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US Airlines Are Wrongfully Rejecting Passenger Claims

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United States-based airlines wrongfully reject more than 25 percent of compensation claims from travelers following flight disruptions and the worst offenders are Delta, United, and American Airlines.

According to a new study from AirHelp, more than one in five travelers are being denied as much as $700.

The AirHelp study found that this was the case in 2016, 2017 and 2018, during which one-quarter of valid claims filed against U.S. airlines were turned away by carriers trying to avoid their obligation to travelers, said AirHelp.

“The bleak picture in the U.S. is just the tip of the iceberg. The volume of legitimate passenger claims being wrongfully rejected by airlines is appalling,” said Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp. “Flight delays and cancellations are increasingly heaping chaos on passengers, and travelers are forced to fight airlines for compensation they’re rightfully owed.”

The reality is that thousands of passengers are continuing to face an impossible struggle to claim the money they’re entitled to, Zillmer added.

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Making matters worse, many U.S. travelers have no idea what their rights are with regard to flight disruptions or that they may be entitled to compensation.

U.S. passengers are protected under European law EC 261, which covers flights to the European Union on an EU airline, as well as on any flight departing from the EU, including those operated by American carriers.

“Ninety-two percent of travelers don’t know their rights and the airlines are not doing their due diligence in informing them of their rights,” Paloma Salmeron Planells, head of communications for AirHelp, told TravelPulse during an interview.

AirHelp’s research found that Delta was the worst offender when it comes to rejecting legitimate compensation claims. The airline came in number one on the AirHelp ranking, with a wrongful claim rejection rate of 32 percent.

Coming in second place is United Airlines, with a 23 percent wrongful rejection rate. American Airlines rounds out the top three offenders with a wrongful rejection rate of 22 percent.

Last year in the U.S., 407,000 travelers were eligible to claim compensation under EC 261 following flight delays and cancellations. That figure represents a substantial increase from, the 370,000 passengers who were eligible for compensation in 2017, according to AirHelp.

During the first three months of 2019, more than 75,000 passengers experienced disruptions due to the fault of the airlines that have made them eligible for compensation.

AirHelp, a company focused on helping flyers submit claims and obtain the money they’re due, knows all of this because it maintains one of the largest databases of flight statistics in the world, Salmeron Planells told TravelPulse.

The trend of rejecting legitimate claims is a small part of what AirHelp says is a larger issue of airlines mistreating passengers.

“One of the most important tips we give people, whether they come to AirHelp for assistance or not, is to educate yourself about the laws and your rights,” Salmeron Planells said. “Only when people have the power of information will they be able to advocate for their rights and be more likely to receive the proper claim compensation.”

U.S. travelers as it turns out, aren’t the only ones who are so ill-informed about their rights. AirHelp pointed out that about 85 percent of European travelers don’t know their rights either.

“The less people know their rights, the more airlines are going to be get away with,” said Salmeron Planells.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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