How To Claim Flight Compensation

Published in Essentials

How to claim flight compensation yourself
If you're delayed by more than three hours or your flight's cancelled, under EU rule 261/2004 you are often entitled to between £110 and £510 in compensation and it's possible to claim this for free.

The flight delay regulations below come from the EU and so it's likely they'll stop when the UK leaves the union. Nothing is confirmed yet though and we won't be exiting for at least two years, probably more, so in the meantime everything here still stands.

The doors for mass compensation for long flight delays were flung open in October 2012 following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice. It clarified that passengers were entitled to compensation for long delays (as long as they met the set criteria) following a challenge by some airlines.

Flight delay compensation Need to knows
-Compensation for delays is only due on flights arriving over three hours or more late. How long the delay is determines how much you could be entitled to.
-It's only for EU-regulated flights (A flight that departed fro an EU airport, regardless of the airlines or where it landed. EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and U.K for the meantime)
-Not everyone has won compensation. Some airlines have been trying to block people from claiming for flights that were over two years old, and for unforeseeable technical faults, although courts have ruled against this at the end of 2014 and in September 2015.
- You can claim flights back to 2010.
-You are only entitled to the compensation if the delay was something within the airline's control. Staffing problems and underbooking all count. Yet political unrest in a country or strikes make claiming a no-go. Check out the European Commission’s website for scenarios where they believe passengers can claim compensation.
-Compensation is also per person, so for a family of four, quadruple it (although where a passenger travels free of charge – a child, for example – you cannot claim).
-Compensation is based in euros, meaning the amount you'll get in sterling will fluctuate, depending on the exchange rate at the time the payment is made.
-Just because the airline's rejected or put your case on hold, doesn't mean it's correct. If you feel you've a legitimate claim but have been fobbed off, you can take your case to the relevant regulator or ombudsman to look into. Again, this is something you can do yourself – you don't need a claims handler to do this.

How to Claim


If you fit the criteria above you can make a claim by using our simple step by step guide.
Step 1: Prepare your information

Go through your emails or locate your flight tickets to find your booking reference, flight number, dates and times. Check out Flightstats to find out exactly how long your flight was delayed (you may need to free register for flights over a certain period of time).

Step 2: Deciding your route to compensation
Once you have all your flight information the next step is to figure out how your going to pursue your claim. You have two options;
The Resolver flight delay complaints tool powered by moneysavingexpert.com
For anyone whose flight departed from the UK.
For anyone who arrived in the UK on a UK/EU airline, from outside the EU.
Email/mail letter templates (download here)
Those who flew on an EU airline from outside the EU to somewhere in the EU other than the UK (e.g, KLM from New York to Amsterdam) (you can still use Resolver to go to the airline, but if your claim is rejected, Resolver does not escalate to a regulator.
Anyone who flew with Easyjet as the orange-loving airline is not accepting claims via the Complaints tool at this time.)

Step 3: The waiting game
Whether you’re using the resolver flight delay complaints tool or the template the next step is to wait. Resolver will send you updates regularly when its time to escalate the complaint or when the Airline responds so keep checking your email or mail box (template letter)

Step 4: yea or nay
Due to compensation for flight delays set at specific levels depending on the flight delay and length, there's really only two outcomes here – you've received the correct amount and your claim is now over, or your claim has been rejected.
If you’re successful well done and go and treat your self to something nice (maybe even another flight)

Step 5: Claim rejected or put on hold by the airline
Just because your case has been rejected or put on hold by the airline, it doesn't mean that's the end of the line for your complaint. If you think you have a legitimate claim, you can take your case either to the relevant regulator or one of several new adjudicators many airlines have signed up with.
Escalating your complaint is normally free, but watch out - one of the new adjudicators now charges a £25 fee if your appeal's unsuccessful.

If you're flying to or from the UK and your airline's with an adjudicator you must use the Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR] scheme
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK's airline regulator, has been approving various Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR] schemes to take on cases. If your airline has signed up to one it has to tell you when it rejects your claim - if the ADR scheme covers the flight you flew on you MUST go to it if you want to appeal. The advantage of going to an ADR scheme is its decision is generally binding on the airline.
The CAA has so far approved six ADR schemes to take on complaints, National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN), the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the Czech Trade Inspection Authority, NetNeutrals, the Retail Ombudsman and German body Söp:
ARN – Scandanavian Airline SAS. You can submit your complaint here. There's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful. This scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline, but it says 80% of businesses follow its rulings.

CEDR – British Airways, Easyjet, Thomas Cook and Thomson. You can submit your complaint here. If your claim's unsuccessful you'll have to pay a £25 fee, but if you're awarded any compensation this fee will be waived.

Czech Trade Inspection Authority – Czech Airlines. You can submit your complaint here. There's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful, but this scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline

The Retail Ombudsman – Air Astana, Asiana Airlines, Air Canada (and Air Canada Rouge), Egypt Air, Flybe, Ryanair, Skyworks Airlines AG, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. You can submit your complaint here- there's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful.

Söp – Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Germania, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss. You can submit your complaint here – there's no fee if your claim's unsuccessful. This scheme's decisions are not legally binding on the airline, but it says 90% of businesses follow its rulings.

Step 6: The last straw
If the airline still says no, Some airlines are playing hardball with claims and many are rejecting people even when the Civil Aviation authority (CAA) or other regulators say you have a claim.

The problem is that regulators do not have the same powers as ombudsman schemes – they can't force airlines to pay out.
If the airline rejects your claim even after you've gone to the regulator... Unfortunately the next step is really to take it to the small claims court. Don't think going to court is about judges and wigs though – you can actually claim online here Northern Ireland and Scotland.

 

 

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Why Relying On Your EHIC Could Land You In Trouble Abroad

Published in Essentials

There are a few important things you should always make sure you have with you before you travel - a passport, foreign currency and, if you're travelling in the EU, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

But do we really understand what carrying the EHIC card gets us? The issue is that many people from the UK are only carrying the little blue card believing that they will be covered for health abroad, just like that of travel insurance.
The EHIC on the government website states: "An EHIC lets you get state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes for free."
The site also clarifies that there has been 'no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU' as a result of Brexit.

While this means you are entitled to health care while travelling within the EU should you need it, you are only entitled to healthcare on the same level as locals in the country. (apply for free now)
What the EHIC won't do however is cover the costs of expensive procedures such as repatriation, when you need to be taken back to your home country.
If you don't have travel insurance you will have to foot the cost of this bill yourself, and it won't be cheap.
When it comes to taking out travel insurance you need to ensure you are as transparent as possible with your insurance provider.
Failing to disclose a medical condition, any medication you take or any previous injuries could leave you with problems if you have to claim against them later.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you're planning on getting involved in any extreme sports while you're away.
Many travel insurance providers will have special sections to fill out for activities such as skydiving, white water rafting and other popular sports.

We would always recommend travelling with your EHIC as its free to apply and could come in handy. Although we would advise getting travel insurance as well, whether for the duration of your stay, through a current account or a yearly policy if you're going to be travelling 4+ times a year.

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Banned Onboard Airplane Hand Luggage

Published in Essentials

We reveal 10 things you'd be surprised you can't take on the plane in your hand luggage.
I’m sure you know about the liquid ban on hand luggage, but after security staff at Derry airport stopped students from flying with a Green Lantern Mask in his carry-on bag. The UK has strict security measures in place to stop ‘dangerous’ items from being taken on a flight. Some are obvious, but it may surprise you that unsuspecting items such as fishing rods are deemed dangerous. We reveal the strange items that are not allowed in your hand luggage.

1. Cigarette lighters (Multiple)
Oddly, considering the official line, ‘you can't take any objects in your hand baggage that could cause injury to yourself and other passengers,’ you can take a lighter on the plane, but no more than one. Confusingly, 'you must keep the lighter on your person throughout the flight. It is very important that you do not return it to your hand baggage after screening.'

2. Tent pegs
Flying to a Glastonbury festival? Camping? Don’t carry your tent pegs in your hand luggage, as they’ll get confiscated. Which will leave you a bit stuck. You’ll either have to sleep under the stars or pay that terrible Checked luggage fee.
3. Soup
The rules are the rules. While you might argue that a one-person portion of chicken and mushroom bears less threat to the safety of your fellow passengers than a lighter, liquid is liquid. Well, 101ml or more of liquid. The same goes for mascara, clotted cream and of course, water.

4. 10 litres of Curious by Britney Spears
You may think that you can get around the liquids rule by decanting big bottles into lots of little containers, but NO: ‘containers must be carried in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm’.

5. Medicine
While we’re on the subject of liquids, if you need to to keep a big bottle of ‘essential’ medicine on you, unfortunately you are out of luck. You can’t take more than 100ml of the stuff. Actually, you can, as long as you notify the airport in advance. Not sure that they’ll accept a bottle of Grey Goose vodka as essential medicine, but it’s worth a try.

6. Badminton racquets
The authorities take a dim view of sporting equipment. We understand Cricket bats and Crossbows but we can’t imagine a Badminton Racquet causing much injury. But the rules are rules.

7. Drills
If you are a jet-setting joiner or plumber, check-in bag fees will eat into your income, for you are not permitted to carry on essential tool bag items such as screwdrivers, spanners, pliers, saws, drills or drill bits on the plane.


8. Fishing rods
Why you’d want to take a harpoon away with you is your business, but if you’re off on a whaling holiday, it’ll have to go in the hold. The same goes for fishing rods, presumably so you’re not tempted to get your own back on that annoying child in seat 11A by hooking them with a sweetie worm.

9. Peroxide
From tear gas to infected blood and fire extinguishers, ‘Chemicals and Toxic Substances’ are a complete NO. This includes peroxide. So if you’re off to Malia with the lads and you’re all planning to amusingly bleach your hair, do it before you leave.

10. Flares
No, not the jeans your parents still have floating in there cupboard, though if it was up to us those would be banned too! No, signal flares "IN ANY FORM" are banned, just in case you were unsure.


Reference - https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions/sports-equipment

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