In 2012, an estimated 1.7 million passengers failed to exercise their right to compensation, allowing the airline industry to save an estimated Euro 400 million (approx. Rs.3120 crore).
All passengers, regardless of nationality, fall under the scope of European Union (EU) Regulation if their flight is operated within the EU, outbound from the EU or inbound to the EU while operated by an EU carrier. This regulation defines compensations of up to Euro 600 (approx. Rs.46,800) to everyone reaching the final destination with a delay of at least 3 hours. The EU law covers non-stop flights with long delays as well as complex multi-leg itineraries where a small delay of a feeder flight can cause headaches and easily result in a long delay at the final destination.
Based on the more than 3700 connections between Mumbai and London last year, refund.me estimates that affected passengers could have claimed for nearly Euro 5 million (approx. Rs.39 crore). Moreover, UK law dictates that claims can be made up to 6 years retroactively, meaning that passengers travelling to and from the UK since 2007 on a flight qualifying for compensation can still claim through refund.me’s online platform and mobile app. In this 6-year period, refund.me estimates such compensations could have reached Euro 40 million (approx. Rs.312 crore).
Backed by a pan-European network of legal experts and in partnership with various consumer organisations across Europe, refund.me specialises in the application of the specific EU Regulation that establishes standard compensations in the case of delays, missed connections, diverted flights or cancellations. The European Commission has tentatively approached the EU Parliament with a proposed revision to clarify passenger rights. While refund.me applauds the initiative, as it would eliminate some grey areas and define the vague “extraordinary circumstances”, the proposed revision could increase the threshold for compensation from 3 hours to 5, 9 or even 12 hours. refund.me considers this a serious setback for the rights of travellers and as such strongly opposes this particular aspect of the proposal.
Thanks to its largely automated procedures, refund.me is a real-time platform directly providing customers with live information through its website or to the user’s smart phone. Through its state-of-the-art platform, refund.me also offers to easily handle customers’ claims, lifting the bureaucratic burden impeding customers from claiming what is rightly theirs.
The process is simple: To file a complaint, the affected passenger quickly fills out an online form, and refund.me handles the process from there. The customer is only required to pay a 25% commission (plus statutory VAT) only if the claim is settled successfully. This allows passengers to avoid the complicated and time-consuming bureaucratic process and claim up to Euro 600 (approx. Rs.46,800) simply by entering their flight and other data in the Advanced Business Logic (ABL) of the cloud-based refund.me system.
refund.me, the online phenomenon sweeping across Europe, is now ready to offer its same worry-free, “no win, no fee” solution to the Indian market: “Many passengers are not aware of their rights, and those who are and try to file a claim face a complicated bureaucratic system impeding their claims”, added Eve Buechner, CEO of refund.me. “Passengers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation, but thanks to our network of legal experts specialised in passenger rights, we can help our customers swiftly and successfully process their claims and receive the compensation they are rightly entitled to, without the headache of doing any of the procedures themselves. Reaching out to the Indian passenger is an important milestone in our mission to become the international traveller’s best friend.”