If you have checked your rights and are sure you are entitled to receive a payment
from your airline following a problem with a flight, it’s important to make your case
Many airlines have a standard procedure for dealing with claims. If so, use it. You might have
to send a letter to a particular address or fill in a standard claim form. Check the airline’s
website for instructions, or call them to find out what to do. Some airlines now have a clause in their T&Cs stating that when lodging a claim, passengers must first contact directly the airline, allowing the airline to respond directly to them before engaging third parties to claim on their behalf.
If no standard procedure is available, it may be quickest to make initial contact by email. You
can also send a letter.
When you first contact your airline, aim to set out your case clearly and concisely. Explain
what happened and when, and why you feel you are entitled to receive a payment.
Be particularly clear about what you want. State exactly what compensation and expenses you are
Find out what you are entitled to
Send your claim to the airline’s customer relations department. You can escalate your complaint
if you don’t get the result you hoped for.
Give the airline as much information as possible. Try to include:
You should also send as many supporting documents and as much evidence as you can. This might
To make it easier for you to send a claim to your airline, we have created a template letter for
you to use for technical disruptions. You can also use this template for emails.
Download our standard claims letter
We believe that passengers are able to demonstrate that they were on a delayed or cancelled
flight in a number of ways. If you no longer have the tickets, It may be that you have bank or
credit card statements to support your claim.
It could also be that you have other evidence that helps support your claim like:
The airline should then use the information provided by you to check against their own records.
If you have no evidence at all to demonstrate that you were on a flight, and the airline refuses to
handle your complaint on that basis, you are able to make a subject access request
(a request for personal information held about you by a business) under the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 ("GDPR"). A copy of your personal data should be provided free, however airlines may charge for additional copies. You should provide the airline with some information so that they can find your
records. This should be at a minimum the date of your flight, the departure and arrival airports
and the passenger name/s.
We recommend that consumers should complain directly to the airline or airport concerned. There are also several tools and resources are available to help guide you through the complaints process. Here are two examples:
Resolver is a free and independent tool that can be used across several sectors including transport, energy and public services. Please note that not all airlines or airports accept complaints made through Resolver. You can use this service for:
The guidance published by Which? explains:
You can also enter your travel details into a flight delay compensation tool that creates a compensation claim letter for you to send to the airline.
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