Have you ever been fobbed off by an airline when you’ve suffered a delay and tried to complain? If you find yourself nodding your head, we’re not surprised.
In fact our latest research has revealed that some of the UK’s major airlines are going to great lengths to use ‘stalling tactics’ when it comes to paying flight delay compensation claims.
The worst offender is holiday giant TUI, formerly Thomson Airways. The airline is notorious for denying or ignoring claims pre-litigation and then agreeing to pay them only if court proceedings are issued. In fact, TUI passengers were forced to have to go to court 70% of the time in order to get the compensation they were entitled to.
easyJet is the second worst offender, with their passengers needing to issue court proceedings 45% of the time and Virgin Atlantic passengers didn’t fare any better. 44% of their passengers were kept waiting for eligible flight delay compensation until after court proceedings were issued.
If the airlines were fully complying with the law then 100% of pay-outs would be without court proceedings.
We’re all too familiar with airlines using ‘stalling tactics’. If the airlines were fully complying with the law then 100% of pay-outs would be without court proceedings. It is fundamentally unfair for airlines to continue to defend claims in the hope that passengers will just give up.
In comparison, other well-known airlines such as Jet2, Thomas Cook and British Airways stood out as the best at paying claims without court proceedings needing to be issued. Only one in ten cases had to go to court to get compensation from these three airlines.
The findings also showed that in some cases, airlines were defending claims, even after already agreeing to pay people on the same flight before court proceedings were necessary.
While it’s understandable that airlines need to look at claims on an individual basis; what we’re seeing is them routinely defending claims for eligible flights, some where they’ve already paid dozens of others on the same flight.
There is no justification for TUI to delay settling our valid claim which has been outstanding now for ten months.
One of those passengers is Brian Gibson from Hertfordshire. He instructed Bott and Co to act on his behalf after his and his wife’s TUI flight was delayed for more than eight hours overnight on their way home from Malaga on 4th March 2018, and the airline refused to compensate them.
Mr Gibson told us: “There is no justification for TUI to delay settling our valid claim which has been outstanding now for ten months. By effectively denying the pilot’s statement at the time, they are calling us liars.
“What adds to our annoyance with TUI’s response to date is that my wife and I have been regular travellers with Thomson Holidays, enjoying some fifteen holidays over the past twenty-five years. Our claim is now a point of principle while I question our future loyalty to this tour operator.”
We had previously received settlements from TUI for two other passenger claims on the same flight as Mr Gibson, but the airline continues to deny Mr Gibson and his wife compensation. The firm has now resorted to issuing court proceedings against TUI for this matter.
We’ve shown demonstrable success in claims against TUI, having lost only 1% of all claims against the airline that have gone to court in the last year alone. We’re also often approached by passengers who’ve issued court proceedings themselves against the airline. Figures show that only 24% of people who take on the airlines themselves have been successful.
Further to our findings, a new report released on November 8 2018 by the European Court of Auditors supports the evidence of airline stalling tactics. The report revealed that airlines in Europe often resort to telling passengers who complain that a delay is due to circumstances not under their control. However when this is challenged, airlines are more likely to pay compensation.
We’ve acted for hundreds of thousands of passengers since 2013, and have successfully claimed millions in compensation, often where airlines had previously rejected claims.