Before making a claim against an airline or and airport ensure you know your entitlements in line with the relevant law.
You can learn more about your rights by accessing the dedicated pages through the following links:
Contact your airline directly
If you believe you have the right to claim compensation or reimbursement, you should contact your airline or airport directly. Compensation is not automatic, and you will need to contact your airline to make a claim.
Many airlines and airports will have a claims procedure for you to follow. Often, a standard claim form is available. If so, using it will ensure you provide all the information the airline needs to process your claim.
Be aware not all airlines will deal with your complaint if you use services such as Resolver or Claims Management Companies. Some airlines have a clause in their T&Cs stating that when lodging a complaint, passengers must submit their claims directly to the airline, allowing the airline to respond directly to them before engaging third parties to claim on their behalf.
You can usually find the best way to put in a claim by calling the airline or checking their website.
If no standard procedure is available, it may be best to make initial contact by email, so you have a record of the communication. You can also send a letter – always keep a copy, if you decide to do this.
Your airline will probably need detailed information to process your claim.
What to do if your claim is rejected
If you have had a claim for compensation or reimbursement rejected by an airline they should clearly explain why it has been rejected. Where compensation is being claimed, the airline may refer to the cause of the delay or cancellation as being an “extraordinary circumstance” in which case they may be excused from paying compensation. You can check the rules on extraordinary circumstances for instances that have been previously investigated by the CAA.
How to escalate your complaint
If you do not agree with the airlines assessment of your claim and think it has been incorrectly rejected you may escalate your complaint for consideration by a third party. Some airlines and airports are members of alternative dispute resolution bodies (ADR) and should provide you with the details of the relevant ADR scheme. See the ADR page for details on ADR.
If the airline that has rejected your claim is not a member of an ADR scheme, and you are satisfied that you have a valid claim then the CAA can help to argue your case.
Your other options
If the ADR body or CAA cannot help with your claim, or you wish to pursue a different course of action, you could take your airline to court.
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