travelmole.com — A flight compensation company has named and shamed the UK’s worst offending airlines after sharing its internal data relating to claims.
The list from EUclaim shows the airlines which have been most complained about in the first half of 2016.
But EUclaim admitted its figures don’t take into account the size of each airline.
EasyJet tops the list, with 5,641 claims being processed against it by the company in the first six months.
EUclaim said the number of cases against easyJet has increased every year for the last three years.
Second in the list is Ryanair, with the number of people seeking compensation against Ryanair more than doubling year-on-year to 4,781 for the six months to June 30.
EUclaim said Monarch, meanwhile, has been steadily improving its services, reducing the 2,599 claims made against it in the first half of 2014 to 2,001 in the same period in 2015 and this year falling to 1,574, putting it at number six in the 2016 ‘Carriers of Shame’ list.
EUclaim UK manager Adeline Noorderhaven admitted the number of complaints this year has been exacerbated by outside factors, such as bad weather in March and June and air traffic control strikes in France and Italy.
But she said while these can be considered extraordinary circumstances, airlines still need to take more responsibility to ensure customers are looked after and properly compensated for their loss.
“What we have seen this year is that not only is there an increase in the number of extraordinary incidents but because of the tight crew duty scheduling, airlines cannot react swiftly enough to these issues and allow the problems to flow into their entire rotation and even into other days,” she said.
“For example, if there is a strike in France we will see that not only the flights to and from France are delayed or cancelled but also flights to other European countries that do not even touch French air space. The delays for these flights are not considered extraordinary.”
She said low-cost carriers are operating at such high load factors they cannot accommodate affected passengers when problems strike.
“We’ve seen people whose flight was cancelled due to a strike who then have to wait four days for a replacement flight,” she said.
“Airlines are given prior notice of events such as ATC strikes and have a responsibility to take reasonably measures to minimise the disruption.”
Noorderhaven said although the data doesn’t take into account the size of each airline, it shows trends by comparing figures from previous years.
A spokesman for easyJet said ‘unprecedented levels of disruption’ from French ATC strikes and air traffic control congestion in the London area and in Europe has led to a larger than expected volume of claims for easyJet to process.
“We will always pay compensation when it is due,” he said. “easyJet carries more UK passengers than any other airline listed by EUclaim. We also recommend that customers should apply to easyJet to receive all of their compensation without paying any fees to third parties.
“easyJet’s regulator, the CAA, has published two reports on the handling of EU 261 claims by the 15 largest airlines flying to and from the UK. In these reports, CAA confirmed easyJet was the only airline that was fully complying on paying compensation for technical faults and received a ‘very good’ rating for how we communicate with passengers during disruption.”
Here is the list of the ‘Carriers of Shame’ for the first half of June 2016, and the number of claims, followed by the figures for 2015:
Thomas Cook 3807
British Airways 3423
Thomas Cook 3717
British Airways 2652