Regular readers (all three of you) will recall my flight from hell back in September, when my plane was delayed by seven hours (SEVEN!) en route to Berlin, after funny smells wafted into the cabin. It was not a fun experience.
At the time, the sole compensation offered to me was a £3 gift card to buy snacks from the shops in the departure lounge. EasyJet did offer a refund of my ticket – but only if I didn’t fly at all.
What the airline was keeping secret from me was that I was in fact entitled to €250 compensation. This is thanks to legislation from the European Union – the same EU that never does anything worthwhile for us, according to UKIP and the Tories.
I thought this compensation offer may be too good to be true, but I decided it was worth the cost of a stamp. So a few days after returning home from Berlin, I composed a letter to EasyJet customer services.
I heard nothing for a few weeks. Then, on 9 October, I got a generic e-mail, advising me that my claim was “on hold”. There was a legal dispute over whether cases like mine, where the delay was caused by a technical fault with the aircraft, are eligible for compensation. A court case involving Jet2 had ended with the High Court awarding compensation, but the airline had decided to take it to the Supreme Court.
The e-mail advised that the case would likely be settled… in late 2015. Well, that’s annoying, I thought. But there was nothing I could do, so I shrugged my shoulders and put it to one side.
However, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, meaning that the High Court judgment stands. On 31st October I got another email from EasyJet, conceding that my claim was eligible for compensation, and asking me to confirm my debit card details to process the payment.
And so today, £197.76 (equivalent to €250) was deposited into my bank account, representing the full compensation which I was due. To be honest, I would have been satisfied with a refund of the flight cost, but this is even better – apart from anything else, that’s most of my Christmas shopping money sorted.
It’s likely that this ruling will open the floodgates for more compensation claims. Any flight departing from an EU airport (or an EU-based airline landing at an EU airport) within the last six years is eligible. It’s a rare David v Goliath battle where it seems David has actually won.
I highly recommend pursuing the airlines and getting back the compensation you’re entitled to. MoneySavingExpert.com has a guide on claiming, including form letters that can be used as a template for your own letter to airlines.