€52m refunds for airline disruption not being claimed

Irish people missed out on €52m worth of refunds owed by airlines which delayed or cancelled their flights in one year alone, according to a company established to aid passengers claim their compensation.

EU regulations rule that airlines must pay up to €600 for cancelled or heavily delayed flights in or out of an EU airport, or where they were denied boarding because of overbooking.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation, which is the public body responsible for licensing the travel trade in Ireland, has a website, flightrights.ie, that outlines passengers’ rights in relation to cancellations and delays.

The site also provides the public with an opportunity to submit complaints regarding flight cancellations, long delays or instances of denied boarding.

Flightrights.ie also informs commuters as to when they are entitled to compensation payments.

Compensation owed on top of refunded tickets ranges from €250 for flights of 1,500km or less, to €400 for flights of over 1,500km within the EU, and other flights between 1,500km and 3,500km, and as much as €600 for all other flights.

Managing director of MyRefund.ie, Paul Bolger, says that in 2013 alone, Irish people missed out on €52m

However, according to MyRefund.ie, successful claims have been “virtually non-existent” because of delays in processing claims.

Mr Bolger said he started his business after two landmark EU rulings whereby airlines were told they could not delay compensation payments to passengers whose flights have been delayed by technical problems.

“I’ve been following this industry in the UK for a while now and what I noticed was that companies were taking on claims where there might be no realistic chance of success and charging a non-refundable, up-front fee,” said Mr Bolger.

“I really wanted to start this service in Ireland, but I wanted to do it in a way that would benefit all involved. The reality is even though this is based on an EU law, most airlines are very reluctant to pay out.

“Our data indicates about 60% of our successful clients have already been denied by the airline before our involvement.

“Our model is 100% no win, no fee, which means that we don’t get paid unless our clients do.

“In fact, it clearly states in our terms and conditions that the only time you’ll get an invoice from us is when you receive your payment,” he said.

Mr Bolger claimed that his company’s panel of European-based solicitors have claimed more than €1.4m to date from the airlines on behalf of 4,00-plus passengers.

MyRefund.ie takes a 25% fee on all successful claims.


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