What happened after You & Yours, BBC Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme took a look at the issue of missed flight connections

In our earlier blog we talked about BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme which covered the story of one of our customers, Shelley Hadley, who suffered a missed connection with Lufthansa. It is time to take a look at what happened next.

Lufthansa’s London Heathrow – Frankfurt – Turin connection fails – often!

As a recap, Shelley and her party were booked on a Lufthansa flight from London Heathrow to Frankfurt with a Lufthansa connection to Turin.  Now, Lufthansa runs this connecting flight daily. So, by selling the connection ticket to a customer you would think that they were confident that the flight would connect, after all it is their airline and they offered the connection.  We know that stuff happens and sometimes there are delays.  But, when Shelley, along with a number of other flight delayed customers contacted us about missed connections on this route we checked it out. What we found was interesting – from the start of the winter season 26 October 2014 through to 14 February 2015, the day of Shelley Hadley’s flight, the airline ran this flight connection 109 times, but, in 63 out of the 109 flights it was impossible for passengers to catch their connecting flight.

You & Yours, BBC Radio 4

Back to You & Yours – when they took up the story they invited Shelley Hadley, Adeline Noorderhaven, Manager EUclaim UK,  and of course, Lufthansa on to the show to talk about the frequent missed connections on this route.  Guess which of the guests refused to come to the studio and comment?  Yes, you guessed right – Lufthansa! 

Legal proceedings lead to radio silence

To be fair, EUclaim prepared legal proceedings against the airline.  This course of action was only taken because Shelley had contacted the airline direct asking for flight delay compensation but had been ignored by Lufthansa. She then contacted EUclaim and we approached the airline on her behalf. We presented our extensive flight data which revealed that a one minute delay, which was not the fault of the passengers, meant that Shelley and her party not only missed the connecting flight from Frankfurt but experienced an unwanted overnight stay. 

Was it the threat of legal action backed by EUclaim’s concrete data that made Lufthansa not take part on You & Yours? We like to think so, but we also feel, that Lufthansa, who had sold the ticket and had taken the money, even though they knew that in 58% of cases the connection could not be made, were maybe just too embarrassed to participate. 

So, the show was aired without them.

Lufthansa pay flight delay compensation

But they did listen. The very next day the airline contacted our in house lawyers to say that they would pay Shelley Hadley and her party flight delay compensation for the inconvenience caused to her and her companions.

Which?, the CAA and moneysavingexpert.com

So, it all comes down to the data. Customers can contact an airline direct, using template letters provided by the CAA or other consumer action groups such as Which? or moneysavingexpert.com. We will be frank; sometimes it works, but in most cases it doesn’t. 

To win a case for flight delay compensation you need evidence to prove that the flight delay was not an extraordinary circumstance but the fault of the airline and that leads us straight back to flight data.  We like to think our data is second to none. We have 183,000 flight delay compensation successes against airlines, to date, which we feel proves our point. 

Remember, it’s all about the passengers and the flight data!

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