Ryanair rejects almost 100% of compensation claims – but here’s how you can improve your chances – The Sun

IN certain circumstances, air passengers are able to claim compensation for delayed and cancelled flights under EU law.

But Ryanair has been accused of rejecting almost 100 per cent of valid compensation claims submitted by its customers.

Under EU law, if your flight is cancelled, you have the legal right to either a full refund within seven days or a replacement flight to your destination.

This applies for whatever reason your flight was cancelled or how long before you were told it would no longer be be flying.

If your flight is delayed by three hours or more, and you were flying to or from a European airport, or with an EU-based airline such as Ryanair or British Airways, then you can claim compensation up to  €250 (£229) for short-haul flights and €400 (£367) for mid-haul flights and €600 (£530) for long-haul flights.

But the airline might not payout if it’s out of their control, for example, due to bad weather or strikes.

AirHelp, a company that helps passengers claim compensation from airlines for a fee, looked at hundreds of thousands of its own claims between January 1 and October 31 this year.

It claims that Ryanair had “wrongfully rejected” 98.4 per cent of these claims after the first assessment.

But Ryanair isn’t accused alone.

EasyJet rejected 87.3 per cent of claims, Virgin rejected 73.7 per cent of claims and British Airways rejected 66.6 percent of claims according to AirHelp.

While the stats don’t look promising, there are some ways you can improve your chances and even escalate your case to court.

FLIGHT FIGHT How can I claim compensation if my flight is delayed or cancelled?

Paloma Salmeron, air passenger rights expert at AirHelp, explained: “The claims process may seem relatively easy, but in practice it is letting a significant number of passengers down and, as our research shows, legitimate claims are being rejected.

“Passengers who have had their compensation claim wrongfully rejected by an airline can take legal action to appeal against the airline’s decision.

“However, getting embroiled in a legal battle can quickly become costly to passengers and it can be an extremely onerous and time-consuming process.

“When faced with such a David vs Goliath battle, no wonder many people give up completely or seek legal assistance from specialist companies who can support their claim – almost 60 per cent* (59 per cent) of European people actually give up after rejection from the airline.”

Paloma advises that in the first instance, you should ask why the flight was delayed.

She said: “Be persistent with your questioning to the airline. If the circumstances that caused the delay or cancellation are the responsibility of the airline – “technical problems” are a common cause, for example – you will be entitled to compensation, provided you arrive at your destination over three hours after your expected landing time.”

You should also get proof of the delay, including taking photos of the departure board or communication from the airline to confirm the delay.

Essentially, the more evidence you have, the more chances you have of getting your claim accepted.

This is where knowing your rights helps – it will help you gather the right evidence.

And finally, make sure you read everything properly before you sign anything to make sure that your right to claim compensation isn’t affected.

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Last year, the UK Civil Aviation Authority sued Ryanair after it refused to compensate strike-hit passengers.

One man customer claimed that his compensation cheque from the airline actually bounced.

And earlier this year, the airline was accused of “wriggling out of paying compensation to passengers” for delayed and cancelled flights.

Sun Online Travel has contacted Ryanair for comment.

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