Hank Investigates: Delay Dollars

(WHDH) — Did you fly between Boston and Rome last year? 22,000 passengers who did could be owed some money!

Did you fly between Boston and London? Boston and Paris? 9,700 of you, too, could claim big bucks!

Our investigation found a little known regulation turns airline delays into dollars, and cancellations into cash!

One company estimates Logan travelers alone are due almost $35 million!

Passenger: “That’s great.”

Here’s why: If certain flights are cancelled or delayed 3 hours or more, this European Union regulation: EC Number 261, requires EU airlines to pay up to $700 per passenger.

Passenger: “It would be a win.”

You’ve got to be ticketed on a European airline, or a US airline operated by a European company. The flight has to be to or from the EU, all the countries in blue here. And the delay or cancellation has to be the airline’s fault. So weather delays don’t count.

Henrik Zillmer, CEO, AirHelp: “This is something by law that is rightfully yours, but you have to claim it.”

Problem is, most travelers don’t know about it.

Zillmer: “Our latest survey says two percent of all the people who are entitled to compensation actually claim the compensation.”

Though the rules say passengers should be fully informed of their rights and airline reps insist they are, experts say the message is not getting through

Not one Logan passenger we talked to knew they had a right to disruption dollars.

Hank: “Did you know that?”

Passenger “No.”

Passenger: “I think it should be publicized more.”

Flyer’s Rights, a passenger advocacy group, is now asking the US Department of Transportation to require airlines to inform passengers, in clear language about delay compensation.

And even though you just found out about this there’s good news: You may be eligible to put in a claim sometimes years after your flight was cancelled or delayed.

Some companies, like AirHelp, are offering passengers legal assistance with claims. There’s a fee, but they say many travelers who put in a claim themselves, get delayed again, in airline denials and red tape.

For more information:

EC 261:


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