A consumer advocacy firm says a lack of understanding about passenger rights means that air travelers in the US may walk away from billions in owed compensation each year.
A survey conducted by Air Help, a firm that assists passengers with claims for compensation following delayed and cancelled flights, has found that travelers from the US are woefully uninformed when it comes to their rights as passengers. According to the study, a full 92 percent of U.S. air travelers admit that they don’t know their rights, especially when traveling overseas. The company says that this ignorance of the rules could be costing air travelers billions of dollars in owed compensation every year.
“Every year, almost 13 million passengers leave over $6 billion in the hands of the airlines that owe them compensation following unpleasant flight disruptions,” Air Help CEO Henrik Zillmer explained in a statement revealing the results of the study. “We are very excited to share the results of this study with passengers, policymakers and airlines, which for the first time, shows incontestable proof of the real need to increase awareness and understanding of air passenger rights.”
The survey found that the vast majority of U.S. passengers flying to or from Europe were unaware that they may be entitled to compensation for flight disruptions under EU rules. According to the study, 77 percent of passengers in the U.S. will never file a claim following a delayed or canceled flight even though they may be entitled to compensation.
Passengers who responded to the survey said there were a number of obstacles stopping them from making claims for compensation following a flight disruption. More than 60 percent of the passengers surveyed said that they did not file for compensation because they were not aware of their rights. Nearly half of those passengers said they did not think that they were eligible for compensation at all and just over 40 percent of total respondents said that they did not know how to even file a claim.