Compensation struggle for Thomson delays

Compensation struggle for Thomson delays

Huge numbers of holidaymakers who end up sitting through long delays with Thomson flights will find it nigh on impossible to get any compensation back, according to an investigation from Money Mail.

They referred to the tour operator as "routinely weaselling out of paying legitimate claims for delays lasting three hours or more."

They've reported that Thomson are "dragging its feet" and then "issuing blanket rejections as it struggles with a backlog of claims."

The aviation watchdog should have the report, submitted by the paper, and this will worry those who have booked a trip with Thomson this summer.

Of course, EU rules say that you can get (up to) £460 in compensation (€600 if you're outside of the UK) if your flight gets to its destination over three hours late, and you have six years to make your claim.

Bad weather and strike action is exempt from these claims, as they're deemed to be out of the control of the operator.

Thomson have issues in this area, with figures showing that they have double the industry norm, with three in ten Thomson flights arriving late. It seems that they're even more tardy when it comes to dealing with customer complaints.

In one case, Money Mail found that a couple who had been stranded at Tenerife airport for nine hours, spent three months having their complaint ignored by Thomson, who eventually threw their claim out.

They said that the delay was caused by damage to the aircraft on an earlier flight, which Thomson deem an extraordinary circumstance.

However, the Spanish aviation authority disagreed, and said Thomson should pay up.

It seems to be a problem across the board, with the Civil Aviation Authority saying that they're overwhelmed with complaints, and have launched an independent ombudsman service to try and deal with it all.

Adeline Noorderhaven, UK manager of law firm EUclaim, told Money Mail: "Thomson are notoriously bad when it comes to compensating for delays. Their claims department does not respond adequately and all of the cases we've won against them have only been honoured due to the pressure of court proceedings."

Thomson have said: "We are sorry for any customers experiencing delays with their claims. We remain committed to maintaining an excellent on-time performance."

"We will not process any claims submitted by unregulated claims management companies, who routinely take a large percentage of the payment as commission. Customers should submit their claim directly to us."

We'll keep tabs on this and see if there's a work-around, to ensure customers get what is rightfully theirs.

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