Flight problems: What to do if the airline doesn't help? - Flightright UK

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Why airline customer service often doesn’t help: What to do if the airline doesn’t pay?

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The most important facts about “Airline customer service – passenger rights”

  • Passengers are confronted with problems such as delayed/cancelled flights, delayed/lost baggage
  • Airlines often offer vouchers instead of the legally required compensation
  • Bureaucratic hurdles are often invoked to delay or avoid compensation payments
  • Most air travellers (84%) are not familiar with or do not use their passenger rights
  • Under UK261 Regulation, air travellers are entitled to compensation for flight problems under certain conditions
  • As a traveller, you can claim financial compensation of 220 to 520 pounds or other amenities
  • If airlines refuse compensation or refunds, Flightright can help you enforce your rights
  • With Flightright, passengers can check their entitlement to compensation free of charge. Whether delayed, cancelled, rebooked or a missed connecting flight.

Did you have a flight delay or cancellation? Check your rights now and increase your chances of compensation

Travelling opens up new horizons, lets us discover foreign cultures and creates unforgettable memories. But unfortunately, the flight experience can occasionally be overshadowed by unexpected turbulence – be it delays, cancellations, flight changes or lost luggage. At such times, we rely on airline customer service to help us overcome these obstacles. But all too often it seems that airlines are more adept at the art of excuses and avoiding responsibility than smooth customer service. Unfortunately, many airlines are unable to provide their guests with the service they deserve.

In this blog article, we take a critical look at the most common reasons why airline customer service so often lets you down. From disguised reasons for delays to misdirected information, we uncover the tricks that some airlines use to shirk their responsibilities. But that’s not all, as we’ll also present solutions on how you can take action yourself when airlines take a dive when it comes to compensation, refunds and assistance.

Let’s delve into the world of flight problems and find out how you can use determination and knowledge to hold the airlines to account.

The airlines’ biggest excuses for flight problems

However, travelling isn’t all about glitz and glamour. There are things that can turn your first trip into a disaster. In the following sections, you’ll find out why delays are often kept a secret, how customer service likes to make itself invisible and why it’s seemingly easier to get a cheap voucher instead of legal compensation.


1. Reasons for delays are concealed

Airlines often hide the real reasons behind flight delays, which can lead to frustration among passengers. Instead of communicating the exact causes transparently, they might use vague explanations such as “operational reasons” or “technical issues” to hide the exact problems. This approach can lead to frustration for passengers as they don’t know exactly why there is a delay. This often serves to minimise the airline’s responsibility or to avoid possible compensation.

2. Customer service is often unavailable

“Customer service is unavailable” is a common excuse used by airlines in the event of flight problems where customer service is seemingly unavailable or difficult to reach. This practice can frustrate and unsettle passengers as they do not receive adequate support in times of need. It is often used as a tactical measure to buy time and avoid contact while airlines are dealing with flight cancellations, delays or other issues. This can undermine passenger confidence in the airline’s ability to deal with problems and give the impression that customer concerns are not being adequately addressed.

3. Misleading information and incorrect information

Unfortunately, “misleading information” or “false information” is a common practice by airlines in the event of flight problems. In such cases, airlines intentionally or unintentionally provide passengers with false information about the status of their flight, the reasons for delays or cancellations and possible solutions. This excuse is used to give the impression that the problems are beyond the airline’s control or that the situation is less serious than it actually is. By misleading passengers, airlines are trying to avoid their financial obligations under air passenger rights. Airlines might also do this to minimise the inconvenience or avoid negative reactions.

4. Cheap voucher instead of legal compensation

A common excuse used by airlines in case of flight problems is to offer cheap vouchers to customers instead of the legally required compensation. This practice can be seen as an attempt to save costs and avoid responsibility. Instead of providing affected passengers with the financial compensation to which they are entitled under air passenger rights, some airlines offer vouchers or travel credits. These vouchers are often worth significantly less than the actual compensation and passengers may be pressurised into accepting them without understanding their full rights. This allows airlines to both avoid financial obligations and maintain an image of customer-friendly service, while potentially penalising the passengers affected.


5. Complicated bureaucracy – many bureaucratic hurdles

“Complicated bureaucracy” is a strategy used by airlines in the event of flight problems, in which they point to allegedly extensive bureaucratic hurdles in order to avoid having to pay compensation to passengers. This practice aims to obscure the airline’s responsibility and prevent passengers from claiming their legal rights.

By claiming that the processes are complex and lengthy, airlines hope that passengers will be discouraged and forgo their compensation. This can leave affected travellers frustrated and feeling discouraged from asserting their rights. In some cases, the airline may deliberately rely on opaque processing to make it more difficult for passengers to claim compensation, even though these rights are enshrined in law.

Are you having trouble with a cancellation or flight delay and don’t want to accept it without doing anything? You shouldn’t either. After all, you are entitled to compensation in many cases of delay or cancellation.

You can rely on the support of our experts in the following cases:
Flight delay compensation, flight cancellation compensation
Compensation for overbooking
Compensation for denied boarding

Order Flightright conveniently online:
We enforce your refund and compensation!
With us, you can check your claims free of charge in two minutes. You can receive up to 520 pounds compensation per person (minus the success commission).

When did the airline inform you of the flight cancellation or delay?
On the day of the flight or less than 14 days before or more than 14 days before departure.

Are you also affected by a missed connecting flight? Check your flight now. Simple ✔ fast ✔ & without risk ✔

Common passenger problems and how to solve them

Flight delay – Delayed flights/arrival at destination airport

A flight delay is extremely annoying. Imagine being excited for your first trip, having a sleepless night and then finding out that your flight has been delayed. In such cases, it is important to know your rights as a passenger. According to UK261 Regulation, air travellers must be compensated for delayed flights.

Fortunately, with Flightright you can defend yourself against airlines that refuse you unjustified compensation attempts. We enable passengers to claim compensation quickly, easily and free of charge.

Flight cancellations – cancellation by the airline 

Another painful experience that air travellers have to go through is flight cancellations. This is an extremely rare occurrence, but when it happens, it can completely disrupt passengers’ travel plans. In such cases, air travellers need to know that they have rights. UK261 Regulation states that passengers should receive compensation in the event of flight cancellations. However, it is extremely difficult to assert a claim for compensation against an airline.

Flightright offers travellers the opportunity to claim compensation for flight delays or cancellations quickly and easily. Thanks to our free compensation calculator, submitting your claim is safe, straightforward and stress-free!

Loss of baggage

Lost luggage is a common problem for air travellers. It is unfortunate how often travellers lose their valuables at airports. Many travellers share videos online showing their damaged and empty luggage. To avoid such losses, we recommend packing valuable items in your hand luggage. Additionally, you can pay an extra valuation fee to serve as a safety net in case your belongings get lost. Stay protected and keep your valuables safe with you.

Uncomfortable seats

Tight and cramped seats are always a challenge for passengers. Uncomfortable seats can cause stress and even pain during the flight. The problem is that most seats are narrow and cramped, unless you are travelling in business class. But what can you do about it? One trick is to choose a seat near the exit. These would have more legroom and space. Another is to buy a seat reservation if offered by your airline. This will give you more space and legroom on the aircraft. So choose the best seat for your comfort!

Hidden fees

Have you ever tried booking online? While booking your ticket online, there are many hidden charges. Every time you click the “Continue” button, the cost of the ticket increases. When booking flight tickets online, some airlines select unnecessary and hidden extra services for you. Always read and check the procedure and exact details when buying flight tickets online to avoid unwanted costs. Some airlines charge for hand luggage storage space or even for printing a ticket.

Strike at the airport or with the airline

Airline strikes can lead to considerable inconvenience for air travellers. If a strike leads to a short-term cancellation or significant delay of the flight, airlines are obliged to offer travellers alternative transport as quickly as possible. In addition, air travellers who have longer waiting times at the airport are entitled to catering, including drinks, meals, telephone calls and, if necessary, hotel accommodation. If the flight is delayed by more than five hours or cancelled completely, air travellers can be reimbursed the full ticket price.

In the event of airline staff strikes, travellers may be entitled to compensation of up to 600 euros (equivalent of 520 pounds). The ruling of the European Court of Justice from 17 April 2018 (case no. C-175/17) states that a sudden strike by airline employees is not an extraordinary circumstance and the airline must therefore pay compensation of up to 600 euros (equivalent of 520 pounds). Even if airport employees or air traffic controllers go on strike, airlines are not automatically exempt from paying compensation. According to our experts, passengers may be entitled to compensation if the airlines have not taken all reasonable measures to minimise the impact of the strike.

Compensation amount according to the UK261 legislation depending on the flight route:

  • Short-haul (up to 1500 kilometres): You are entitled to compensation of £220
  • Medium distance (up to 3500 kilometres): You are entitled to compensation of £350
  • Long distance (over 3500 kilometres): You are entitled to compensation of £520

According to the UK261 Regulation, the amount of compensation is calculated according to the flight distance:

Short distance up to 1500 kmMedium distance up to 3500 kmLong distance from 3500 km
e.g. London – Edinburghe.g. London – Athense.g. London – Tokyo
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Problems when flying and the airline does not help?

Most air travellers (84%) are not familiar with their passenger rights or do not use them for fear of lengthy discussions with the airlines. What’s worse, sometimes airlines are not willing to refund their customers the full amount for a ticket or flight, even though they have this right. If you find yourself in such a situation and your airline refuses to pay you for your flight, you should never give up.


Airlines are obliged by the UK261 Regulation to protect the rights of air passengers. As a passenger, you can claim financial compensation of between £220 and £520 or other amenities if your flight is cancelled or delayed and the airline is responsible. Flightright allows you to check your flight delay or cancellation free of charge and claim your right to compensation quickly and easily.

What passenger rights are you entitled to?

  • Possible compensation for flight delays of 3 hours or more following the UK261 legislation.
  • If the airline has informed you of a flight cancellation less than 14 days in advance, you may be entitled to compensation.
  • Depending on the flight route, you may be entitled to compensation of between £220 and £520.
  • You are also entitled to compensation for missed connecting flights.
  • If you wait longer than 2 hours at the airport, the airline must provide you with snacks and drinks.
  • If your connecting flight is postponed to the next day, the airline must provide you with overnight accommodation.

What rights do air travellers with disabilities have?

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 guarantees equal opportunities for people with disabilities or reduced mobility when travelling by air. Airlines and airports must provide free assistance and support to ensure that people with reduced mobility can travel without difficulty.

This assistance includes accompaniment, care and the transport of wheelchairs and guide dogs. As a rule, physically impaired travellers should register with the airline at least 48 hours before departure to make use of the assistance service.

Who helps if the airline does not pay?

Many air travellers ask themselves the question; what to do if the airline does not help? What to do if the airline doesn’t pay? Don’t panic – Flightright is at your side. Flightright is the leading consumer portal for the enforcement of air passenger rights. We stand up for your rights in the event of flight delays, cancellations, flight rebooking or denied boarding, based on the UK261 legislation. Even in court if necessary. Our air passenger rights experts also support you with ticket cost refunds and the reimbursement of cancelled package tours.

Flightright has a 99% success rate and offers a free compensation calculator that you can use to check your entitlement to compensation. The process is simple, quick and convenient, and there is no risk to you. If necessary, we will forward your money to you immediately. Flightright works based on a commission of only 20-30% (plus VAT) and there are no hidden costs. You only have to pay if Flightright successfully settles the case for you. If no compensation is obtained, you will not incur any fees. This means that you only have to pay a fee if the case is successful.

Check now if you are entitled to compensation! Don’t miss the chance to assert your rights and get what you are entitled to! Flight delay compensation/flight cancellation compensation


If your flight departed from or landed in the UK, your claim is valid for 6 years. Even if your flight took place more than 6 years ago, you may still be entitled to a claim. The 6-year period begins from the end of the year in which the incident occurred, e.g. if you had a cancelled flight on 01.01.2020, you can still claim compensation until the end of 2026.

If you had a case of a cancelled or significantly delayed flight during the last 6 years, check your eligibility for compensation before the time runs out!

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Flying can be very stressful, and sometimes the airline doesn’t help you even when it should. Travellers should know their rights in advance and know how to get compensation if needed.

Airline customer service often does not provide the desired support when problems arise. The excuses given, ranging from concealed reasons for delays to complicated bureaucracy, give the impression that airlines are not sufficiently aware of their responsibility towards air travellers. Difficulties in accessing customer service and the dissemination of inaccurate information further exacerbate passenger frustration.

Air travellers face a multitude of problems, be it baggage theft, delayed flights, cancellations, flight changes, uncomfortable seats or hidden fees. However, instead of responding appropriately and helping their customers, some airlines often opt for low-cost solutions such as vouchers instead of providing the compensation required by law.

Nevertheless, passengers have rights that are protected by the UK261 Regulation. These regulations give clear instructions on when and what compensation and assistance passengers are entitled to when flight problems occur.

If airlines fail to fulfil their obligations and refuse compensation, Flightright can serve as an important point of contact. Flightright’s free compensation calculator helps affected passengers enforce their rights and claim the compensation they are entitled to.

Overall, it is important to be aware that air travellers have legitimate claims and should not hesitate to claim them.

How can Flightright help you?

Are you stuck at the airport due to a flight delay? Your flight has been cancelled or you have been removed from the passenger list (denied boarding)?

In each of the situations described, you as a passenger have a right to compensation.

According to the UK261 Legislation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. They can receive up to £520 compensation per person (minus the success commission). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your rights for you. If necessary also in court.

Tip: Flightright helps you to enforce your passenger rights! With us, you can check your claims free of charge in two minutes. ✔️Easy, ✔️fast ✔️& without risk

As the market-leading consumer portal, Flightright fights for the enforcement of air passenger rights. We stand up for your rights in the event of a flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding and refer to the UK261 Regulation. Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket refunds and refunds for cancelled package holidays.

As experts in the field of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline!

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