Due EU compensation? refund.me will do it automatically for you!

As all those daytime TV ads make clear, a lot of people have been making a lot of money by helping people to claim compensation for missold Payment Protection Insurance. The concept has now moved on to the travel industry!

refund.me is a site which promises to help you claim any compensation you are due under EU regulations for cancelled or delayed flights. These payments can reach €600 per person, although airlines have historically had a track record of doing all they can to avoid paying up.

refundme

For a fee of 15% + VAT (recently reduced from 25% + VAT), refund.me will do the work for you. Their database will check the timings of your flight to see if you qualify, and then provide the documentation you need – this can be signed electronically.

(They also offer to help you claim compensation for delayed rail, coach or ship journeys, under arcane bits of EU legislation about which I know nothing!)

What the site does not seem to be able to do is to handle compensation claims for being downgraded. They DO handle claims for denied boarding, however.

It is debatable whether the €600 payment is actually fair compensation in a lot of cases. €2400 does seem like rather a lot of money to compensate my family of four for spending four extra hours in the airport. However, the rules are the rules – and the implicit reason for the penalty is to encourage airlines to be more proactive in the first place, such as having spare aircraft available.

If anyone has any experience of using refund.me, please let us know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Used one a similar Dutch company a few years ago who terrible – lied to me about BA settling the case and found out later that they had kept the monies received from BA for over 5 months. Took the company myself to the eu small claims court for damages and won!

  2. For those of you going it alone with complex itineraries with connections outside the UK on a nonUK carrier be aware CAA will now wash it hands off you and recommend you contact the rquivalent organisatiin in the carriers home country. I am currently trying to get compensation from Finnair via Finbish ministry of transport for 12+ hour delay. Cause was Finnair crew arriving 10 minutes before departure time and plane returning to airport to have waste tanks pumped out. Finnair now claiming they needed to take more fuel on board due to bafd weather so refusing to pay. Yes, I think I am due the €600 plus sum for the hassle, rudeness etc I have had to endure from them.

  3. Mike Turnbull says:

    I was on one of the last flights on Northwest out of Gatwick, connecting in the US for LAX, a few years back…flight was cancelled due to technical problems. They booked me a taxi to Heathrow and on to Virgin Upper Deck, non stop to LAX. What excellent service that was. .no compensation requested !!

  4. There is awful lot of advice about this, over on Moneysavingexpert.

    • whitenoise says:

      Like Steve says the page over at Moneysavingexpert was what I used – http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/flight-delays. Simply followed the instructions to make sure I was eligible to claim and downloaded their template and sent it to BA. They also contain a number of very useful free links that checks if your flights were delayed for you, including another link to check distance. Save your money!

      A few weeks later and I had a reply telling me that I would receive a cheque through the post. True enough a few days later I got a cheque for something like £300 odd. I did feel a bit guilty for claiming, since I was enjoying my 4 hour delay in the BA CW lounge at the time!

      Over 10 hours later on a plane, an hour by bus, 15 minutes by taxi and eventually I arrived at my destination in the dark and completely exhausted after the long day, so I guess it made up for it! ;)

      • I did the same, except never got a response from BA. Just a cheque! The MoneySavingExpert letter template worked fine for me..

  5. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Train delay compensation is very straightforward on most UK rail operators. Fill in a form, print and post along with your ticket/receipt and get a voucher valid for travel on any UK rail service back within a week or so. Never had one refused – payout is for any delay, no matter the cause.

    Here are links to some of the claim pages:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=national+rail+delay+repay

    • A couple of the companies now let you do it all online! Cross Country allow you to email them your details, along with a photo of your ticket cut in half. First Capital Connect have a form on their website where you fill in details and attach a photo of the ticket. What’s more, if you send a claim to the wrong company, they’ll forward it on but with a slight delay, so you can in effect claim for anything online! If doing it by post, make sure you get both the form AND the freepost envelope at the station, so you don’t have to pay for a stamp to get your money back.

  6. My impression when going it alone is that almost every airline makes it extremely difficult to claim constantly stating they deemed the circumstances to have been exceptional even when you point out it doesn’t fit the obvious definitions turning it into a bit if a ‘yes it does, no it doesn’t’ stalemate. These guys may indeed save a lot of time, hassle and numerous letters for a relatively small fee. I’d be interested to hear peoples experiences.

  7. Thunderbirds says:

    Not all airlines make it difficult to claim compensation, BA included. I was delayed by 5.5 hours when travelling BA to Bermuda in F with my wife. We arrived early to take full advantage of the F lounge at Gatwick (not having been there before I had high hopes) but BA knew there would be a delay at check-in time so advised us to come back in an hour. We did and were told that we would be down-graded from F to CW on the outbound journey (change of plane from 4 to 3 class). There and then they gave me (sorry us) a debit card with £1000 loaded on it as full EU compensation.
    Later that month I called customer services for a refund of the 20k avios lost by the down-grading (it was 2-4-1) and spoke with a guy who couldn’t help me there and then as he couldn’t find the revised flight we flew on. He promised to call back the following day (Monday) which he did and offered the 20k avios back and 15k avios each for myself and my wife as a sign of good will. All in all £1000 and 50k avios back, I can’t complain about BA in this instance.
    Oh, and the F lounge at Gatwick is not much better than the business lounge at Gatwick which is poor but there was plenty of Champagne to wile away the hours.

    • I think you were short changed on the compensation for the downgrade. You should have got 75% of the fare back and not a fixed amount.

      BTW if that was me and BA told me to come back an hour later to check-in I would have insisted on being checked in and allowed to go to the lounge !

      • Thunderbirds says:

        Technically speaking wasn’t the “fare” £0 as I only paid the “taxes”..? Not sure what the definition of fare is for EU regulations. We only paid a total of £983 in taxes so in reality I think we did quite well..!
        When we approached the desk the first time I suspect at that time they didn’t know whether they would be cancelling the flight completely hence their reluctance to check people in.

        • Thunderbirds, I think I agree with Chris C and you were short changed.

          There are many threads on Flyertalk on this one.

          Ultimately you have paid more than the ‘taxes’ as you have built up a cash amount via your ‘spend’ on the cc.

          I believe you should have got 75% of the full fare, each.

          • Thunderbirds says:

            Your calculations for the downgrade compensation as opposed to the delay compensation (rounding) would presumably be 75% of £500 as the downgrade was only on one sector. So that’s £375 for both. Instead they gave us 50k avios which I prefer. They can’t be expected to give cash compensation and refund avios. Also I can’t see how the full fare can be anything other than the actual cash spent otherwise the system degrades in to a lottery.

            • The regulation relating to downgrades (Article 10, section 2) says

              …75 % of the price of the ticket …”

              It does not specify that it is the the cost per sector just the price of the ticket. Also it does not say excluding the APD, fuel surcharge or airport fees. Nor does it make a distinction between tickets paid for in miles or cash or (in reality) a combination of both.

              It is not that the EU did not think about miles as the regulation clearly states that it applies to tickets issued from a frequent flyer programme (Article 3, section 3)

              As you paid a mix of miles and cash you should have have been given compensation in both 75% of the miles and 75% of the cash of the TOTAL ticket cost.

              The system is quite clear and is supposed to stop compensation for delays and cancellations from becoming a lottery by setting out very clear amounts for delays of X hours depending on Y flight length and for standard % for downgrades.

              The system is supposed to make airlines think more closely about the costs of cancelling and delaying flights and over booking so that downgrades are less frequent.

              Of course some airlines just say ‘stuff it we are cancelling and stuff the cost’ but that says more about the attitude of that airline to its customers than the regulation.

  8. Re the point made earlier about the 600€ fixed amount not fully, or even over, compensating some pax for a delay I would say that it makes it a lot easier for an airline to calculate how much it would cost them to cancel / delay a flight using fixed amounts rather than doing 300 different calculations for each passenger in a short space of time if it was based on class of travel and type of ticket and actual fare paid. As you said the regs are designed to encourage airlines to be more pro active in finding solutions rather than just cancelling/

    Now you could have a debate as to whether that is right or not but I think simpler is better !

    Equally it doesn’t stop an airline offering pax in Business / First additional cash or miles but it does offer a simple amount for everyone.

    • Lady London says:

      Quote ” it makes it a lot easier for an airline to calculate how much it would cost them to cancel / delay a flight using fixed amounts”….

      And an important part of the rest of that calculation, is a multiplier of the percentage of passengers on the flight that will actually know enough to claim, that will actually claim, and then who will actually persist after first refusal of their claim…. which must reduce how much it would cost them to cancel / day a flight very considerably.

      • well yes they could try and factor that in but given that airlines are required to advise people of their rights to compensation they should be calculating the possible costs based on the loads on a flight and not going ‘well it should cost us €180,000 to cancel but really it will only be € 60,000 because 2/3rd wont bother to claim’

        But I reiterate the purpose of the regulation is to get airlines to actually run flights where possible and not just to take the easy option and cancel by making the possible financial penalties very clear from the outset.

  9. I successfully claimed against Air France back in 2008. After writing several letters and receiving “not our problem guv’nor” responses, I eventually submitted my case to the Small Claims Court. A few days before the hearing, Air France paid out. Gave the money to WaterAid as the only reason I continued with my claim was due to the Airlines poor attitude (basically they were trying to fob me off at every opportunity).
    I had a lot of help from the Forums at the http://www.flightmole.com website. Seems a bit quiet over there nowdays but there’s plenty of resources available there to help you create your own claim letters.
    I helped a few people successfully claim over the past few years….all you need is a little knowledge of the law, the correct letter templates and lots of patience and persistence!

  10. This is excellent news. I had a 5 hour delay at Barcelona with Monarch a few years ago because their staff were delayed. No apologies, and they refused to fill up alternative flights with other airlines and gave us a EUR5 voucher for food and drink (or some trivial amount like that). Shocking customer service, I will never use them again. Anyway, this means it will be easy for me to make them finally pay out on this.

    If only there was a way to go after Air Canada for the 4 hour delay I had at Montreal on Sunday night because they missed a connection.

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