Bott and Co, the UK flight delay compensation law firm, has compiled data that shows some of the UK’s biggest airlines are ignoring passengers’ flight delay compensation claims, only to pay when court proceedings have been issued, while others are more likely to pay up without a fight, according to statistics.
The worst offender is TUI Airways. The airline is “notorious for denying or ignoring claims pre-litigation and then agreeing to pay only if court proceedings are issued”, claimed the solicitor. TUI passengers had to go to court 70% of the time in order to get the compensation they were entitled to.
The second worst offender is easyJet, with passengers needing to issue court proceedings 45% of the time.
TUI paid out in 29% of cases prior to court proceedings, while easyJet and Virgin Atlantic settled before court proceedings in 55% and 56% of cases respectively.
On a brighter note, the airlines least likely to wait for court proceedings before settling are Jet2, which settled on 91% of cases before court; British Airways (90%) and Thomas Cook (89%).
Bott and Co found that, in some cases, airlines were defending claims where others on the same flight had been paid previously, before court proceedings were necessary.
“If the airlines were fully complying with the law then 100% of pay-outs would be without court proceedings,” said Coby Benson, flight delay solicitor at Bott and Co.
“We understand that airlines need to look at claims on an individual basis; however what we’re seeing is airlines routinely defending claims for eligible flights, some where they’ve already paid dozens of others on the same flight. It is fundamentally unfair for airlines to continue to defend claims in the hope that passengers will just give up,” Benson continued.
Moreover, another report by the European Court of Auditors revealed that airlines in Europe often resort to telling passengers who complain that a delay is due to circumstances not under their control. But when this is properly challenged, the airlines are then more likely to pay compensation.
Even after already agreeing to pay people on the same flight, Bott and Co have needed to issue court proceedings against airlines in order to secure compensation for others.