Flight delay compensation is tricky business. Successfully claiming cash compensation from airlines can very quickly become messy and complicated. Thankfully, the team at refund.me is here to help passengers who are struggling to get paid what they’re actually owed.
EU Regulation 261/2004 is constantly adapting to case law and landmark rulings. Therefore, there are still loopholes through which companies can jump to avoid paying up when things go wrong in the air and passengers are faced with lengthy delays.
Specifically, there is one particular tactic that is becoming more and more common: in the event of flight delays, cancellations and other flight irregularities, airlines are increasingly trying to offer affected passengers compensation in the form of flight vouchers.
This is disadvantageous for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the airlines benefit directly as the money remains in the company. Many vouchers are actually never redeemed, meaning that these airlines don’t lose any money at all.
In fact, only 60 per cent of all passengers redeem their travel vouchers.
And secondly, as we have previously written about here, accepting vouchers from an airline may void any further eligibility to cash compensation. According to EU law, airlines can theoretically immediately offer affected passengers vouchers as a way to avoid paying cash (if the vouchers are accepted).
This is exactly what happened to this family following a flight cancellation and re-routing. Thankfully, they did not immediately accept the voucher they were offered and opened a claim with us. We successfully won them their lawfully owed cash compensation.
Refund.me COO Sandra Rosenberg is (obviously) a strong advocator for cash compensation over vouchers.
“Compensation in the form of actual cash is always the better way to go. Redeeming vouchers is often associated with problems and come with a number of restrictions and expiration dates.”
Sandra Rosenberg – COO
And finally, who wouldn’t want cash that can be spent on absolutely anything in the world, rather than being forced to put it towards a flight?
Our advice: never immediately accept vouchers as compensation. Review your right to compensation first, otherwise you might be given less than you deserve.