Passengers delayed on flights going in and out of the EU have failed to claim GBP3.2 billion owed in compensation, according to new statistics.
In the past decade only 2% of travellers have claimed compensation for late or cancelled flights, passenger rights firm refund.me has said.
EU Regulation was approved in 2004 to secure passenger rights and ensure passengers receive up to GBP490 compensation when a flight leaving or departing the EU is three hours late or more.
However refund.me said more passengers are realising their rights with the amount of unclaimed compensation decreasing in the last three years. Around GBP385m is estimated to have been unclaimed in 2006, which came down to GBP355m in 2012 and GBP240m in 2013.
“We noticed a consistent and deliberate disregard for passenger rights that could result in hundreds of euros for millions of passengers worldwide,” said Eve Buechner, founder and CEO of refund.me, which processed 10,000 claims last year.
She said the decline in numbers was an ‘encouraging trend’ as consumers had previously “accepted that punctuality and care were more suggestions than rights”.
She added more open information from airlines and the introduction of more intermediaries between airlines and passengers had helped more passengers claim.
Sourced by Travel Daily UK
Dense fog in the London area forced the cancellation of flights at London City airport .
Delays were also reported at Heathrow while Gatwick was operating a normal schedule as forecasters warned of a repeat of the poor visibility on Friday morning.
London City said: “Due to low visibility this morning flights are experiencing disruptions.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Demand for flights has continued to “accelerate” during the first few weeks of 2014 helped by improving economic conditions around the world.
International Air Transport Association (Iata) figures show that worldwide passenger traffic in January grew by 8% as measured by total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), compared to the same month in 2013. This was up from the 5.2% rise in RPKs recorded during the whole of 2013.
Capacity also rose by 6.7% year-on-year in January while load factor improved by 0.9 percentage points to 78.1%.
Iata chief executive Tony Tyler said: “2014 is off to a strong start, with travel demand accelerating over the healthy results achieved in 2013, in line with stronger growth in advanced economies and emerging market regions.”
European airlines saw international air travel demand rise by 6.4% in January which Iata said was down to “modest” economic improvements in the Eurozone and “rising consumer and business confidence”.
Capacity across the continent increased by 5.9%, as measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs), while load factors picked up by 0.4 points to 77.2%.
The biggest rises in demand came in the Middle East where airlines saw international RPKs soar by 18.1% in January while Asia-Pacific carriers recorded an overall 8% increase in traffic.
North American airlines experienced a 3.5% increase in January while those in Latin America saw a 4.4% rise. African traffic was up by just 2.7% – the slowest rate of growth of any region.
Tyler added: “The second century of commercial aviation has begun on a positive note, with air traffic demand rising in line with generally positive economic indicators.
“While this is in line with an improved overall outlook for 2014, aviation remains highly vulnerable to external shocks. Rising geopolitical tensions around the world have the potential to cast shadows on this optimistic outlook.”
Sourced from TTG Digital
By Alex McWhirter,
Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red subsidiary will axe one of its four daily flights between Heathrow and Manchester from the start of the summer 2014 schedule.
The airline began its domestic services in spring 2013 after acquiring nine former Bmi slots at Heathrow from British Airways.
From March 30, Little Red plans to operate Heathrow to Manchester at 09.30, 17.10 and 20.10. Return flights from Manchester will depart at 07.50, 12.20 and 18.50.
The current schedule sees four daily flights depart Heathrow at 09.05, 12.20, 16.45 and 20.05. The return services leave Manchester at 07.25, 10.40, 14.15 and 18.20.
Little Red’s domestic network was established to allow Virgin Atlantic to feed regional passengers onto its long-haul network at Heathrow. Flights are operated under contract by Aer Lingus using a single-class A320.
Virgin Atlantic said that the service reduction on Heathrow-Manchester was down to a loss of slots to another carrier, rather than poor demand.
Virgin said the Manchester slots were “loaned from another carrier. We have now had to return these slots to their owner”. The carrier in question has not been named.
Slots to Edinburgh and Aberdeen are unaffected because they were awarded to Virgin Atlantic through an agreement made with the European Commission as part of BA’s takeover of Bmi last year.
Sourced by bbt
The majority of travellers want to see an end to reclining seats on short-haul flights, according to a new survey.
91% of people said airlines should either ban or set times for seat reclining, the poll of more than 1,000 travellers by Skyscanner found.
The study found that 43% even felt that long-haul flights should implement set times when passengers are permitted to recline their seat.
Almost a third of those surveyed said a reclined seat had caused them discomfort, and 3% revealed they had even suffered an injury.
Meanwhile, 60% of international cabin crew surveyed said they have been involved in, or witness to, an argument between passengers on the subject of reclined seats.
Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman, clinical director at the Private Therapy Clinic in London’s Harley Street, said: “The strong support for a change in reclined seat procedures makes sense.
“The effect of people reclining their seat can result in various negative emotions such as anger, stress, anxiety, frustration and upset for the passenger behind them. This emotional impact can result in a whole range of unhelpful behaviours, including air rage.
“This is partly because there are two general personality types while travelling. There’s the ‘altruistic soul’, who is considerate of others, and the ‘selfish ego’. The latter of which will look to increase their comfort at the expense of others.”
The survey found that 70% of selfish egos would not be put off reclining their seat even if the person behind was pregnant while 80% would not care if the person behind was elderly or frail.
Women aged 18-24 were the most likely to display altruistic soul tendencies in the survey, while men over the age of 35 were more likely to exhibit selfish ego characteristics.
While negative emotions could be reduced by a fellow passenger asking permission to recline their seat, the study found that a third of passengers are too worried about the reaction they would receive, and most people (64%) have never done so.
“With competing selfish egos and altruistic souls, set times for seat reclining on planes could actually make for an improved experience for passengers” said Dr Spelman.
“Such rules tend to ensure better social cohesion, as people are conditioned to obey boundaries. While these rules place a limit on the personal choice passengers have over their own comfort, people will generally adhere to them, accepting that it is fair. This could lead to a more pleasant flying experience for the majority.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly
The spat is the latest in a series between Ryanair and a succession of tourism authorities and airports.
Ryanair accused the tourist board of rejecting “a growth plan which would have increased winter traffic at Faro by as much as 35%, delivering more than 70,000 additional passengers”.
In a statement Ryanair said: “Turismo de Portugal reneged on its recent commitment to solve the challenges of seasonality in Faro and rejected Ryanair’s proposal.”
A Ryanair spokesman added: “It’s surprising an organisation whose brief is to promote tourism in the Algarve should ignore Europe’s largest carrier.”
Turismo de Portugal “vehemently denied” Ryanair’s claim, according to the English-languagePortugal News.
The tourist board said: “It is not true that Turismo de Portugal has rejected an expansion plan for Faro airport, a matter that is not in our remit.”
However, the board said it did refuse to pay the amount Ryanair “demanded to reinforce its operations in the Algarve”.
Turismo de Portugal said: “Almost all of the flights contracted with Ryanair for the winter season were cancelled by the airline despite the incentives negotiated.
“In other words, Ryanair … proposed the creation of new routes and flights for the Algarve which it then cancelled regardless of the funding made available.”
In a speech in Tenerife last month, Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long criticised authorities in the Canary Islands for offering financial incentives to Ryanair and urged the government “to treat all airlines equally”.
Sourced from Travel Weekly
By Rob Gill
Easyjet has cancelled more than 60 flights to and from Milan on Wednesday (May 29) due to planned industrial action.
The no-frills airline made the decision to cancel some services to and from Linate and Malpensa airports including several flights to Gatwick and Luton ahead of tomorrow’s 24-hour strike.
SEA Group, which runs both Milan airports, confirmed that the 24-hour stoppage would go ahead and the company will offer live updates about the impact of the strike on its Twitter feed.
“In order to minimise the disruption to passengers and to allow sufficient time to make alternative plans, Easyjet has taken the decision to proactively cancel some flights to and from both airports,” said the airline in a statement.
“All passengers travelling to or from the Milan airports on that day are strongly recommended to check the status of your flight before heading to the airport to avoid any unnecessary disruption.”
Easyjet has also rerouted some flights from Gatwick and Luton to Turin, and is then providing road transport to Milan.
For full details of Easyjet’s changes to its Milan flights, click here
Sourced by bbt
It comes after TTG revealed last week that the company was holding off from making contingency plans past June, in the hope that the Dreamliner might be ready for the peak season.
A spokeswoman for the airline said staff are “delighted” by the news, although the first flight’s date means customers expecting to fly on the aircraft between July 1 and 7 will be placed on other aircraft.
She added: “Our dedicated customer service team is in the process of contacting these customers to inform them that they will now be travelling on Thomson Airways 767 long-haul aircraft to Cancun and Florida, which have premium cabins.
“The supplement paid for the 787 Dreamliner outbound flight will be refunded to customers.
“We understand that this news will be disappointing for those customers looking forward to flying both legs of their journey on the 787 Dreamliner, but we are pleased they will be able to experience flying on the 787 Dreamliner on their return journey.”
Sourced by TTG Digital