About 120,000 Romanian passengers have been affected by the delayed or cancelled flights in the past three years, according to AirHelp statistics. AirHelp, the world leader providing legal services to airline passengers who have experienced a flight cancellation, delay or overbooking when traveling into or out of the European Union, has entered Romania in September.
Out of the total flights scheduled in the past 36 months, over 1,500 haven’t respected the flight schedule, with most of the incidents taking place in 2016, when 566 flights have been delayed or cancelled.
31,000 Romanian passengers have faced 356 flight delays or cancellations this year, until August. If all these passengers filed for compensations, as they are entitled by the European Directive 261/2004, the sum that should be paid by the air operators would mount to almost EUR 9 million.
In 2017, the most congested day on the Romanian airports was August 18, when 285 flights were scheduled to take off from Romania. Among these, 29 had delays from 15 up to 180 minutes, two had delays more than three hours and another two have been cancelled.
Out of 34,000 passengers travelling that day, 450 are eligibile for compensations, with the total sums mounting to almost EUR 138,000 for those four flights.
If reported to the past 3 years, the maximum limit from the flight’s moment for claiming the compensations, the total value of the compensations would mount to EUR 34 million.
„Many passengers don’t know their rights and, although they are eligible for compensations, they don’t know how to get it or where to start from. If we think that the simple scan of their boarding pass help them check their eligibility, and we facilitate their access to these compensations- even by representing them in court if it’s the case- the process should be quite easy. However, Romania hasn’t been accustomed to such approaches so far. Think that only 2 pc of the world population know their rights and only 1 pc ever get the compensations they are entitled to,” said Stefan Radu, country manager of AirHelp Romania.
The low application rate for compensations made AirHelp enter Romanian market.
„I’ll give some recent examples. When there were the first problems with the TAP Portugal flights, we had an application rate below 10 percent. The percentage doubled at the second problem. At present, due to the Ryanair flight cancellations we have thrice more passengers asking for compensations. In this case, the affected people can receive compensations up to EUR 400, regardless of the price paid for the air-travel ticket if Ryanair hadn’t announced them cancellation through a personal message, at least 14 days before takeoff (….) Delays are registered on the airports countrywide on a daily basis and passengers contact us,” Stefan Radu said.
Generally, cancellations or delays can bring passengers compensations up to EUR 600. The value of the compensation depends on the flight’s duration and the distance to the destination, as well as on the reason of the cancellation or delay.
Since 2013 when it was founded, AirHelp has helped three millions passengers get compensations, worth over EUR 160 M worldwide. AirHelp has representations in Europe, Asia and North America, serving 30 countries and providing assistance in 16 languages. The company has over 500 employees worldwide.