Ash cloud compensation delayed

Travel insurance

ash cloudFour months after causing travel misery for hundreds of thousands of passengers, the ash cloud is continuing to make lives difficult for those caught up in it, with many still awaiting financial compensation from their airline. One such customer is Phil Gordon from the UK, who has been battling British Airways (BA) since the debacle began.
Stranded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when the ash cloud descended, he needed to return to the UK for a hospital appointment, and so bought tickets for an earlier flight than was offered by BA, expecting the company to reimburse him for the difference in cost between his original flight and the new one – BA has refused to pay. “To add insult to injury,” said Gordon, “we actually saved BA having to pay us for four days expenses [on hotel bills and meals]. I will not fly with them again.” In a statement, BA said: “We have now processed the vast majority of claims, and in many cases have compensated over and above what is required by any regulation.”
BA is not the only airline that has yet to pay off its customers – Virgin Atlantic, easyJet and KLM have also been criticised for taking too long to reimburse their passengers. KLM, in particular, has caused concern, as although European Union rules state that airlines must compensate passengers for the whole time they were delayed, KLM is saying that it will only pay for the first 24 hours. The airline has been threatened with legal action unless it complies with EU requirements.
James Fremantle, industry affairs manager for the Air Transport Users’ Council, said that the number of complaints had risen significantly this year, adding: “The complaints show that airlines are dragging their heels; not just any particular airline, but across the board. One airline, Jet2, is breaching the rules by offering vouchers rather than cash.”