How Long Does The Claim Process Take?
The length of time it takes for the process to be completed depends on the route that you take.
The airlines do not have to respond to you within an official time limit, and in some cases letters sent directly to the airlines have been ignored.
It can be a long drawn out process in cases where you have a valid claim but have the airline dispute the claim.
The CAA have publicly stated that they have a backlog of claims and that it may be an extended period of time before you heard back from them.
The length of time a claim can be settled depends on the claim and the airline involved. More often than not, the process is months, not weeks, and in some cases years.
The process is sped up substantially when using Bott & Co. We issue court proceedings if we do not receive a response from the airline within 30 days. Our current record for successfully claiming is 4 days, while on average it takes us 11 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’re representing thousands of passengers at any one time, and not surprisingly we get asked a number of questions on the laws, airlines responses, and flight delay compensation in general.
The most common questions we hear are –
My flight was cancelled due to underbooking, but I flew later, can I claim?
If your flight was cancelled less than 14 days before the scheduled departure date then you may be able to claim compensation of up to €600, depending on the timing of your new flight.
If your flight was cancelled between 7 and 14 days before departure and you were given a new flight that either departed more than 2 hours early or arrived more than 4 hours late then you will be entitled to compensation.
If your flight was cancelled less than 7 days before departure and you were given a new flight that either departed more than 1 hour early or arrived more than 2 hour late then you will be entitled to compensation.
Remember however that an airline will not have to pay compensation if they can prove that the cancellation was caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances.
Can I Claim Compensation if my flight was diverted to a different airport?
If your flight was diverted to a different airport then you may be able to claim compensation if you arrived at your final destination more than 3 hours later than planned.
However, you will not be entitled to compensation if the diversion/delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances. In the case of a diversion this is often caused by bad weather, lightning strikes, and medical emergencies, all of which are classed as extraordinary circumstances.
Can I Claim Compensation if I was put on a different airline?
If your flight is delayed and you’re put on another flight with another airline, which arrives more than 3 hour late then you’re still entitled to claim compensation against the airline that was supposed to operate your first flight
Can I Claim Compensation if I accept a booking for a different flight?
The most important question is what time the flight arrived. If the flight departed more than 3 hours late, but then made up time in the air, thus landing less than 3 hours late then you cannot claim compensation. If however you departed 3 or more hours late and also arrived 3 or more house late then you are entitled to compensation.
Can I Claim Compensation if I missed a connecting flight?
If you have more than 1 flight booked on the same booking then you are entitled to claim compensation if you arrive at your final destination more than 3 hour late, even if the initial delay was delayed less than 3 hours.
Take for example a passenger who is booked to fly from London to Sydney via Dubai. Their flight to Dubai is delayed by last 30 minutes; however this causes them to miss their connecting flight to Sydney. Instead they’re put on a replacement flight later in the afternoon and they eventually arrive at Sydney 4 hours later than planned.
In that example the passenger is entitled to compensation of €600 even though the delay to Dubai was only 30 minutes.
Can I Claim Compensation for an infant?
You can claim for an infant as long as you paid something for their ticket. This applies even if they didn’t have their own seat and even if you only paid a small amount for their ticket.
Can I Claim Compensation even though I didn’t pay for my ticket?
Yes, you can still claim as long somebody paid for the ticket, i.e. you were not travelling free of charge. It is the passenger that is entitled to compensation, not the person that paid for the ticket.
Why won’t airlines pay up? Surely it’s quite easy to claim the compensation yourself?
Can I make my own claim? Absolutely. We think the rules are sufficiently clear that airlines know when they should pay. We offer a free initial letter which you can send to the airline yourself to initiate your claim.
Unfortunately the airlines continue to avoid this obligation and ignore letters from individuals. If you want to proceed beyond this point you will need to understand the regulations, be comfortable issuing court proceedings correctly and be prepared to pay the Court fees yourself (approximately £300).
Do I have to go to court?
If the airline do not respond or continue to deny liability then court proceedings are your only option. If you continue to represent yourself you will be required to attend court and present your claim.
If Bott&Co are acting on your behalf we will attend all hearings on your behalf and there will be no requirement for you to attend any hearings.
How much does it cost to make my own flight compensation claim?
If you wish to claim yourself then you will have to pay the Court fee, allocation questionnaire fee and hearing fee.
The Court fee varies depending on the amount you are claiming but can be as high as £245 if you have 10 or more passengers.
The allocation questionnaire fee is typically £45.00 and the hearing fee is £150.00.
Does it matter how much my ticket cost?
The amount of compensation has no relevance to the cost of your ticket. The compensation is there to protect your rights as a passenger and to encourage the airlines to improve their service and punctuality.
Since the regulation has been in force the punctuality of airlines in the UK has increased by 15% and tour operators by 40% in just 12 months (stats courtesy of EUclaim).
The amounts you can claim for delayed and cancelled flights is set by the Regulation and is to compensate you for your time and inconvenience, not the price of the ticket. This means even if you bought a cheap ticket with a budget airline, you can still claim up to €600 per passenger.
I’m worried about ticket prices increasing if I claim.
Don’t worry! Because of the very low number of instances that airlines have to pay out on, the impact on ticket prices is negligible. First and foremost the airlines should not be passing the cost on to consumers, the Regulation is there to make sure they improve their service and passing the cost on to you to continue operating as they were is not in the spirit of the legislation.
More importantly, even if 100% of people eligible for compensation were paid by the airlines, this is only the equivalent of £2.50 on each ticket. At the moment the figures are around only 2% of people claiming so there is minimal effect on ticket prices.
Despite this, Ryanair have been charging a compulsory EU261 levy for a number of years and although this charge is €2.50 they are still very reluctant to pay out on valid claims, meaning they have profited from the Regulation to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds each year.
What is the aim of these regulations?
These regulations were put in place to protect passengers and they have been fought throughout Europe over the last 8 years. Since the Nelson judgment was handed down on the 23rd of October 2012 there has been a marked change in the attitude of airlines in the Netherlands.
Airlines have acknowledged their liability under the regulations, acknowledge that they have ran their arguments to the highest authority and appear to have come to the conclusion that they must either change their business practise or deal with their liability.
Airlines have acknowledged their liability under the regulations, acknowledge that they have ran their arguments to the highest authority and appear to have come to the conclusion that they must either change their business practise or deal with their liability. There have been stark examples of airlines changing their schedules, making themselves better organised and as a result providing a better service :-
Between the 1st of July and 22nd of August 2011 KLM flew 32132 flights and had 286 flights which qualified for compensation – ie. Were delayed more than 3 hours, or cancelled. Similarly, Transavia flew 6334 flights and had 60 which qualified.
Between the same comparable period in 2013 (1st of July to 22nd of August) KLM flew 33820 flights and had 238 which qualified for compensation – so despite flying 5.25% more flights they have had 48 fewer qualifying flights (16.8%).
For Transavia, they flew 6538 flights and had 42 which qualified for compensation – so 3.2% more flights and 30% less qualifying flights.
These are the regulations being applied properly leading to better protection for passengers. This has to be the aim for all of us in the UK determined to fight for passenger’s rights.
How Brexit Affects Your Claiming Rights
Right now you’re still covered by Regulation 261/2004 and you can benefit from the air passenger rights for care and assistance during delays of more than two hours (depending on the distance of the flight) and for claims for compensation of up to €600 for delays of more than three hours (depending on the flight distance).
If you have experienced a flight delay of more than three hours in the last six years and are yet to put in a claim for compensation then we would recommend you submit your details through our flight delay calculator as soon as possible while we have a clearer picture of your passenger rights.
As we learn more over the coming weeks and months and how flight delay claims and air passenger rights are affected we will continue to update you.
As the only UK service offering flight delay compensation taking the airlines to court, we’ve been involved in some of the most important rulings. Some of which include.
Dawson v Thomson Airways Ltd
In the case of Dawson His Honour Judge Yelton at Cambridge County Court was asked to provide his judgment on how long a passenger has in which to make a claim for compensation.
Thomson Airways argued that a passenger only has 2 years, as under English and Welsh law the Courts must apply the time limit allow by the Montreal Convention.
The Claimant argued that the 2 year time limit does not apply in these cases and instead a passenger has 6 years under Section 9(1) of the Limitation Act 1980.
The Judge agreed with the Claimant and held that the Montreal Convention is entirely separate to claims under EC Regulation 261/2004 (i.e. claims for cancellation, delay and denied boarding) and as such the applicable time limit is 6 years.
Thomson Airways are however appealing this decision and it is due to be heard at the Court of Appeal in May 2014.
Huzar v Jet2.com
In the case of Huzar the Claimant brought an appeal against the decision of District Judge Dignan, who held that he was not entitled to compensation because his delay had been caused by extraordinary circumstances.
The circumstances were that Mr Huzar was scheduled to fly from Malaga back to Manchester on the 26th October 2011. The flight was however substantially delayed because the aircraft had developed a technical fault on its flight into Malaga that evening. The crew noticed that the left engine fuel advisory light became illuminated, which indicated a possible defect in the fie; shut-off valve.
When the plane landed Jet2 arranged for a spare valve to be fitted bt the problem remained. It transpired that there was a wiring defect in the fuel valve circuit which meant that the wiring needed replacing by a specialist engineer.
District Judge Dignan held that all reasonable measures had been taken by Jet2 in terms of servicing their aircraft and as the part is covered and not inspected on a daily basis it was not reasonable to have expected Jet2 to check the part before every take-off. Accordingly he held that that sort of fault was beyond the control of Jet2 and therefore extraordinary.
The Claimant appealed to His Honour Judge Platts at Manchester County Court who held that once a technical problem is identified it is inherent in the normal activity of the air carrier to have to resolve that technical problem. As such, a technical problem cannot be considered extraordinary and the Claimant’s appeal was successful.
HHJ Platts did however make a distinction between technical problems caused by hidden manufacturing defects which impact on flight safety or sabotage, which are of course extraordinary.
Jager v easyJet Airline Company Limited
In the case of Jager the Claimant was flying between Gatwick and Nice and her flight was delayed by over 3 hours due to the knock-on effect of a flight that was diverted earlier in the day due to bad weather in Milan.
The Claimant argued that the regulations quite clearly state that bad weather is only an extraordinary circumstance where it affects the operation of ‘the flight concerned.’
A the bad weather occurred earlier in the day, in Milan and did not affect any part of the Claimant’s actual flight the Judge held that it was not extraordinary. The Claimant was awarded compensation in full plus interest and costs.
Lawes v Thomson Airways Limited
In the case of Lawes the Claimant’s flight touched down (i.e. the wheels touched the runway) 2 hours 58 minutes late, however it did not arrive at the gate and come to a standstill until 3 hours 5 minutes after the scheduled arrival time.
The question the Court had to decide is whether the flight had in fact ‘arrived’ more than 3 hours late. If the Court considered the flight to have arrived when the wheels touched the runway then the Claimant would lose, however if the Judge held that the flight only arrived once it reached the gate and came to a standstill then the claim would succeed.
The Judge held that the arrival time is indeed to be judged from when the aircraft reaches the gate and comes to a standstill. As such the Claimant was awarded full compensation, interest and costs.
Claiming Against Monarch Airlines
Mr Rogers, a retired lawyer from Essex passed over claims to Bott & Co to handle after finding the process very time-consuming. He won his case against Monarch in court after being delayed for eight hours in Malaga waiting for a flight back to London Gatwick in September 2012.
Before going to court Mr Rogers had received legal advice from Bott & Co that his claim was valid after Monarch had initially refused to pay out saying that there was a technical problem and it was ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
Mr Rogers after winning his case said: “I have another two claims, which I have lodged with Bott & Co. At the end of the day, given that the return is not massive, it is better going through the law firm.
“The defence is coached in fairly technical language which you have to go and research…I don’t think I spent much less than 20 hours on this case against Monarch.”
Claiming Against Flybe
A mother and her six year old son were left at Düsseldorf Airport with no help or assistance when their flight was delayed for almost four hours.
Sarah Hall was flying from Germany to the United Kingdom to visit family and friends when she was delayed and described the situation as “awful” and said: “They [Flybe] did absolutely nothing for us. Maybe now that passengers are aware of flight compensation, airlines will start to treat passengers differently.”
After contacting the airline directly to ask for compensation for the delay, Ms Hall was offered a voucher for just £50 towards her next flight with Flybe. The airline dismissed her claim under EU261 saying the delay was “as a result of disruption experienced the previous day concerning airport staff and aircraft loading procedures. This was unforeseen and beyond the control of Flybe.”
Annoyed and upset, Ms Hall approached Bott & Co after searching online. Once the flight delay compensation team confirmed the reason for the flight delay they issued proceedings against Flybe in order to recover compensation. The case was received by Bott & Co and settled within six days with Ms Hall and her son each receiving €250 from Flybe.
More Information About Claiming
Make A Flight Compensation Claim
Frequently Asked Questions
Guides To Claiming