$ 600 for flight delay: how to get compensation from the airline
Christmas holidays, crowded airports, delayed flights. Sound familiar? It does not change much from year to year. On the eve of the holidays, airlines traditionally prepare for the influx of passengers, and the passengers themselves - for the fact that they can get stuck at the airport for more than one hour. However, not everyone knows that for flight delays, you can get not only free food and hotel accommodation, but also substantial monetary compensation. ForumDaily together with the company Flightbucks, which helps passengers receive payments from airlines, figured out how to defend their rights if you are stuck at the airport.
Ukrainian Sergei Moskovka with his wife and little son flew from Minneapolis to Kiev. In Boston, they had a transfer, the plane was delayed there for several hours, and as a result the family missed their next flight from Paris to Kiev. At the Paris airport, they changed their tickets for a flight via Amsterdam. However, when the family began to go out to the gate for the flight to Amsterdam, they were detained by the police - because Sergei and his family did not have a Schengen visa.
“They explained to us through an interpreter that we were detained for trying to enter the Schengen area without a visa. I showed all the tickets, explained that we just followed the instructions of the company AirFrance. But they didn't listen to us, ”says Sergei Moskovka.
Then it became even worse - the passengers were treated like criminals: they searched, described things, confiscated valuables and money. In total, Sergei and his family spent eight hours at the police station. Sergei called the Ukrainian consul in Paris and explained the situation. He replied that the company was to blame AirFrance, but the police are still required in such cases to follow the prescribed procedure.
“After that, the police promised that the next day we would fly to Kiev, and sent to spend the night in a hostel for refugees - behind barbed wire and under police control. They gave us a dirty room 3 by 3 meters, took away money and all electronic devices. Toilet and shower - on the floor, around a lot of people from other countries. We were shocked, my wife and son were crying all the time, ”continues Sergey.
The next day, the family was transported to a cell at a police station on the airport’s territory, then under the control of two policemen they led to the plane and, like criminals, they handed over to the captain of the board, and in Kiev he handed Sergei and his relatives to the Ukrainian border guards.
“Not to convey in words what we had to go through! I wrote a complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, but they did not help me. Then my friends told me to contact the company. Flightbucks, because they themselves have already used its services. Thanks Flightbucks we received compensation of $ 1,329 for three, which is a serious sum for us, ”says Sergey.
Knowledge is power ... and money
The company Flightbucks admits: such stories as Sergei, happen infrequently. Most often, inconveniences for passengers create flight delays and baggage loss. They account for more than 70% of complaints to the airline. However, because passengers do not know own rights, carriers, as a rule, do not pay the full amount of compensation, at best, offering a free hotel and lunch, or a small payment, often in the form of a voucher.
“The husband of one of our clients flew with two children from America to Turkey via Paris. The flight was delayed there for 6 hours, and because of this, they did not have time for the domestic flight in Turkey and the bus to their final destination. As a result, the total delay was more than a day. However, at the airport, representatives of the airline handed them a voucher for 200 euros - the passengers were sure that this was compensation. Our specialists explained to them that in addition to the voucher, there is also monetary compensation. As a result, a lawsuit was filed and the family received $ 1,400. This case proves once again that one should not hesitate to find out, what can you claim”, - comments Elena Belokon, founder and CEO of the company Flightbucks.
Elena herself in the past worked in the field of air transportation, so she knew perfectly well that the legislation allows passengers to receive compensation under certain conditions. After moving to America, she increasingly began to hear complaints from people about long delays in flights from Europe. She advised the victims to seek compensation from the airline, but her interlocutors increasingly dismissed them - they did not believe in a positive outcome of the case or simply did not want to contact the air carrier. And then she decided to open her own company in order to defend the rights of passengers in this way.
“When I realized how few people know about their rights or are hesitant to claim them, I got an idea - to help passengers in obtaining compensation due to them. We have been in business for three years now, and have managed to help tens of thousands of passengers. At the same time, our client does not risk anything: Flightbucks receives payment for his services only in case of a successful outcome, ”says Elena Belokon.
Money for the inconvenience: for what and how much you can get
There is certain criteria for compensation through the company Flightbucks: your departure or arrival point must be an airport located in one of the EU countries. The law on monetary compensation applies to all airlines in the world. The flight must be canceled or delayed more than 3 hours due to the fault of the airline. (that is, not because of the weather or the airport employees strike, for example).
The amount of compensation depends on the distance between destinations: for a distance of less than 1500 km, compensation is 250 euros per passenger, 1500-3500 km - 400 euros, over 3500 km - 600 euros.
The deadline for receiving payments may also vary. Elena Belokon emphasizes: if some airlines process a lawsuit for several days, then others have to wait for a decision for months. The limitation period for accidents for which compensation can be claimed also varies. On average, these are 5 years, but there have been cases of applications for compensation for flights made by 10 years ago.
As Elena Belokon notes, the risk of problems during a trip depends not on the airline itself, but on the congestion of the routes. The more flights on one route, the greater the likelihood that there will be a delay.
Just one of these delays has created a lot of inconvenience for цchurch choir from Texas, which performs around the world and regularly makes long flights. The delay in departure from Amsterdam to Houston ruined all their plans. The team leader repeatedly appealed to the airline for compensation for the inconvenience, but to no avail. Provided payments were achieved only after the intervention of the company. Flightbucks.
“We drew up a claim and sent it to the airline with reference to all legitimate sources, obliging to pay the passengers - members of this group - the compensation due to them by law,” recalls Elena Belokon. - As a result, the claim was approved, and the passengers received a payment in the total amount of $ 13,000. By the way, a couple of months later the same client turned to us with another claim, when the flight on which the choir was flying was redirected to another airport, and the passengers arrived at their final destination much later. As a result of this claim, $ 7,500 was paid. "
Company Flightbucks ready to help any passenger in obtaining cash compensation. To find out if you can claim cash compensation from the airline, just fill out short form with flight information. It should be noted that from each paid claim the company Flightbucks transfers funds to local charities, and provides such an opportunity (only if desired) to each client. Here are some of these organizations: RedeemedMinistries, HopeBeyondBridges, Rescueher, and the Harvey Hurricane Relief Fund.
Flightbucks also leads blogby subscribing to which you will always be aware of the latest news of the airline industry, you will learn how to act in case of problems with the flightand also get lots of useful information and travel tips.
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