How to claim under EU261

  1. What are your rights when your flight is delayed
  2. What are your rights when you are denied boarding
  3. What are your rights when your flight is cancelled
  4. What are your rights when you are downgraded
  5. How to claim and overview

I have just realised I never finished the series about EU261. This post will cover what to do in the event you are entitled to compensation under the EU261 regulation. In theory claiming should be easy and straightforward but many airlines will make it a challenging process to complete. You can either do the claims process yourself or enlist a company to do it on your behalf. They will charge a fee for their services. It can be quite difficult to compare companies as few publish their fees online. Refund.me do, and they charge 25% of the compensation.

I would recommend trying to claim yourself and if the airline does not play ball get a claim service to do it for you – most will be willing to take it to court on a no win no fee basis. A quick google will bring up a range of companies offering a claim service including flightcompensation.ie, refund.meflightdelayseurope.com and claims.ie I have no experience with any of these companies so I cannot recommend one. Should you choose to enlist a company to take over the claim on your behalf, ensure you know exactly what it will cost and if it is no win no fee.

A lot of airlines will have a form online especially for claiming under EU261 including Ryanair, British Airways, Easyjet and KLM. Other airlines do not have a specific form but you can claim through normal email/contact forms on their site. Other airlines, including Aer Lingus require you to do it via letter. If you are struggling to find out how to claim for a specific airline, google the airline and EU261. The chances are you’re not the first person to try and there should be tips online.

As part of the regulation each EU member nation must designate a body to enforce the rules. In Ireland the Commission for Aviation Regulation is the designated body. They have set up a dedicated website flightrights.ie which includes helpful advice. This is also the best way to contact them with complaints against airlines who are refusing to pay out.

Should an airline refuse to pay out I’ve found social media a good way to force their hand. A tweet or Facebook post to their page can often be all thats required to change their mind. However, make sure you do have a valid claim before resorting to social media and keep calm. No-one likes to see someone lose their head on social media – especially when they are in the wrong.

Claiming under EU261 should be an easy process but many airlines just refuse to make it easy. Hoping that by making it difficult it will put people of claiming.  Airlines will continue to do this until proper fines are put in place for airlines who refuse to compensation under the regulations.

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