Passengers have filed nearly 600 complaints about airline delays and cancellations this year as refunds exceed €60,000

In the first half of the year, IRISH passengers filed nearly 600 complaints about flight delays, cancellations or denied boarding.

Complaints to the aviation authority have resulted in €32,000 in compensation and just over €60,000 in reimbursements, with around a third of the cases still outstanding.

A database of this year’s cases shows how 172 cases are linked to low-cost airline Ryanair and 130 cases to Aer Lingus.

There were also 33 complaints about TAP Portugal, 30 about British Airways, 22 about Lufthansa and 20 about Dutch airline KLM.

A total of 576 complaints were filed between the beginning of the year and mid-June, according to a database released under freedom of information by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).

The aviation authority said 387 of the cases have already been closed, while 189 are still under investigation.

In 49 individual cases, damages of €32,000 were paid with an average settlement amount of just over €653, according to the files.

The largest payment was €2,400 for a delayed Aer Lingus flight in January and the same amount for a delayed Turkish Airlines flight in April.

There were seven separate compensation payments of €1,200 for delays and flight cancellations and four payments of €1,000.

The aviation regulator also listed 341 cases where no compensation was paid, although refunds were given in around a quarter of those cases.

There were airline refund payments of €60,249 for 110 separate trips, with an average payment of €547.

The largest reimbursement was €3,856 paid as a result of a WestJet flight cancellation, followed by €3,455 for an Aer Lingus trip cancellation.

There were 16 other refunds of more than €1,000, all related to airline cancellations.

In some cases, refunds were very small, paying only €6 for a delayed Ryanair flight and €21 for a canceled flight on the same airline.

There were also around 250 cases where no refund or compensation was paid to the passenger.

Of the 576 complaints filed, 318 concerned cancellations – an ongoing problem due to Covid-19 – and a further 214 concerned long delays.

There were also 41 cases of a person being denied boarding on an aircraft, two complaints of “downgrading” and one case of “upgrading”.

Of the two cases related to the downgrade (both involving Aer Lingus), one remained under investigation while the other was closed without any compensation or refund being paid.

The “Upgrade” case resulted in the complaining passenger not receiving any money after complaining to Aer Lingus.

For comparison: Last year, a total of 1,475 complaints were filed with the aviation authority.

A CAR spokesman said passengers have the right under EU law to claim compensation for problems related to their flights.

He said: “Our jurisdiction in relation to passengers affected by operational problems is limited to situations where the airline is responsible for disruption due to flight delays, cancellations or denied boarding.

“The Commission is investigating complaints from passengers departing from Ireland that fall within the scope of EU Regulation 261/2004. Any travel disruption affecting flights returning to Ireland from destinations within the EU will require a complaint to the [relevant body] of that Member State as the flight departs from an airport outside Ireland.”

He added that information on what to do if you want to make a complaint about a flight is available on their website. Passengers have filed nearly 600 complaints about airline delays and cancellations this year as refunds exceed €60,000

Fry Electronics Team

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