No-Win, No-Fee Websites For Flight Incidents Claims
Most people will have to suffer the consequences of a delayed or cancelled flight or from being unable to board due to overbooking. However the number of people that actually make a claim against an airline is minimal given the hassle involved. In these situations an online solution could help.
The EU is quite clear about passenger rights regarding flights and compensation when things go wrong. However some people take the view that the growing compensation culture could lead to budget airline fares being hiked or even being pushed out of business. If you’re not happy with how you’ve been treated by an airline, it’s up to you whether to make a claim or not, either directly or via a third party.
First of all in order to check your rights take a look at the EU website and download the app (available for 4 different platforms) so you can check when you’re entitled to compensation whilst still at the airport.
If you decide to make a claim and decide to do it through a third party website, most companies tend to operate a similar system. We’ve taken a look at a couple of websites available in English:
AirHelp is a multilingual website that offers assistance with claims from the last three years. They claim that it only takes 3 minutes to complete their online form or download and use their app.
The company sorts out all the paperwork and will take it to court if necessary. When they receive your compensation, you’ll get the balance after a 25% fee has been deducted.
They’ve also joined forces with AirTaxBack.com to help people get the tax back on their flight, even if they missed it because they turned up late at the airport (see our article on tax refunds for cancelled flights).
Although Reclamador is a Spanish website, they have an English version too. As well as the usual claims for delayed and cancelled flights they also deal with compensation for baggage problems.
As with AirHelp, if the company can’t reach an amicable agreement with the airline then they will take the matter to court. Once again fees are 25% (plus sales tax), any case taken to court will be subject to additional fixed fees (full fees details on their website).
Reclamador also has a “recommend a friend” system, where you’ll get a 10% discount on fees. This is a good idea for friends and group travel, rather than claim separately make sure you use their recommendation system.
Bott & Co.
An easy to use website, with an online flight delay compensation calculator to help you decide whether to claim. Bott & Co offer their services to non-UK residents, which can be helpful in cases where you need to be represented in court.
You can find on their website a free to download letter so you can carry out the process by yourself if you prefer. If you do decide to use their services they charge €25 euros and subtract 27% of the total compensation amount following payment from the airline.
Is it worth using one of these websites? Well, that all depends. If you know you’re entitled to compensation but find the do-it-yourself way to be too much trouble, then why not give it a go? Even though you’ll have to pay a fee, and you may end up getting your compensation later as it has to go through the company first, it’s better than nothing.
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