British Airways has launched what it calls “a streamlined compensation process” to help passengers claim for delayed and cancelled flights.
Under the European legislation known as EU261, travellers are entitled to cash compensation for long delays or cancellations that are within the airlines’ control.
The sum ranges from €250 (£215) for short flights that arrive three hours or more late, to €600 (£515) for long-haul departures that are four hours behind schedule.
BA says: “This new approach speeds up the resolution time by immediately connecting customers with the relevant department, rather than the general customer relations team.”
The airline wants to encourage passengers not to go through claims-handling companies. It says completing the online form should take no more than 15 minutes.
“It means the airline’s customers contacting BA directly can avoid paying unnecessary fees to third party firms who charge and keep a significant percentage of the compensation claim for themselves.
“All submissions are reviewed by British Airways’ specialist compensation claims team, with the vast majority of customers receiving a response within 28 days.”
British Airways’ director of customer experience and brand, Carolina Martinoli, said: “When things go wrong, and a customer’s journey is delayed, we want the opportunity to apologise and deal with our customers directly to fix the problem.
“Our new process will help us do just that.”
The move follows a Court of Appeal judgment in favour of Ryanair in February which ruled that airlines can insist passengers apply direct in the first instance.
If the carrier fails to respond within 28 days or turns down compensation, then the traveller is free to use a claims firm or take legal action.
Bott and Co, which is the most experienced claims firm, charges 25 per cent of the total plus a £25 administration fee per passenger.
Coby Benson, the firm’s flight delay compensation solicitor, said: “As is often the case with airlines, the compensation form is not easy to find. Passengers have to navigate through five different web pages to eventually find the correct form.”
“Conversely, solicitors that specialise in flight delay compensation will ensure that the claims process is easier to find, use and quicker to complete. It’s comforting for clients to know that an expert is fighting to recover every penny they’re legally entitled to.”
BA’s move comes after Jet2 demanded
“professional adjudication on a flight-by-flight basis” in cases where the airline’s liability is disputed.
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