A survey carried out by Bott and Co shows that airlines are falling short in the level of customer service provided to passengers with delayed flights.
Over 800 passengers took part in the survey, with the airlines failing in a number of key areas
With delays ranging in length from 3 to 24 hours, passengers felt the airlines didn’t provide enough information about their delay, with the majority of them being left in the dark about the cause of the delay and how long the delay would be.
- 62% of passengers said the airlines didn’t provide information about how the long delay would be.
- 61% of passengers said the airline didn’t tell them the cause of the delay.
- 65% of passengers who were informed of the delay felt that they were not provided with accurate information.
- 72% of passengers felt unsatisfied with the level of information about the reason for the delay.
Additionally, 72% of passengers felt they were not provided with the level of food and drink they would expect in relation to the length of their delay.
A Total Lack Of Information
Philip Walsh and his wife Karen suffered a delay while traveling to Alicante with easyjet.
“We checked in and waited to be called to the gate, then, all of a sudden the information board said that our flight was delayed. We had no idea how long it would be for and it took ages for anyone from easyJet to turn up.
When airline representatives did show up, they had no idea what was going on.
“When airline representatives did show up, they had no idea what was going on and why we were delayed or how long it would be for. It was late in the evening and people were tired and fed up, there was a total lack of information.
“All they did was hand us a £3 voucher which in an airport just about buys you a cup of tea. There was nothing going on, we didn’t know if we would be stranded there all night. People just sat around waiting for something to happen.”
Nothing Could Make Us Forget The Way Thomson Treated Us.
Steven Hodgkinson and his wife Helen from Stockport had been in Turkey celebrating a new chapter in their life; the start of their retirement.
“We woke up early for our 4.25am flight back to Manchester to be told by hotel staff that our plane was running late. Despite this, Thomson reps encouraged us to go to the airport and check-in at the scheduled time.
We were completely on our own. We were not kept informed at all.
“Once we were through to the other side, we were completely on our own. We were not kept informed at all and had an extremely long and uncomfortable night.”
The couple were given food vouchers but despite there being lots of different stores in the terminal, the vouchers could only be used in one place. “The food on offer wasn’t appropriate for so early in the morning.
“We eventually got called to board and took off (4hrs and 45 minutes late), but nothing could make us forget the way Thomson treated us during the delay.”
Care And Assistance, The often forgotten part of EU Regulation 261/2004.
While awareness about claiming flight delay compensation has grown, few passengers are aware of their legal rights during their delay.
72% of passengers felt that they were not “provided with enough free food and drink for their delay.
Article 9 of EU Regulation 261/2004 clearly states that airlines need to provide a specific level of care and assistance to passengers during the delay. This includes meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
The survey suggests that over 72% of passengers felt that they were not “provided with enough free food and drink for their delay.
Airlines are legally obliged to offer the following;
- Food and drink in reasonable relation to waiting time.
- Free hotel accommodation when a stay of one night or more is necessary.
- Free transport between the airport and the hotel.
- Two free telephone calls, emails, telex or fax messages.
Bott and Co offer a free downloadable template letter for passengers to send directly to the airline to claim expenses they have incurred during their delay.
Flying This Summer? Take Our Flash Card in your hand baggage.
To help passengers understand their rights better, Bott and Co have created a downloadable flash card for passengers to take to the airport to use in cases of delay.
The flash card states clearly what the airlines must provide legally to the passengers in these situations.
Passengers can download it and place it in their hand luggage for reference should they end up being delayed.
“We’re Not Surprised”
Coby Benson, the head of the flight delay compensation team at Bott and Co, said he is not surprised by the results of the survey.
“We’ve helped over 50,000 passengers reclaim compensation for their delays and the message about why they choose to claim is loud and clear.
“Not only are they frustrated by the delay, but they are doubly frustrated with the lack of information and care they are provided with during their delay.
We speak to thousands of clients each month, and the majority of them feel let down in the level of care and assistance they are provided during their delay.
“It is their disappointment with the way they have been treated that motivates them into making a claim more than anything else.
“We speak to thousands of clients each month, and the majority of them feel let down in the level of care and assistance they are provided during their delay.
“Care and assistance is as much a part of EU Regulation 261/2004 as the right to claim financial compensation.
“While airlines may be very good at offering hotel accommodation and transport, they are clearly lacking in offering food and drink vouchers and information.”
The survey was conducted in January 2016.
The passengers flew on the following airlines. – Thomson (18%) Thomas Cook (16%) Ryanair (12%) easyJet (12%) Monarch (8%) Jet2 (7%) British Airways (5%) Virgin (2%) Wizz Air (2%) Other made up the remainder.
Article 9 of EU Regulation 261/2004 can be found here.
To date (19/07/2016), Bott and Co has recovered over £19.5million in flight delay compensation for more than 57,000 passengers, since the department launched in 2013.
Bott and Co took the landmark case of Dawson v Thomson Airways to the Supreme Court and won in 2014. The ruling meant that passengers in England and Wales have six years to take a flight delay claim to court. The decision unlocked £3.89billion in compensation. Find out more here.
Bott and Co took the landmark case of Huzar v Jet2 to the Supreme Court and won in 2014. The ruling meant that airlines can no longer claim that ‘technical issues’ are extraordinary circumstances. The decision unlocked £750million in compensation. Find out more here.
Bott and Co are a law firm and NOT a claims management company. In that respect we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and can issue court proceedings, where claims management companies cannot.
Further information can be found at our Press Centre.