Low-cost airlines and passenger rights protection

GIVT press release

The popularity of low-cost airlines is growing steadily. Their global market share is 30%, twice as much as 15 years ago, according to IATA. Thanks to low prices and an attractive route network, low cost lines airlines are growing almost twice as fast as traditional airlines. This despite reduced passenger comfort and the possible cancelled or delayed flights associated with low costs. Not all passengers are fully aware that in these circumstances they are entitled to compensation of up to €600. What rights should passengers keep in mind about low cost airlines?

Skytrax lists no low cost carrier in their best world airlines and ranks them separately with AirAsia, EasyJet and Norwegian earning top honours. According to the Polish Civil Aviation Authority, Poland’s most popular airline is Ryanair, carrying 28.4% of all passengers in the first half of 2019 (51.4% of all low cost passengers), ahead of national airline LOT – Polish Airlines, with Wizz Air in the third position. Despite its popularity, Ryanair is ranked way behind the top budget airlines in the world, influenced by, amongst others, a large number of passenger complaints. What rights should passengers keep in mind when travelling with low cost airlines?

“Passenger rights should be respected regardless of the type of airline they are travelling with. Regulation (EU) No 261/2004 regulating the payment of passenger compensation, covers all airlines including low cost airlines. Individual airlines do differ however in how they deal with passenger claims deadlines. In our experience some airlines, especially low cost, only pay compensation after cases go to court. With two years of experience of court proceedings, we know how to win against European airlines,” says Kamila Szczygieł, a lawyer for GIVT, a company specialising in passenger compensation for cancelled or delayed flights and denied boarding from airlines operating in Europe.

How to apply for compensation?

Passenger can apply for compensation for a disrupted flight (a flight delayed by more than 3 hours at landing or a flight cancelled less than 14 days before the date of departure), as well as denied boarding because of overbooking.

To make a claim, passengers need the following documentation and information.

Date and flight numberTravel document, e.g. passport
Airline nameFellow passenger details (if any)
Departure airport
Arrival airport

Under passenger rights Regulation (EU) No. 261/2004 the maximum amount of compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight is €600, but this is dependent on flight distance and destination:

Flight duration and destinationDelayed or cancelled flightDenied boarding
Flights up to 1,500 km€250€250
All flights up to1,500 km within the EU€400€400
All flights between1,500 km – 3,500 km€400€400
All other flights over3,500 km€600€600

Passengers may apply for compensation directly, but the evidence shows that without proper legal knowledge this is difficult. It is therefore worth considering the services of a specialised company like GIVT.

To claim compensation:

  • Complete your flight details at www.givt.com. Applications are verified automatically.
  • A claim is sent to the airline and the passenger is informed of the outcome.
  • If the airline refuses to pay compensation, the case will go to court with the passenger represented by GIVT.

Disrupted flight – what to do and what not to do?

When a flight is cancelled or there is a significant delay it is good to know what you can do for your own comfort and ease without losing your right to claim compensation. Some of the most important recommendations are below:

  • keep your booking confirmation, ticket, and boarding pass
  • find out the reason for the flight disruption
  • if the flight is cancelled, ask the carrier for meals, drinks and hotel accommodation
  • do not sign any documents where you waive the right to compensation, e.g. in exchange for flight discounts or vouchers
  • if the flight is delayed by 5 hours, request a ticket refund
  • if boarding is denied, request an alternative flight and monetary compensation
  • Keep any receipts for purchases of necessities such as food or drinks

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About GIVT

We seek compensation from air carriers for delayed or cancelled flights and in cases when air travellers are denied boarding. We act fast and efficiently, and we follow transparent rules. To make the process of obtaining compensation for our clients, we focus on advanced technology, task automation systems, machine learning, and advanced Big Data. GIVT has attracted experts with an expertise in several sectors, including aviation, finance, modern technology, consulting, digital marketing, and legal services. givt.com