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Flying is already an extremely hectic process, starting from booking the tickets to boarding the plane itself. You are likely to have heard horrendous stories of flight delays which have lasted for hours on end or even flights that have been canceled.
However, you might not know that according to your rights, you are eligible for compensation if you face circumstances such as this. In fact, a very small percentage of people are compensated for their flight delay claims due to a variety of reasons.
If you are one of those looking for compensation for any disruption you faced during your flight, here is a set of instructions on how to file for one.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- 1. Claim the Compensation Yourself
- 2. Go to a Lawyer
- 3. Working with a Third Party
- 4. Other Options
- Final Thoughts
1. Claim the Compensation Yourself
This method has its benefits and drawbacks. You will first have to study in depth about your passenger rights. This may be slightly stressful and will require a lot of patience on your end as you will have to fight for your compensation.
However, on the bright side, it is very cost effective compared to other options. It will not cost you any money. Here are a few steps you need to follow.
Step 1: Contact the Airline
You should first contact the airline you faced the issue with regarding your complaint and compensation. Regulations differ from airline to airline so, you should look through the guidelines for the process on their page or website.
Make sure that you are following the correct guideline. If you email the wrong department then your complaint will simply be discarded. It is essential to follow the rules because if you do not cooperate with them, they will not cooperate with you.
Furthermore, describe the events in your form or email. This is where your research will come in handy as you should also mention the compensation you are meant to receive.
Step 2: What to do if they Say No
More often than not, the airline will give you a tough time and may refuse to give you your compensation even if they owe you one. This is the moment where you have to take matters a step ahead.
You could take up the services of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme or regulators. When airlines delay or reject your complaint, you can appeal to regulators or become a member of an ADR Scheme and they will act as a middleman to take settle your dispute.
2. Go to a Lawyer
If you are not confident enough in your ability to handle the compensation matter or are unable to present your case effectively, despite being confident that you deserve the compensation, then you could try going to a lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer has its disadvantages for example,
- It is Extremely Expensive: They will take money whether your case is successful or not
- It is Somewhat Time Consuming: You will have to run back and forth to your lawyer and make numerous phone calls throughout this process.
III. Experience of the Lawyer: The lawyer’s experience regarding such cases is not always clear. So, if you hire an inexperienced lawyer, you might fail to get your compensation.
Going to a lawyer might be a risky option however, it might be the correct path if you fall into these categories:
A. Hassle of Research
Researching and understanding the passenger rights and the regulations to file for compensation can be very confusing for some people. Furthermore, the people sitting at the airline helpdesk will not make this job easy for you in any way.
If you are not confident in your ability to handle the case yourself or are confused by the whole process, a lawyer would make the process a lot easier.
B. Inability to Strengthen Your Case
While presenting your case to the airline yourself, you have to be sure that you are eligible for compensation according to the passenger rights. Now, while presenting your case you have to include details of the event along with having strong knowledge of passenger rights.
Juggling these two and strengthening your case might be really confusing and stressful for some people. In this case, you can try hiring a lawyer.
3. Working with a Third Party
Working with an organization that specializes in dealing with airline compensations is a great idea. These organizations deal with the entire process while all you will have to do is provide the required information. There are several pros to working with them such as:
A. It is Cost-Effective
These companies will only charge you if they are successful in getting you your compensation so you will not have to unnecessarily pay them as you would pay a lawyer. Furthermore, this also gives them an incentive to bring back good results.
B. They Have Experience
As they specialize in this work, they will be experienced in this field. This also means that they will have a strong legal team. This further proves that the success rate will be higher.
C. It is the Least Stressful Option
All you will have to do is provide them with the required documents and information and they will handle all the work. This will save you from the stress of fighting with the airline
4. Other Options
If you want to take your case further but do not want to invest in a lawyer or bring in a third party, you can always take your case to the small claims court.
Small claims courts deal with cases of comparatively less value and consist of a simple set of rules. As previously stated, a lawyer is not required in this court however, you will have to make sure that the grounds to your case are strong.
There is no perfect or easy way of filing for airline compensation because different approaches are fit for different people. So, the next time you go to the airport and face issues that ruin the memory of your entire trip, you will know in which situation you will be eligible for compensation and also how to file for one.
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