European Flight Delays

An airline passenger advocacy group claims more than 60,000 flyers have not pursued claims after being eligible for compensation for disrupted flights last year.

AirHelp, a New York-based group specializing in helping travelers get compensation for delayed or canceled flights – and, in some cases, of denied boarding – says passenger who flew into Europe on European airlines between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend of 2018 can file for compensation from the airlines up to $700 each for disrupted flights.

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The ability to file for compensation comes under European law, AirHelp says, but the bulk of the 60,000+ who are eligible flew out of American airports.

“While we’ve made great strides in strengthening and supporting travelers’ rights, there is still a lot of work to be done, as more than 60,900 travelers are at risk of losing out on compensation from disruptions that occurred last summer,” Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp said in a statement. “Many travelers are unaware of EC 261, and do not realize they are able to claim compensation for up to three years after a flight disruption. At AirHelp, we are dedicated to not only educating travelers but to helping them claim the compensation they deserve and to fully exercise their rights.”

European law EC 261 requires airlines to compensate all passengers on flights into the EU on a European airline and out of the EU for delays over three hours, as well as for denied boarding and cancellations in cases when the disruption was caused by the airline. Under this law, eligible passengers can claim up to $700 per person for up to three years after the incident.

Airlines are only exempt from this obligation if the flight disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance including bad weather, terrorism or sabotage, or due to safety concerns such as air traffic control issues.

If passengers are not sure whether they are eligible to claim compensation, they can enter their flight information on the AirHelp website or through the app to immediately understand their eligibility.

Of the more than 60,900 travelers who are still able to claim compensation, the highest number of disruptions were experienced for departures out of John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), respectively.

Other airports where travelers experienced disruptions and are still eligible to claim compensation include Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Miami International Airport (MIA), Orlando International Airport (MCO), Denver International Airport (DEN), Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS), Tampa International Airport (TPA), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).