Published on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The five major international airlines – American Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines – have been accused of violating the consumer law by denying 200,000 passengers the compensation they are legally entitled to for delayed flights.
The five stated airlines have been asked to pay the compensation or might be taken to court by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA said that all the airlines concerned had confirmed them that they had not paid compensation when their delays meant passengers missed a connecting flight.
Passengers are entitled to compensation under the EU law if they arrive at their destination more than three hours late. This includes the compensation even if they are booked on a connecting flight. This excludes the delay if caused due to extraordinary circumstances. These rights apply to any flight departing an EU airport, regardless of the nationality of the airline or the flights destination.
The most complained airline is Emirates who has not paid any compensation for connecting flights, said CAA citing its own data.
Richard Moriarty, director of consumers and markets at the CAA, said the airlines’ first responsibility should be looking after passengers, instead of finding ways in which they can prevent customers from holding their rights. He continued that any disruption to a flight is frustrating for passengers, but delays that cause people to miss connecting flights have a particularly damaging effect on people’s travel plans. That is why there are clear laws in place to make sure passengers that experience this type of disruption are looked after by their airline and compensated when the disruption was in the airline’s control.
He added in his comments that it is disappointing to see a small number of airlines continuing to let a number of their passengers down by refusing to pay them the compensation they are entitled to.
The CAA will not think twice to take the necessary action to ensure airlines change their policies and their customers get the assistance they are entitled to. The long haul travellers could be entitled to £250 if their plane lands between three and four hours late and is entitled to £510 if the flight is at least four hours behind schedule.