How to claim compensation on your own
If, after reading all the information on our relevant pages and reviewing your rights carefully, you still believe that your claim is valid, then you should:
- at first, try to contact your flight operator directly (the airline company that operated your flight)
- Check their website/ call the airline directly and ask about the best way to make your claim with them
- Many airlines have their own claim procedure that passengers need to follow in order to claim their rights. If this is the case with your flight operator, then it is preferable you pay attention to their requirements – this will save you a considerable amount of time
- If they require a standard claim form for you to fill, make sure you have all the information required available (preferably, with proof of it)
- If you cannot find any clues about the airline having its own procedure, you should try contacting it via email/letter, making sure that you keep proof of the communication.
- the next step for you to take would be to… wait! Yes, you usually have no other option at this point but to wait for the airline’s response. It will either be what you expected – a positive one, which usually provides details about how exactly you will receive the compensation that they agree you are entitled to – or a negative response, in which case they will also explain to you the reasons for rejecting your claim.
- if you are unhappy with the airline’s response, a preferable option (but more time-consuming) would be to contact the Civil Aviation Authority of the country from which your plane departed. They will investigate your case further and help you argue it completely free of charge (if, as a result of their investigation, they consider your claim to be valid).
- if neither of the options above worked, you could take your claim to court.
Useful tips when writing your claim
- Provide as much detail as possible about your case
- Keep a copy of every letter/email you send to the airline
- State exactly what you are claiming from them, in a clear and concise manner
- Provide as much information as possible (full contact details of all passengers, your booking reference and travel dates, the flight number, departure and arrival airports, details about the incident – where it occurred and for how long that situation lasted, names of any staff member that you have spoken to about that incident)
- You could also send the airline copies of all relevant receipts, tickets, booking confirmations or boarding cards
- Provide anything relevant in order to prove that you were on that particular flight – if you no longer have the tickets, you could try using your bank/credit card statements, luggage tags, emails from the airline, phone records, passport stamps or even receipts from the airport.