived number hours late at arrival airport.

Under EC Regulation 261/2004 I am claiming compensation for this delayed flight. The passengers in the party were:

full names of everyone on your booking.

My scheduled flight length was number of kilometres, therefore I am seeking (select from €250 / €300 / €400 / €600) per delayed passenger in my party. The total is total compensation sum for all passengers for all passengers.

(If appropriate include the following text) During the delay the passengers in my party were not provided with any refreshments and/or hotel accommodation. Please find attached copies of receipts for the cost of purchasing our own. Please refund in full: bullet point everything you paid for and the costs.

If claiming for both delay and other then add the following:

Please provide me with the total compensation of:

£xxx for EU flight delay (based exchange rate £1.00 = €1.13 on 12 June 2017) and £xxx  for out-of-pocket expenses incurred.

Total £xxx

I look forward to a full response to this letter within seven days. If I do not  receive a satisfactory response I will not hesitate in taking the matter further which will include, but not be limited to, informing the regulator and if necessary starting proceedings through the Small Claims Court.

Yours sincerely/faithfully

 (“Sincerely when you know the person’s name and “faithfully” when using Sir or Madam)

EU Compensation rights rates for delayed flights

Compensation for delays is only due on flights in the EU or when using an EU airline arriving two hours or more late. How much you are entitled to depends on how long the delay and how long the flight. It changes again if the flight is cancelled before/after seven days before you are due to depart. It does not reflect the price of the flight and is straight out compensation.

The tables for amounts to which you would be entitled per flight are below:

Denied boarding or “bumped” from a flight compensation rates of payout

Airlines will often ask for “volunteers” to not take the flight in return for compensation and this amount would be agreed with the airline at the time. If you are forced off due to overbooking it is the same compensation as if the flight were cancelled.

Flight cancelled 7-14 days before departure compensation rates

Rates are different for notice given and for when you arrive (even if the flight to which you have been changed is longer but gets you there earlier).


Flight cancelled less than 7 days before departure compensation

Exchange rates correct at July 2017.

Rescheduled flights and your rights

Passengers given less than 14 days’ notice of a replacement flight may be due compensation depending on the timings of the new flight.

Other redress for flight delays and cancellations

Flight cancelled or delayed for several hours – the airline must look after passengers. It must provide food, drinks, and some communications. If passengers are delayed overnight, this also means providing them with a hotel and travel to and from it. (All these must still be provided even if the delay was out of the airline’s control). Keep claims reasonable.

And make sure you avoid calling any 084, 087 or 09 numbers. These are banned for customer services such as this.

Affected by BA debacle May Bank Holiday?

See  BA powercut debacle: Airline keeps passengers in the dark about their rights for more information and details of other things that you may be able to claim for such as phoning their helplines!

Luggage problems

See Quick guide to lost luggage – your rights

Holidays and flights your rights

See What to do when your flight is delayed – the full guide

and  All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights for more

 

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

For more templates, advice, information on holidays and most other sectors Get the Book! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! 

Covering airline delays in the news

BBC Breakfast 5th August 2015 flight delays

Look East interviews Ryanair CCO and Helen Dewdney

BA delays: Airline changes advice over claims for expenses

 

BA flies in the face of consumer law and decency

Customers who bought tickets for the economy cabin on short-haul and domestic flights from Heathrow and Gatwick flying from January 11, 2017, and from London City and London Stansted by summer 2017 are being stung and will find that food and drinks are no longer free! Has it become a no frills airline? On the 29th September this year BA announced to great fanfare that it had partnered with Marks and Spencer. The new British Airways menu, which will replace the airline’s current complimentary snacks, includes items from the M&S Food on the Move selection. Well that’s nice isn’t it? Well maybe spending a few quid might be better than the free alcoholic drink and a few free nibbles in the future but what about those people who bought their tickets before the 29th September? They lose out, that’s what.

You may think that customers only lost the cost of a drink and a few nuts. But stop, don’t flee yet. How many tickets do you think were purchased before the 29th September this year for flights after the 11th January 2017? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Ok, so just how much have they actually saved? That’s the principle after all. Couple of pounds on every flight, you do the math, it’s thousands and thousands of pounds right?

“Oh” I hear you cry “But BA will refund the cost of the “free” drink and nibbles so they won’t make that money”. Really? It wouldn’t appear so. Those people who have already booked flights received an email starting with “Thank you for booking your flight with British Airways. We’re writing to let you know about some key changes that are taking place to our on-board catering.” The press release followed. There is no mention at all of compensation, partial refund or how to make a complaint. They may not refuse any calls of this nature but why the lack of transparency or assistance for customers. There’s nothing on their website either!

I asked the BA Press Office for a response and so far have not received one. I tweeted BA and they said all flights after 11th Jan will have new catering menu. “Breach of contract” says I and here is their stance on that:

@Airways 

@ComplainingCow Hi Helen, sorry for the delay in replying. We’ve given our customers a four month notice period of the changes… most short-haul customers do not book this far in advance, but any customers who hold bookings from January 11th 2/3… and are unhappy are welcome to contact us to discuss their booking.

So, there you go. BA will discuss your bookings but will not actively point out that they have broken the terms and conditions of contracts.

Right, well that’s it. It’s the principle of the thing. It doesn’t matter if you think it is only a few quid or you are just a bit miffed or even if you don’t care. BA appears to be making money from this. Instead of doing it properly and offering vouchers/AVIOS points or partial refunds to affected customers it would appear that it has simply informed them that the terms and conditions have changed and hoped that the majority of people won’t bother complaining. They would not be out of pocket and the PR would have been much better showing them to be doing the “right thing”.

So, we can’t catch all the customers affected and of those we catch we can’t get them all to complain. But we can have a damn good try at knocking the BA profits and making sure customers actually get what is legally due. How? Like this:

  • Email the CEO. You can find his address at ceoemail.com
  • Provide details of when you bought the tickets and the booking reference numbers
  • Tell him that BA is in breach of contract for breaking the terms and conditions of the contract you have.
  • Say that you are aware that the breach falls under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, Regulation EC 1008/2008 – Article 23 Transparent pricing, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Consumer Rights Act 2015 (including Part 2 Unfair Terms).
  • State that you are entitled to a full refund on the ticket or you will accept a partial refund for the value of the “free” drink and food that formed part of the contract. (Both ways!)
  • Inform him that should you not receive a satisfactory response you will not hesitate in taking the matter further such as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme.
  • Optional – say that you are disgusted with the way BA has handled this matter and will be spreading awareness of people’s legal rights via social media. (And then of course do so, the more people we empower to fight for their rights the better so do your bit!)

Don’t be fobbed off by any  requests to call an 0844 number either as these are no longer permitted for after-sales enquiries and issues, Regulation 41 of  aforementioned Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Refuse to ‘phone anyway because you want your answer in writing should you need the evidence! A call won’t give you that. Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively.

If you bought your ticket(s) through a travel agent you will need to contact them as if you paid the travel agent directly the contract is with them.

Beat BA at their own game and don’t let these big businesses get away with it. Call them out on it and ensure you get your legal redress whilst you are about it.

If you want to do more about asserting your legal rights and need some help. See the Top 20 Tips for complaining effectively and the book How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results packed full of information, guidance, advice, consumer law and template letters.