Old Jul 29, 19, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Not sure why, if such conditions are actually prevalent, airlines themselves aren't silent partners in claims agencies. Stonewall the individual complainant, claw back a portion of the eventual payout.
Are we sure they're not?

Most (all?) airlines will, when accepting the validity of a claim, offer a voucher of substantially greater value to the claimant, but with strings attached. For all airlines, it can only be used with that airline or its closely-aligned partners (in the case of AFKL, the vouchers can be used on those, or on Delta). For others, there is a time limit (I know that TAP requires the voucher to be redeemed within 12 months; I don't think AFKL put a time limit on theirs).

In this way, not only do they avoid having to physically pay out money, but any such money will only be "spent" on their services. Of course, in many cases, the vouchers will not be used entirely, or at all.

When dealing with a claims agency, they lose the ability to "bribe" the customer with such a voucher. The claims agencies require cash, paid directly to them, rather than directly to the passenger, as therefore they have no way of claiming their "fee".

So the airlines have more incentive to try and push customers towards accepting an airline-specific voucher, rather than paying cash out to the passenger even if they get some share of the 25/30/33/40% the claims fees charge!
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