A specialist website in Spain claims to have helped recoup €3 million in compensation for airline passengers in just over two years of operating. David Ing reports
During that time, Reclamacióndevuelos.com says that in 98 per cent of the cases it has brought – either through court action or settled out of court – the airlines have ended up paying out.
Founded at the start of 2017 and based in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao, most of the website’s clients are from its home market, but it has also begun building up an international client base, especially in other Spanish-speaking countries, according to CEO Rafael de la Peña. Its basic services centre on acting as a platform to ‘advise on and manage incidents on flights that violate the rights of passengers based on regulation 261/2004 of the European Union and the Montreal Convention’ of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
For most passengers, that means compensation for delays to flights, cancellations, cases of overbooking, refusal to allow boarding and damage to or lost luggage.
According to the company, the payments it wins are on average 30-per-cent more than what a client would receive acting on his or her own, and in some cases the payouts have surpassed €10,000.
The lack of upfront charges for the claimant is one of the main attractions of the service for passengers, says De La Peña: “The client does not advance any quantity of money, so their risk on claiming is zero. Our professional fees are discounted from the indemnities we achieve, so if we don’t get one it costs the client nothing.”
Another secret of their success that he points to has been the high level of personal attention offered to customers: “Although to be able to manage the volume of claims it is absolutely necessary to automate and digitalise [processes], we get in contact with all those affected if we have the minimum of doubt to find out all the details.”
The website’s target is to reach 20,000 cases handled this year, ‘but above all maintaining the ratio of success that we have’.